We live in a culture that is obsessed with celebrity lifestyle. The media is inundated with images and news of the glamorous, and often times controversial, lives of stars and other accomplished individuals.
While being exposed to this kind of material, it is tempting to label these people as “lucky” or “blessed” because of their apparent good fortune.
But I can guarantee you that the majority of them earned their way to success through years of hard work and focused effort.
This became very clear to me following an experience I had in college. I had the opportunity to interview a famous celebrity, who is a multi-millionaire, for a project that I was working on. He was kind enough to spare some of his time to tell me about his life and how he reached the level of fame and wealth that he now enjoys.
He told me that he started from humble beginnings in his native town in New Jersey. His parents were what we would call “working class” and had high expectations for his career, especially because he was their only child.
“They wanted me to become a doctor or a lawyer or something like that, and were not supportive of my creative passion, which I picked up as a kid. Like most parents, they didn’t think that a career in the creative or performing arts could bring in a steady source of income.” He paused for a few moments to get a drink of water before continuing.
“No one could talk me out of abandoning my craft because I loved it so much. So I had to take the big risk of moving out my parent’s house, to pursue it, when I was only in my teens. I had to work two jobs so that I could feed myself while trying to perfect my skills,” he told me.
He spent the next couple of year’s toiling away in his small studio apartment in New York. There were some times when he almost starved because of not having enough money for food.
“I admit that it took a lot of sacrifice…but it was worth it. Eventually I built my professional confidence and started knocking on doors and sending out video tapes. I faced a lot of rejection for months before one TV producer gave me a break.”
He went on to tell me that it wasn’t all smooth sailing after that. He did lose that job later on because the company went bankrupt, and he was out on the road again. It was only after a few years that he was able to seek what he called “a steady gig”.
And the rest, as they say, is history. His success skyrocketed and he is now wealthy beyond his wildest dreams (he has been featured in Forbes magazine several times). Despite his success, he still works hard and treasures all his life experiences, including the lessons that his struggles taught him.
This interview opened my eyes and made me realize that behind every accomplished person’s success is a back story of hard work and perseverance. It was a timely revelation for a college student who was preparing to enter the workforce.
Every actor, performer and singer has to spend many hours before they are able to perfect their acts, every entrepreneur has to make several business and financial blunders before they get it right, every athlete has to spend years training and practicing, usually starting from a young age, to reach the top of their game.
In other words, they had to put in tremendous effort before they could reach a level of mastery that the world would recognize and reward them for. It was their clarity and persistence that increased their potential for attracting opportunities into our lives.
That is exactly what is implied in my favorite definition for luck as demonstrated by this diagram:
I have seen this happen many times in my life and the lives of others as well. When someone is 100% determined in their pursuits and willing to do whatever it takes to realize them, life magically opens the doors of opportunities that support them in their endeavor.
You attract luck or chances when you nurture a dream that is fueled by passion and clarity of intent. Even if life does not end up giving you what you have in mind, it will always give you something else that will be better suited or more in alignment with what is right for you and your soul growth. You might even say the same for people who choose to pursue different careers later in life, taking advantage of what is available to them, be it in the form of online programs or offers in different countries, being able to act on these decisions themselves give a deeper value to the luck they get.
Most people use the word “luck” for those who enjoy material success. However, the truly lucky are those who enjoy the sense of accomplishment, inner growth, and satisfaction that comes from earning their success.
Studies have shown that people who inherit, marry, or win a lot of money do not necessarily enjoy a lasting sense of happiness in their lives. This is because authentic joy comes only by developing an internal sense of wealth and abundance. Money cannot help you attain this state and can only take you so far down into the happiness spectrum.
So the next time you are tempted to call someone lucky, try to go beyond the façade and find out what the person had to really do to invite Lady Luck into his/her life. You’ll realize that they had to pave the way for her long before she could make an entry into their life.
All my best on your journey,
Question for you: Based on what you have read in this blog post, what action steps are you willing to take in your life to improve your luck?
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