In the lives of those who frequently take on unrelated, unforeseen, and unexpected challenges, there are several moments of doubts. After immense and honest efforts, when things don’t seem to move in the desired direction; we assign it to bad luck or misfortune.
In those weak moments of doubt, we also ascribe others’ success to their good luck. Many people say that one must be lucky to succeed in their career, and luck is manifested as Ivy League admissions, a good boss, great organisation, supportive spouse, growing economy and so on.
Here’s my story. My challenges were not as great, but my learnings were.
Down on my luck?
About 4 years ago, I was looking for part time/flexi assignments. All the human resource (HR) leaders that I met were willing to work out an assignment which would meet my flexi-work requirement.
Each one also said “Give me some time to revert”.
Several months passed and no one had worked out an assignment for me. I got exhausted and waited for luck to work in my favour. Several more months passed but luck didn’t seem to be smiling down on me.
In my spare time, I would read a lot of books, and in one, I came across this quote by Lao Tzu:
Those who flow as life flows know that they need no other force.
I decided to put the same thought to practice; I decided to flow instead of waiting for the force of luck.
Donning my formal attire yet again; I met more HR leaders, placement consultants, business leaders and anyone else who was willing to meet with me.
On good days, I found encouragement from them; on bad days, I enjoyed their office’s coffee. Mostly it was an encouragement; which was the fuel that boosted my quest for the flexi, yet high quality and satisfying assignment.
Some of them gave me sound advice which encouraged me, while some others contacted their peers in other organisations to ask if they could work out an assignment for me. I stay eternally grateful to each of them for their efforts. I finally did get some great assignments in world-class organisations.
Faith without action is dead
Looking back, I wonder what is it that worked for me.
It wasn’t luck alone; because that didn’t do it while I waited. I won’t say it was my efforts alone, else I would have succeeded much sooner. The combination of the two is what worked.
Luck + Effort = Faith
I stayed in faith that corporate India would provide a meaningful part-time assignment for a new mom (me). I stayed in faith that my relations in the HR fraternity would help me to get an assignment, with or through themselves.
I stayed in faith that I would be able to get myself an assignment of my choice and on my terms (flexible hours). By staying in faith, I continued to move forward.
Keep growing as an individual
I realise that each meeting was leading to more contacts, which meant that more people were trying to find an assignment for me. I took free online courses, read more books, and learnt new concepts so that I could meaningfully engage with the people whom I was meeting.
I kept refining my work and life priorities. All of this helped reinforce my belief that I AM going to get an assignment; it’s just a matter of time so I must carry on.
As I stayed in faith, each action was a stepping stone that helped me to progress. So, I kept laying more stepping stones. Had I waited for luck to work in my favour, it would have led to inaction on my part. I would have waited for a HR head to respond, a consultant to revert, or worse, give up.
When we depend on luck alone to favour us, we may look for instant results; lack of instant results make us believe that we have failed. So, we may lower our standards, reduce our asking rate, or quit our quest.
If I had put in a lot of effort without faith, I would have gotten tired and would have given up due to exhaustion. Both together, keeps one in faith.
By staying in faith, we continue to move forward. We may alter our path as we deem fit or even change course if that’s appropriate for us.
So, trust yourself that you will reach your goal and that mistakes or successes are a part of the path. To check if you are in faith, ask yourself: Are you flowing? And if you are taking even one step forward, then you are flowing and in faith.
The faith in yourself, to take one more step despite adversities, rejections, self-doubt, or criticisms, will help you to create your luck. Otherwise, luck is just a myth that we create to justify our lack of faith in ourselves.
So, keep flowing with faith to create luck through your efforts.