Monday, April 6, 2009

Don’t take Luck for granted

It’s funny how sometimes the universe taps you on the shoulder and scolds you like a child.

Friday I was writing a post about how I think luck is hard work, Sunday, I had a very unlucky day where everything that had to go well went wrong.

To briefly summarize, my car broke down, I lost an entire Sunday afternoon which was heavily planned with all kind of things to do, and last but not least, at the end of the day, I forgot my cell phone two hours drive away from home. Without a car and a phone, my whole plans for the next two weeks are shattered, and I’m going to have to find alternative solutions to a bunch of problems that where already complicated enough. Damn.

Shit happens. Should I complain and play the victim? No! Now is the time to roll up my sleeves, ignore the anger caused by this back luck and go back to work. Getting angry and complaining will only waste some of my energy and I need that energy more than ever.

And the truth is: this bad luck is my fault. I take the entire responsibility for it. I knew something was wrong with the car. I knew I had to check it. I just dismissed it because I was so busy. I literally decided to try my luck. I played, I lost.

The sad thing is: I wasted precious hours of work by dismissing a single thing. And what actually really makes me feel bad: I wasted others people time, too.

It is the same in all areas of life, whether it’s a personal project like moving to another country, or a software development project or cooking. You have to be able to identify what are the key elements of your project and secure them as well as you can. You can’t just take luck for granted because you are so motivated and working so hard. You’ll need luck to succeed, but it’ll happen in ways you don’t expect. And if you RELY on luck… You’ll fail.

One final note: I'm not saying you shouldn't take risks. I just want to stress that you can't rely on luck on things that you can foresee going wrong. Think hard, plan, make backup plans if necessary. Don't rely on Luck.

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