LUCK is Only a Dividend of Hard Work

Some of you may be frustrated that some people are luckier than others.

And indeed, luck does play a small role in SOME things. Perhaps you found a $20 bill on the sidewalk on your way home today – now that was lucky.

But becoming a millionaire all on your own? That takes far more than luck.

Let’s take a look at the great Chris Gardner – you may know him as Will Smith from the movie “Pursuit of Happyness”.

Now in that movie, Chris is pretty UNLUCKY

  • He had substantial knowledge in the medical field that he could not use given the upcoming health care changes that he had no time to catch up with;
  • He was not successful selling medical equipment that he spent a lot of money on, BARELY making a living;
  • His girlfriend left their son with him at a desperate point in time while he was struggling with his finances, subsequently ending up homeless and even sleeping in bathrooms;
  • The Hiring Manager who hired him was fired himself a week ago and subsequently Chris did not get the job (coinciding with same time he was having problems with his girlfriend);
  • And many other such events…

But people MOST OF THE TIME tend to look past these unfortunate circumstances and go straight to the “lucky” points, not realizing what the person had to go through to actually encounter these “lucky” situations.

In particular, some people can call Chris LUCKY because:

  • Chris asked to stay in a shelter for homeless women for him and his son, and was accepted;
  • He was accepted to work at a training program in E.F. Hutton initially in part thanks to the stockbroker who helped him arrange meetings with company Managers;
  • Among possibly some other things that God-knows-what people can make up…

So let’s go over these and see whether Chris was indeed lucky or not…

Chris asked to stay in a shelter for homeless women and was accepted – quite lucky, sure – but first of all, if that had not happened, I can guarantee you that Chris would have found somewhere else to stay and would have survived.

But MORE importantly, is that when people talk about LUCK, they don’t think about the HIDDEN WORK that went behind that person getting lucky in the first place.

In particular, Chris went around HOMELESS for almost a YEAR before finding a home… So yes, he was accepted into the women’s homeless shelter… but considering his homelessness for almost a year before that… he doesn’t sound so lucky now, does he?

The other example is Chris’s acceptance to partake in the training at E.F. Hutton in part due to the help of Bob Bridges who helped him organize meetings with Managers.

Most people will say something like “well yeah, he had great connections… I could get ANY job if I had those sort of connections!”.

Well… WRONG!

Chris hustled for 2 months before being accepted to this program. He amassed $1,200 worth in car parking tickets while postponing or cancelling his sales meetings just so he could attend Manager meetings to get him the OPPORTUNITY to be a part of this program.

And that is a huge sacrifice to make when you are already broke. The man literally did nothing but work his butt off preparing and studying and making sure he would do well on the interview and the Manager interactions.

Given that, to me, it does not seem so lucky after all that Chris got the opportunity to participate in the training program.

To make matters worse, he did not end up getting the job as his hiring Manager was fired last week, but nonetheless if that had not happened, Chris did deserve the position.

This is just one example of many showing that there is a lot of hidden work, pain, and effort beneath every “lucky” person, so don’t be so quick to judge and just remember that luck is a dividend of hard work.

[The next two paragraphs contain affiliate links, which means I make a commission if you click the link and buy the item. But I never attach affiliate links unless I believe in them, and unless they are relevant to the discussion]

If you would like to watch the movie with Will Smith acting as Chris Gardner yourself on DVD, you can click here to buy the regular edition, or here for the widescreen.

You can also take a look at the book written by Chris Gardner, and thus containing more detail by buying it from amazon here.


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