Friday, September 7, 2012

How to Get Lucky

"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity" - Elmer Leterman


The young salesman was disappointed about losing a big sale, and as he talked with his sales manager he lamented, “I guess it just proves you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” The manager replied,

“Son, your job is not to make him drink. Your job is to make him thirsty.”


People come up to me all the time and tell me how lucky I am that I get to do what I love for a living. I always smile when I think of how great my "work" is and then I whole heartedly agree with them.

As I sit alone in front of this screen I'm having a change of heart. I guess I most-heartedly agree with them. No. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure I agree with them at all.

The sentiment that one is lucky when one does for a living what one truly has a passion for has been adopted and adapted into our vernacular and collective consciousness so strongly, that virtually everyone concurs. But does anyone concur because they have thought it out and feel like the "lucky" person is lucky to have a job doing something they love? No. They say it because it sounds good and they have heard countless other people say it.

Here is what I am trying to say. My life is awesome. I wake up happy pretty much everyday. On the days where I don't wake up happy, I find that a cup of coffee and a little breakfast cures what was ailing me.

I create music. I love creating music. I record or perform music with phenomenally talented friends. These friends add their flavor to my creations and bring them to a better place.

I travel. I love to travel. Music has taken me to places that I never dreamed of and I have 3 more international trips already slated to yet more places I've never seen.

I connect with people and make new friends. I love interacting with people. Music allows me (via all that travel and performing) to meet really interesting people that I wouldn't have met otherwise.

It is sure starting to SOUND like I am lucky. Everything I love doing is presented to me on a silver plate.

Yes. I love my life. It's a perfect comfortable place (for me anyway).

But I think people are too quick to attribute this to Luck.

It has nothing to do with luck….at all.

Being in a career that truly makes you happy and fired up is a choice.

When people attribute my happiness and success to luck, I feel like it is unfair to them. I get up every day and attack because I'm happy with what I am doing and I have seen what can be accomplished when I do. It wouldn't matter if it was attributed to horseshoes or leprechauns or anything else. I wake up and make music, travel , and meet new people. These are all things I love.

But by thinking of my situation as being "lucky" people aren't changing MY situation one way or another, they are changing THEIR situation.
What I mean is this, I have worked exceptionally hard for a long long time and sacrificed a bunch to find myself in a happy place. Things are going well for me. When people throw out the word "Lucky" they are putting obstacles in their own way to similar happiness and success in their lives. Reaching a dream career seems unachievable if it requires luck. It seems like winning the lottery. But it is not.

If you see a glassblower, that has worked at his craft for 30 years and is now a master. He wakes up every morning with a smile, goes to his shop and makes superb glasswork and makes a sustainable living, would you say he is lucky? No. He has been determined and persistent.

Everyone can do the same.

If you are in a job you hate. Make a plan to get out of it and in to one you love. I'm not saying that will always be simple. As a matter of fact, I'm almost assuring you it will be difficult. It may take years and years, but make the plan and do it.

It is peculiar to me how some people misunderstand their station in life (like the salesperson in the story at the beginning of this post). It is easy for people to get sucked into the cyclic drudgery of day in day out grind and the rhythm of it lulls them to sleep.

The preconceived notions of what they "have to do" or are "Supposed to do" are keeping them from happiness and fulfillment.

I say start a revolution in your life. Ask yourself if you love what you do.

Imagine you are a stranger that has been observing you work for a week. Would you walk up and say, "You are lucky. You get to do what you love doing."?

If not, CHANGE your situation. It doesn't have to be immediate. As a matter of fact it probably can't be immediate. But break the cycle. Set your long term plan into motion. You don't have to arrive at happy, fulfilling career by the month's end, but you should turn your sights toward that destination.

It may be a decade before you get to the point where you are sustaining yourself doing what you love, but you will get there.
And when you do , you will not only be helping yourself but you will be helping the world.

Because the world doesn't need a bunch of drones plugging away at meaningless monotonous tasks. The world needs people who have come alive and attack each day with passion.

Do what you love and you will have no choice but to attack each day with passion (and a smile).

Your journey will be tough but worth it.

Good Luck!

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