I’ve written about luck before. I’d like to add a few further thoughts.
In that previous post, I quote Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, and more importantly in this case, Great by Choice. Collins points out in many of his books, articles, and interviews, that in their systematic study of the impact of luck on long-term, sustainable success, the “great” companies were not luckier, they were better prepared to take advantage of lucky breaks in meaningful ways.
Combine this finding with Shane Parish’s thought that “consistency beats intensity every time” and suddenly we have something powerful.
Consistently showing up, doing work that some days you’re not motivated to do, and positioning yourself well for future opportunities allows you to recognize and capitalize on those opportunities when they show up. Not every opportunity will be a winner, just like not every great shot opportunity in basketball will go in. If positioned well, though, you have a better-than-average chance of getting a return on that opportunity, and the more opportunities you get with better-than-average returns, the greater the success over time.
Consistency results from understanding what your goal or mission is, what a clear vision of wild success looks like, what the desired outcomes that comprise that vision are, and what the sequence of next actions that move those outcomes forward toward that vision is. Further, consistency is showing up to take those next actions every single day. Tired? Show up. Excited? Show up. Motivated? Show up. Not feeling it? Show up. Every time.
Luck is not some mythical art. It’s not once-in-a-lifetime stuff that if you miss it, it’s gone forever. It’s also not entirely within our control. But a lot of sustainable success based on lucky breaks is within our control when we consistently show up, do the work toward a clear outcome, and position ourselves well to jump on once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.
Perhaps this was more a reiteration than “further thoughts”, but we can all always use a reminder that lucky breaks are rarely what they seem.
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