I still remember an NPR interview snippet that caught my attention a few years ago. The topic? Success. Initially, it seemed straightforward—talent equals success, right? Wrong. The interviewee outlined four crucial components:
You don’t have to have all four at the same time to be successful, but you’ll probably have all four in some kind of combination if you are successful.
Personally, I admire the relentless, persistent hustlers—the ones who refuse to take no for an answer. Persistence is their superpower, a key ingredient in the recipe for success.
Patience, though, isn’t a close friend of persistence. They rarely coexist. Yet, as I think of the successful individuals in my life, they all have great patience. Having patience doesn’t mean you’re willing to sit around and wait to be successful, it’s about understanding that success often demands time—put that on a coffee mug (we’re going to have a whole collection)!
Now, luck. Successful people never want to admit luck is involved. I’m a self-made person. I did it on my own. I’m not lucky! Luck is a bad word to successful people, it discounts the hard work, the effort and the time you put into becoming successful. But, again, each successful person I know can point to a time, or a person, or a meeting, or some chance circumstance that can only be categorized as luck.
I like this model. It doesn’t let you off the hook. You still have to do it all. You can’t just say, “well, I didn’t get it because I wasn’t lucky enough”. That’s not true, be patient. “I didn’t get it because I wasn’t talented enough.” No, keep at it. Luck finds those more rapidly who are talented, persistent, and patient.
Looking back, sure my career journey has been fortunate, but it took grinding thirty years to stumble upon that stroke of luck.