It’s not uncommon for me to tell someone about the things happening in my life only to hear them say, “man, you’re so lucky!” In theory that’s a nice response right? But, I’ve found myself so tired of hearing that. Attributing all of the good things in my life to luck is minimizing all of the effort that has gone into having the life that makes me feel the most alive.
Even I have times where I attribute my life to luck.
But, the truth is that luck is an illusion just like fear or control. It’s simply a way for us to not take credit or give gratitude for the amazing things happening in our lives. For those of us who grew up believing humility is the only way to be a good person it can be particularly difficult to be proud of ourselves or give credit to ourself for the hard work and determination we exhibit in our life. For people who like to think that they earn everything through handwork and determination it can be hard for them to show gratitude to the people who contribute to their life in meaningful ways.
But, minimizing the good things in my existence to sheer luck is meaningless and frankly a lie and it does no one any favors.
I have a relationship that I love, but, it has been built out of hard work, persistence and risk. We’ve both shown up on a regular basis and pushed through our fears to make the most of our time together. We could have given up already, we could have run in the other direction at the first sign of difficulties, but, we chose to stay and to talk and to get better.
I work for myself and get to set my own schedule, but, I’ve made it through weeks of hardly making any money and scraping together my change just to make it by. I’ve learned to tolerate a level of stress that is superhuman, I have friends and family that support and encourage me and I’ve accepted a level of risk in my career that can be paralyzing for other people.
I have friendships that contribute beautifully to my life, but, I was patient and picky and kind. I made a choice to be friendly and open and engaging with people and then I made another difficult choice to not allow people in my life who aren’t supportive and loving and inspiring. I risked loneliness in belief that the right people would come my way.
You see, I’m not lucky. I’m open, persistent, patient and I’m open to taking risks.
The danger with giving credit to luck is that it can easily serve as a crutch for not doing the things you want with your life. Looking at someone who you think has it all and saying, ‘you’re so lucky.’ is eliminating your responsibility in the way your life turns out.
Instead, I encourage you to look at their life, ask what they must have gone through to have the things they have and ask yourself how you can be more open, persistent, patient and willing to take risks.