Luck and the Relationship between Preparation and Success

By | 2011/10/14

I had lunch with an old friend yesterday. After catching up with each other on work and life stuff, he made a comment in response to a recent success I had just experienced – “you were really lucky”, he said.

It didn’t occur to me until much later that luck had very little to do with it. This particular success came about because I had built up a large network of relationships over the past several years, so when I reached out to this network for help, I received an immediate response. Luck may have played a part, but it was a small part compared to the preparation that led up to it.

One of my favorite quotes is by Earl Nightingale: “Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity, and opportunity is there all the time”.

Lucky people are quite often simply those people who have taken the time to fully prepare themselves for life’s opportunities. They look lucky, because things tend to go their way — but things tend to go their way because they are equipped to respond, while others are not.

Being fully prepared for our opportunities means we are able to apply vision, creativity, and intelligence to offer something of value. Regardless of the type of work, there are opportunities to provide value to help move the organization toward success. The type of success will vary, depending on your position within the company. The motto “bloom where you are planted” is a good example – impact what you can, for the overall good.

Before lunch with my friend yesterday, I was considering dropping out of my Master’s degree program for a while (after my current class). My new job has been very demanding and my fear was that it would become too much. However, my friend convinced me to stick with it, and after writing this article on preparation, I think he’s right.

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