Every result we get in life includes factors of nature, luck, and usually persistence.
But do we really understand what these are, and exactly how much influence we have?
Sometimes as I look over my journey to where I am today and the journey I have mapped in my mind to get to where I want to be, I think I’ve got it all figured out.
But of course I don’t.
I mean, we don’t even really know what we’re born with—what our potential really is.
I know that when it came to brainy things when I was young, nearly everything was easy for me. I think that’s something I was born with.
And there are things I was not born with that I wanted pretty fucking badly, like the ability to really connect with people and make friends, and understand what makes people tick, so I could feel like I fit in.
And the first hundred times I tried those things, I sucked badly, and they seemed like impossibilities.
So I found myself studying luck and persistence (or willpower) over the years.
And in The Luck Factor, professor of Psychology Richard Wiseman posits that most of what we call luck is a skin we can cultivate. That only about 1% of things we tend to see as luck actually are random and “lucky.”
Where Annie Duke writes in Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts that the result of our lives is a combination of the decisions we make and luck.
Which means that sometimes, we’ll make all the wrong decisions and win.
And sometimes, we’ll make the right decisions, and we will still lose.
In other words, life is not fair. Newsflash! LOL!
And that’s where persistence comes in.
Are we willing to keep trying even when we stumble and fall? When we lose (even though we think we should not have)? When it hurts and it’s humiliating, and it would be so much easier to just give up? When we think we will never get it right?
I know that I have had to be persistent when I was neither naturally gifted or lucky.
I know that I’ve been lucky when I was not naturally gifted.
I also know I manufactured a lot of that luck by being persistent and learning how to put myself in the right place and with the right people, and with the right words and the right ideas…
And I know a failed a lot, too.
Here’s the thing, though, we tend to look at others who are doing or getting something we want, and we don’t see any of the work that might have gone into getting any of that.
We think that they are lucky. Or maybe naturally talented.
And they may be.
They may also just be stubborn AF, and never give up.