As I have talked about my getting back to entrepreneurship with a few of my friends and colleagues over the last month, there is one common reply which I have heard, “You are very lucky. You are doing what you like.” If I take a peek back down the years, I myself remember saying these same words to people at different times. If we look around, we will find this phrase being used frequently by people to express their feelings when they see someone else doing what they would also like to, but can’t due to some reasons.
Hearing this phrase over the last few weeks got me thinking. Am I (or some people) really lucky to be doing what I am doing today? What I realized was that it is totally not the case. Only I know how much scary the decision was to leave a reliable monthly source of income and bet on something which had more chances of failing than succeeding. Only I know how it feels to explain to relatives the merit and logic behind this decision of mine. And only I know the consequences which I might have to bear if things don’t go as planned.
But at the end of the day, it is a simple choice. A choice of choosing one way or the other. One choice (the safer one) can leave us where we are most of the times, in our comfort zones, and cushioned from all bad things by our EMS – equal monthly salaries. At the same time we will always envy those few (seemingly) brave souls who we see have taken the more adventurous route. But if you take this route, you are betting against odds on your ability to weather the rough storm which lies ahead. Some times you are delighted and excited, yet at other times you are frustrated, disappointed, angry and scared, all within a period of a few hours.
Coming back to the original question – Who are the lucky ones? There are a lot of times in our lives which we can term as turning points, and it is the choices we make during these times decide which way our life turns next. We all have such times and such choices in our lives, irrespective of country, caste, gender or religion. And what we choose to do during such times defines and decides how lucky or unlucky our life turns out to be. There are obviously consequences of whatever choices we make, or not make, as not choosing something is also a choice.
The phrase ‘You are very lucky‘ is just one of many phrases we use in our daily lives to make certain things easily believable, or as an escape from a seemingly tough path. By saying ‘You are lucky‘, we are implying that we are not. And this happens, like in other such cases, very unconsciously without we even being really aware of it. By implying that we are not lucky, we have no reason to even ponder any alternate choice for us. This is another instance of how our language and the words we use shape our reality.
Chad Helsttter has said on choices: “The end result of your life here on earth will always be the sum total of the choices you made while you were here.” And how true this statement is. The lucky ones are simply those who exercise the different choices that life presents to them. We all have been that person at some point of time, yet we are not most of the time. So the only real way to be lucky is to take our choices when they come, and be ready to face the consequences which might come as a result of choosing a certain path.
This is an awesome post, Sumit! I often ponder other choices that could have been made, but, do not dwell on them, even though, as they say, hindsight is 20/20. Steve Jobs chose to join the computer club where he met Wozniak, but, how much of that can be attributed to luck? Was it lucky for him to drop in on Calligraphy classes at Reed where he met Robert Pallidino and developed an esthetic sense for script? Was it luck that led him and Woz to the AT&T long distance hacker that led to the development of the infamous Blue Box? How much of it is based on our choices, and how much is just smart luck?
That was an awesome post …I somehow believe that whatever choices one makes there are pluses as well as minuses to it…And it doesnt make any sense to call others lucky or better than you as you have no idea of what all they have to face or go through!!! Be happy with your own pasture or switch the pasture if you feel like…No point in looking at the greenery of the pastures you dont belong to!!!