December 10. “Not in time, place or circumstances, but in the person lies success.” (Charles B. Rouss)
“Some people just get all the luck”. You will sometimes hear that sentence used to describe a successful person, and usually the person uttering it is not so successful. I have noted a tendency that some have to devalue the hard work of others, and to credit their success on just being in the right place, or knowing the right people. Sometimes these people will sound like Marlon Brando in “On the Waterfront”, complaining that if only the breaks had gone their way they “coulda been a contender.”
I am sure there are people who believe that if not for divine providence they would have been a star, that those other people who are more successful are only so because they caught a lucky break. They were in the right place, at the right time. And you know what? People who believe that are just lying to themselves.
I think that attitude comes from envy. They see someone who has more than they do, and they wish they had it too. They wish that they could make all the same choices they have made in life, put forth the exact effort they have to date, and have the same things as the more successful person.
I am not one of those people. I know that there are people who are more successful than I am. And, I know that they worked to have their success. And chances are, they worked harder than I did. At the very least they made different decisions than I did that lead them down their path to success.
I am not one of the people in society who looks at someone who has reached a level of success with envy. At times that attitude is attractive. Having that attitude would relieve me of any accountability for my own choices. There is a certain siren call that is inherent in saying that someone else is only successful because they got the breaks. I will admit, I have been known to indulge in that place for a bit. But soon I realize that people generally get in life what they are willing to work for, and to sacrifice for. I am no exception to that rule, and chances are the successful person I am looking at isn’t either.
Today my reflection is on the mettle it takes to be successful. Time and circumstance don’t make winners, work does.