I’m sure it has happened to you.
It certainly has happened to me.
You see someone incredibly young and successful for no apparent reason. They aren’t particularly better than you or others you know, and yet they’re doing significantly better. They don’t “deserve” it, but somehow got it. What to do? You immediately think why not me, right?
The harsh truth is many people go places out of sheer luck. They were in the right place or know the right people. Such is life. Pretty unfair, right? Sadly that’s just how things work.
I was raised in a meritocracy, which made this a particularly hard lesson to learn, but life isn’t fair, plain and simple. You might be better than someone and they might still get that job because they know the boss’ kid. It will happen and you have to accept it, unfortunately. But accepting it, doesn’t mean you need to throw your arms up and stop trying and doing your best. Life might be unfair, but I also believe in creating your own luck.
Creating your own luck?
Yes. Life gives most of us no guarantees, but the best you can do still is doing your best. Being you best possible self. Work on improving yourself. Hone your skills. Learn new things that set you apart. Reach out to people even if they ignore you most of the time. Put your work out there. Be your own PR team. But most importantly: Be ready when the opportunity shows up.
Like Steve Martin said: BE SO GOOD THEY CAN’T IGNORE YOU.
This post is part of a series where I’ll be reflecting on what I’ve learned in my 20s. You can read the intro here.