United States President Thomas Jefferson was once rumored to say “The harder I work, the luckier I am”. Well, I agree with that, but I would like to add a little “spin” to it: The more alert to opportunity I am, the luckier I am.
So, what do I mean by being alert to opportunity? Being alert to the fact that real, genuine and lasting success comes in work clothes looking like “nothing”, not looking always like the exciting opportunity it is to become, sort of like Eliza Doolittle in the Shaw play “Pygmalion” or Julia Roberts character in the movie “Pretty Woman”. Opportunity can float by as something that we never normally pay attention to or even scorn is my point. But when we are alert to every possibility in reality, there is opportunity working for us genuinely indeed. This is the genuine place where luck comes in, if we hold on tight to our alertness for the opportunity for it to work instead of letting it go by as a common reality not worthy of our attention.
Sure, mentioning “Pygmalion” and “Pretty Woman” are seemingly silly and prosaic examples. Indeed, though, are not some of the greatest money making ideas prosaic and seemingly silly like the mops and hangers of Joy Mangano or synthetic rubber tires that last longer instead of natural rubber tires that wear out too quick?
So, I understand that a great idea needs to seem like a great idea to the masses, but if you are the one on the end creating the idea, you need the vision to see the potential before the masses sees it so the creativity and riches can be tapped to benefit. Jim Rohn once said “When preparation meets opportunity, that is luck.” I simply say he is half right. When alertness, preparation and opportunity meet reality that is the strongest way to be.
What do I mean by what I said above about alertness, preparation and opportunity? When you think about it that sentence is the ultimate key to good luck. The ultimate default to bad luck is to be careless and oblivious to possibility and alertness to opportunity. “Success out of nowhere” comes from winning lotteries. Success from genuine somewhere comes from alertness preparation and opportunity bearing fruit like a tree grown right. Get it?
I could make this a standard motivational article full of you must work hard, think smart and more to make it. Many do those things and still fail, there is more required, and that which is required is the kind of “good luck” I am writing about combined with alertness, preparation and opportunity. “Bad luck” comes from being unprepared, uncaring and oblivious after all. Success does come down to a miracle all right, and it is a repeatable one: One you prepare for through work, being alert and caring and seizing the opportunity genuinely right.