When I work fourteen hours a day, seven days a week, I get lucky. – Armand Hammer
What does that mean?
While the exact circumstance of the quote is unknown to me, the work ethic of Armand and his brothers. That is well known to many. As the quote says, he worked very long hours, and rarely took time off. If he did at least twice as well as another, it was only because he worked twice as hard and twice as long.
I imagine this quote was a retort to a reporter who asked about a recent success in the business world, and had inferred that it was luck that sealed the deal. While I acknowledge that luck does exist, most of the time what is attributed to luck was merely the result of long hard hours of work and research.
Luck is being ready when opportunity knocks at the door. While there are many connections between Armand and both US political parties, as well as dozens of foreign governments, isn’t that part of being ready? If you know people, is that luck, or is it being prepared?
Why is being ready important?
Life comes at you fast, and from unexpected directions. While it is mathematically impossible to be ready for every possible possibility life could send your way (it would take infinite time as well as infinite supplies and effort), it is possible to be thoroughly unprepared for it as well.
As I have discussed before, you can have too much, as well as too little of almost anything. The trick, as usual, is to find the proper path. While it will vary from person to person, one can be over-prepared, as well as under-prepared.
The question is how prepared do you want to be? Armand had his answer. What is yours? He was willing to put in the hours and the effort, and he also reaped the rewards. It’s not a lifestyle for everyone. But if you are willing and able, the possibilities are virtually endless.
Where can I apply this in my life?
I don’t know about you, but there have at least a dozen of times in the last 30 years when I wasn’t ready. Opportunity came knocking, but I was taking a shower, or taking a nap. However, I have been ready for some other opportunities, and done quite well with them.
Strange incidents, odd coincidences, and amazing luck. These were the hallmark of many of my successes. But, as is implied in the quote, the luck is only in appearance. Luck, in most cases, is really the result of careful research, great effort, and long hours, none of which is visible to those in from the outside.
Armand knew many people, and they knew that he was a hard worker. Isn’t that who you’d want to hire if you wanted to make sure something got done quickly and efficiently? But I would consider it inappropriate to consider his good fortune to be based solely on luck.
How much effort are you willing to put into being ready when opportunity knocks? That’s a personal question, one that will change over time. What are you going to prepare for? Again, it’s a very personal question that will change with time. There is a lot to consider, isn’t there?
You must also realize that opportunity often comes to your door wearing a disguise. Being able to recognize opportunity is the first step in being able to take advantage of your new-found luck. If you don’t recognize it, how will you be able to apply your readiness to it?
So let’s start with the basics. What are the opportunities for which you are looking? How much time and effort are you willing to put in, so as to be ready when opportunity knocks? What are you willing to do to make sure that once opportunity knocks, you’ll be able to make it work for you?
As was mentioned earlier, these questions are very individual in nature, and subject to change as time goes on. As your life changes, so does your interest in different possibilities. What your teen self considered an opportunity might not appeal to a parent with children, right?
Also try to remember that opportunity, while likely used in the business sense in this quote, applies to all aspects of your life. If a great deal on the car of your dreams comes up, but you just blew the money on a new laptop and matching phone, you might not have the cash to swing the deal, right? What about your dream date? How ready are you for that opportunity?
While to this point we have treated this as an intellectual exercise, I believe it would be a good idea for you to take some time today and consider for what opportunities you are presently prepared. I would also consider what you are willing to to become more ready for opportunity, so that when the knock comes, you can act swiftly.
By being ready, by doing your homework, working long, hard hours, and keeping your eyes open for opportunity, you too can be lucky! It’s really that easy! 😉
From: Twitter, @MazieFusselman
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/armandhamm269105.html
Photo by Ed Yourdon
Happy Birthday to Armand Hammer, born 21 May, 1898.