Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Create your own luck

gif by Sam Taylor

Luck is magic. But magic tricks take preparation.

There’s a lot of work into making it look easy. It’s no surprise that the best things happen to people that are ready to welcome and execute opportunity.

If you’ve been lucky, you know immediately or not whether you deserve it. Even the meek recognize a moment of earned fortune.

Luck is preparedness

Beginner’s luck only happens in cards. The practice is non-negotiable. Diligence increases your chances of success.

So the experienced photographer is adept at capturing the key shot. The persistent scientist stumbles upon synchronicities between different compounds. Eureka moments are a myth to the dedicated.

Keep your eyes on the prize. Know when to focus down like a hedgehog and expose yourself to as many diverse experiences as possible like a fox.

Put in the effort and you’ll learn how to manufacture your own luck if it doesn’t already meet your halfway.


Henry Rollins: The One Decision that Changed My Life Forever


Talent is overrated. Hard work, discipline, grit, and consistency are attributes that increase your chances of getting what you want.

Luck is a matter of being specific about your goals and two, putting yourself in a position for good things to happen. It is the accumulation of small and steady risks that make the biggest difference and change your life.

For Henry Rollins, that meant taking a bus from DC up to New York to see his favorite band, only to go on stage and sing with them. To his surprise, they called him back later for an audition and became the band’s lead singer. In other words, he caught his lucky break and escaped a life of minimum wage jobs.

Some people get lucky by default. Their network leads them into opportunities because of the sheer dazzle of their last name. For others, hitting the jackpot it is the result of striving to achieve a very specific effort and finding those luck circles that help you make it happen.

Luck draws on the law of magnetism

Luck may be a random phenomenon but it works like a magnet, gravitating toward those hungry enough to take chances.

Success is an accumulation of little efforts that build on top of a grateful perspective, a practice of modesty that keeps you doing what you’re doing. Says Rollins:

“I don’t have talent. I have tenacity. I have discipline. I have Focus. I know, without any delusion, where I come from & where I can go back to.”

gif via the ngb


First Touch

Everybody admired the way Zinedine Zidane touched the football because he was always two steps ahead. He saw the future before it happened and just worked backward to execute.

You can galvanize a player’s effort and refine his/her skills but you can’t teach them instinctiveness. That comes from years of extra practice.

The beauty of the first touch is that it appears effortless. Sometimes plays happen without even touching the ball at all. Talent is one thing but instinct inspires all the magic.


Working Hard on the Right Thing

We all get sucked into busyness. Having a clear plate of work alleviates the stress and fear of having nothing to do.

But if we just do the work in front of us and execute based on the facts, we avoid risk. At some point we’re going to have to try something new if we really want to get anywhere. Do we want to be followers or industry leaders?

Doing the right thing is a sum of our actions. If we don’t take a few chances now and again we risk conforming to mediocrity. Yield to industriousness but don’t forget to lead the way.


Overcompensating for Handicaps

“A lot of what is beautiful and powerful in the world arises out of adversity. We benefit from those kind of things,” but “we wouldn’t wish them on each other.” – Malcolm Gladwell

Some people try harder than others because they’re handicapped. But in working harder to overcompensate for these perceived disadvantages, one begins to see that what makes them successful is exactly the thing that causes them so much struggle.

Embracing the beautiful struggle is the telltale sign of an underdog. All underdogs want to do is get better to prove a point about their own normalcy. Competition is just part of the effort.

When things come hard, there’s no choice but to try and keep up. Constriction begets hard work and creativity. People succeed through struggle. When things comes easy, people are already satisfied with their own innate abilities.

Failures are really opportunities in disguise. A shorter basketball player develops quickness in order to compensate for a lack of height. A dyslexic student struggles to read and write but in practicing harder than anyone else unlocks a new way of thinking. Underdogs are innovators because they have to find other ways to win.

One possible formula is: Hanidcap > Struggles > Diligence > Overcompensation > Creativity > Innovation > Success

Handicaps can help people accomplish remarkable things.


jaymug: Try hard every day.
jaymug: Try hard every day.