ExtremePerspective

Common sense perspectives and finding a way to retire

Maybe not luck at all

Posted by Paul on December 12, 2006

In the book Tales of Power by Don Juan he says “The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge while an ordinary man takes everything as a blessing or a curse”.

Steve Pavlina tackles this issue in a post on the Shrug Effect. His point is similar to Don Juan in that the average person is quick to dismiss the success of high profile people to the breaks they had in their life rather than be responsible for their own breaks. Spiritual people tend to count their blessings, secular people just look at their bad luck, but neither group tends to see everything as a challenge.

Now I can’t dismiss the possibility of luck. Certainly it was bad luck to be on one of the planes hijacked on 9/11. But I’ll wager that vast the majority of our life is governed by decisions we make from minute to minute. I’ve talked previously about luck and was hoping for some better luck in my new real estate ventures.

I think the cumulative effect of decisions we make from an early age often determine part of our personality, what kind of relationships we develop in life, our career choice and financial success. When I was in high school I would occasionally go to a school dance. But I wouldn’t dance. It was too far outside my comfort zone to ask a girl to dance. There were other young boys that were less attractive than me, had worse personalities but didn’t have the fear to take a chance. They learned from trial and error what the girls liked – often developing humor as a way to attract a girl.

Looking back to my college years I can see clearly that the people that succeed financially were not necessarily the ones with the best grades. It was often the ones who had the largest network of contacts. Was this my bad luck not to make hundreds of friends or a decision not to get outside my comfort zone and make friends. It was easy to study my engineering books and get good grades. That certainly got me a good job offer, but in my company it takes lots of people skills to climb to the highest levels.

The same certainly was true for my experience in Network Marketing with Amway. The people skills that I had failed to develop all my life through my fear of people stopped me from making it. And I still wasn’t willing to get outside my comfort zone – even for the millions of dollars of potential income. As I mentioned in my post on SMART goals, I never believed and wouldn’t try.

I’ve been busy creating a business plan and goals based on The E-Myth Revisited and feel much more confident that I will succeed – not because I’ll have better luck, but because I have made the decision to treat each challenge as an opportunity to get better.

From A Separate Reality

You should know now that a man of knowledge lives by acting, not by thinking about acting, nor by thinking about what he will think when he has finished acting. A man of knowledge choses a path with heart and follows it”

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