What’s Luck Got to do with It?

What sets people apart?

Why are some people successful while others aren’t?

Being born of a specific gender with a certain color of skin in the right place at the right time doesn’t qualify (or disqualify) anyone for anything. Being intelligent doesn’t matter if you don’t apply yourself. Yet we look to these things as being advantageous even though they promise nothing.

We each have our own unique set of strengths and weaknesses … our flaws and imperfections. We all struggle to make our way in the world and some of us will endure hardships most people could never imagine.

Different people fight different battles.

It’s easy to blame bad luck for the bad things in your life. Or to believe other people only realized success thanks to good luck.

” The only good luck many great men ever had was being born with the ability and determination to overcome bad luck.” ~ Channing Pollock

Certain circumstances are more difficult to overcome than others but these things don’t preclude you from having the life you want … just as having all the “advantages” can’t ensure your success. You might have to work twice as hard just to accomplish exactly the same thing as someone else.

It isn’t fair … but that’s just the way it is sometimes.

Having the life you want isn’t about luck.

A stroke of good luck won’t make you successful without prior preparation, nor can a stroke of bad luck wipe away everything you’ve created for yourself if you’ve worked hard and prepared for the worst. You must create a margin of error in your life.

“Luck” favors the persistent.

The longer you persist, the greater your chances of success. Recognize opportunity when it comes along … it’s often disguised as hard work. If seizing that opportunity will disrupt your life, that’s a good indication you’re on the right path.

Isn’t it “life as you know it” that you’re trying to change?

It isn’t luck … it’s your choices and your actions that determine your outcome. It takes dedication, devotion, commitment and sacrifice. You change your life by stepping out of your comfort zone and doing things differently. If you want to live the life of your dreams, you have to work for it.

Success doesn’t just happen. You have to make it happen.

Who’s in Control of Your Life?

There are two types of people in the world: those who believe they’re in control of their lives, and those who think what happens to them is the result of fate or destiny. I’m a firm believer that people have complete control over their lives, and that we’re all responsible for the lives we’re living today. The decisions you made yesterday got you to where you are now, and the decisions you make today will determine where your life is tomorrow.

If you’re not happy with your life, change it.

Does your relationship suck? Fix it. If you can’t fix it, leave. Hate your job? Quit. Do work you value. Broke? Quit spending money and pay off your debts. Want to travel the world? Buy a plane ticket. Sick of being fat? Exercise.

If you feel like you’ve lost control of your life, what can you do to get it back?

Start taking responsibility for your life. You can’t change the past, but you can change tomorrow with the choices you make today. Keep doing what you’ve been doing, and nothing will change. You have to leave your comfort zone if you ever expect things to change.

Ignore the expectations of others. It’s your life, live it how you want. Ignore the pressures to conform, and stop letting other people dictate the direction of your life. When you breathe your last breath, will you be proud of what you’ve done, or will you wish you’d have followed your heart?

Be (a little) selfish. Stop trying to make other people happy. If you’re always concerned with how other people feel, you’re ignoring your own desires. It’s important to make your feelings known. But it’s just as important to know when to compromise…you don’t want to be a douche. Be pragmatic.

You’re in control. Now do something about it!

…the World Needs You!

Often I’ll hear someone talking about how they wish they could solve the many problems in this world.  Their concerns sound genuine and heartfelt; “It’s so terrible what’s happening in Africa!  Those poor children, I wish there was something I could do.”

They wish there was something they could do, but…

…the money, the time, my family…job, house, school.  It isn’t our fault we can’t save the world…just look at our list of responsibilities!  They’re the reason!!!   We scroll through the archive in our mind, finding countless reasons why we can’t, each a reminder that we have other priorities and obligations that need to be met.  We convince ourselves that it just isn’t possible to escape the commitments.  It doesn’t take long before we’re using our excuses as a waiver of liability. 

Even though we want to help, somehow we’re comforted in knowing that we can’t.  It was a nice thought, anyway.

Have you ever thought to ask yourself whether or not that long list of “responsibilities” isn’t really just a fairy tale?  A bunch of lies that you tell yourself so you’ll never need to deviate from the routine or step outside your comfort zone?  Let me ask you this: if you’re afraid to expand your horizons and challenge yourself to move beyond your comfort zone, are you really living…or simply existing?

When I hear people trying to justify why they can’t [whatever], I think about the people who can, who are and who did.  What if Martin Luther King, Jr had said “I have a dream, but…”, or if Gandhi never was the change he wished to see in the world?  What if all the people who ever changed the world, hadn’t?

All around us are everyday people doing extraordinary things.  Maybe you’ve heard of Albert Lexie, or maybe you haven’t.  He earns $10 an hour shining shoes.  Since 1982, Albert has donated all of his tip money to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburg…more than $150,000.  Albert is only one example of countless people across the world whose actions could inspire a nation.  Each day people are being the change.  They, too, have a dream…

How would your life change if you were to quit making excuses?

Instead of just wishing there was something you could do to help the people of the world, without any excuses holding you back you are free to dig wells in Africa so the people can have access to clean drinking water.  If Africa isn’t your thing, you can volunteer at a soup kitchen in your own city and help feed the hungry.  Get involved!  Don’t waste another moment wishing you could help.

It’s time to quit making excuses, not only for yourself but for the world.  We need you!