“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” (Ralph Waldo Emerson).
I often fall under the misconception that I can’t do something unless I know what it is I am trying to achieve. However, I’ve noticed this tends to be not always needed.
Do we need to have a certain path to achieve our end goal? Do we need end goals in the first place?
The answer to both of these, is no. The only thing we need to be doing is trying.
How Goals Impact Actions
If we try and accomplish something, but we don’t know where we want to end up, it doesn’t mean we are off track.
It isn’t necessary to have a complete plan if what we are doing is grasping at the experience, and the end goal is not of concern until later.
If success is so far down the path, that it is out of sight or just not on our minds, then we don’t always need to see the track to know we are leading to our own success.
Finding the path is one thing, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be found in order to succeed.
Persistence is king, and if we are carving out our own path, a new path, all we need to do is keep trying, even if our plan is blurry.
Our plans don’t always have to be shaped by others experiences and our path doesn’t need to be set in stone for our gain.
The element we rely on to succeed if we don’t understand our own path is luck, but that doesn’t mean we are doomed to failure.
Is Luck A Factor In Success?
Possibly, but repeated attempts at something that takes luck may not get you anywhere, but it may also be everything you need.
“If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress” (Barack Obama).
Success if often like playing for a prize or buying a lottery ticket. You can’t win if you don’t play.
Take this entrepreneurial example; who knew Facebook was going to be as popular as it was?
If it wasn’t created and Facebook didn’t exist, it would still have been made later. There were similar sites before Facebook was made and similar sites after, but it’s popularity was almost a mistake.
Everyone joined because everyone else was talking about it. The word got out and it’s success lies in the fact that it had so much unexpected word of mouth exposure.
To clear this up, if I made a business, and it fails, and I make another business, and it fails, there may be a luck factor involved that I’m not rolling a high enough number on chance for success.
I could have made Facebook, but had I not run into the right people at the right time, or started talking about it to the right people, it would have become nothing.
A good entrepreneur is bound to succeed if he or she keeps on rolling the dice.
If we repeatedly take a chance, eventually we will get there. Statistically, we may never get there because chance doesn’t remember. But the amount of benefit on the line is worth rolling the die for the rest of our lives.
Think about the lottery winners. There’s a very low chance of winning, but the winner had the same chance as anyone else.
Work ethic may not always lead to success, but persistent attempts will lead us closer and closer.
The luck factor I’m talking about isn’t just invisible luck. It’s visible if you look for it.
Let’s say you have a good business plan and made a good start to what you consider a very great idea. You may accidentally run into someone in the elevator who will take you up in exposure or help shed more light into your situation.
Running into the right person at the right time can be everything. Consider if you had not taken a few more minutes to make that cup of coffee and ended up at the elevator five minutes before you normally get there.
All The Same Chance Applies To Failure
We’ve all heard right place at the right time. And similarly, wrong place at the wrong time.
But from a different perspective, wrong place at the wrong time doesn’t mean wrong product or wrong path.
We may just have to try again and take the same path or try a new path, the difference won’t matter. If luck ran you over, luck will decide your fate in the next attempt.
Luck can also be shown in bad light. Someone can make a much worse product than you, have little effort in their attempt to make it successful, but luck can launch them past you and destroy your efforts.
To get ahead, you have to start now and get consistent in doing what you believe is the right path, whether you know of one or not. Regardless if it is or isn’t the right path, chance will determine if you end up at the right place at the right time.
It can be frustrating, but with six billion people in the world, all living lives as complex as our own, so much of our experience is out of our control.
A Thought On Luck
Taking this all into account, luck only exists because humans made it a concept that can’t be proven to exist, but hypothetically does because of how the world works.
If everyone is living lives as complex as you, you are a background character in their lives, a one dimensional character that they may or may not choose to interact with. So with how much is happening all at once, luck can be an actual force in your life.
Chance is never on your side, but it is also never against you. It’s just something that is there. It’s just something that applies to what you do, whenever you do something, over and over again.
To get it right, we need to keep rolling the die and never stop.