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( Reading Time: 5 min. 43 sec. )

Life is full of obstacles and opportunities. Some people have a magic ability to win, while others feel that the nature of the universe exists to block possible things from happening.

The condensed answer is that winning is possible, but consistent, predictable winning requires understanding a couple of truths. We need the capacity to win and retain the results, which involves growth. Secondary, anecdotal results are distractions from reality. Getting from here to there is going to take a journey. Our journey needs to be real, not something somebody achieves contrary to reasonable results. 

In this article, we will examine a mindset that covers the whole topic of success. We will explain how struggles are signals to pivot, and progress is more potent than shortcuts to reaching milestones in life.

Can doesn’t depend on luck.

When we start thinking about luck, we stop thinking about reality. People who think they are unlucky start ignoring the facts and truths that those facts lead to because of anecdotal exceptions. They have factors in their experience that are different than others. The frustration is challenging emotionally and stresses our patience. A quest for clarity will take more personal investment, thinking, and engaging as we slow down. Or, we can blame it on bad luck.

People who think they are lucky are different in some ways. They have had good results, but they have yet to learn what caused the results they achieved. Without understanding, they expect to do better than others and that doing the same things will lead to good outcomes because they are naturally lucky. The truth is they may be doing something right and not understand it, and their faith in luck may allow them to shift from the truth that made them look lucky.

Luck basically means we don’t understand good or bad results, which puts everyone who trusts it at risk. The belief in being unlucky means don’t try, don’t learn; you are a victim. The belief in good luck means you don’t think about why things worked, and you may change when you shouldn’t and think your good luck ran out. Both thinking styles believe it’s not about your actions and opportunities but about luck.

Can is discovered as much as scripted.

Modern life is so full of change that the things that don’t change may feel outdated. Generational change is so different from what was normal in human history. Those who lived a thousand years ago could make different choices than their parents, but they were not drastically different from the generation that came before them. The concept of old school didn’t exist. Modern thinking includes doing things differently than our parents to comfort ourselves that we are not stuck in the past.

There are two sides to the shifting reality. Some of what is old is the key to the future, and some of the key to the future requires letting go of what is old. Both sides of this challenge are anchored in reality. If we want to let go of luck and learn and grow, we will have to understand the past and the present and how they speak to our approach to the future.

We need our script to be agile in some areas and fixed in others. Life is not just about changes in how our parents did things; we must move from what was working to what works now and what prepares us for the future. This change is about more than our age and resources, it is about how the world continues to change around us faster than generations past.

With that reality, the past gives us a foundation but doesn’t give us all the necessary answers to script our future in detail. We are going to need to have seasons for routine discovery and adjusting our life scripts.

Discovery or distraction?

Here is a question to help people prepare for modern transitions. Are you a learner? Do you always like to learn something new? Or are you the type who likes to learn something and trust it to keep on working? Depending on the subject being learned and practiced, you may be a mix of both.

If you are a learner, you may be more engaged with learning than implementation. As fast as the world changes, the new things we can learn distract those who think this way. Education and how-to videos can be guides or blinding delays in starting to make things happen. On the other hand, you can be someone who likes to execute, and the overflow of incorrect how-to videos and educational opportunities is like someone scratching a chalkboard.

The answer is knowing what is typical, proven, and what is enough.

  • Typical resultsmore than testimonies of anecdotal impact
  • Proventrust but verify is not cynical
  • Enoughmore may distract you from what matters

Can’t that guides us to our cans.

There are actual can’t facts that matter. Jumping out of a plane at a thousand feet without a parachute is terrible. Yes, you could, but just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Perhaps you have heard a story of someone who survived this, but this doesn’t mean you should.

Other can’t realities are that you may need more money to buy a home, retire, or buy a farm. Not being able to do it today doesn’t mean you will never be able to. What if you saved up, invested in building your resources with compound interest, or ran a side hustle to gain traction you don’t currently have? The can’t that matters doesn’t prevent us from pursuing things that do matter.

If I can’t have a farm, that doesn’t mean I cannot have a garden. We constantly face things we cannot do, no matter how many resources we have. So what? The things we can do still bring joy and meaning.

So, if, as a child, you couldn’t have a pet, what could you do? If you could not play sports, what could you do? If the person you wanted to marry says no, life still has meaning and purpose. There may be a season of mourning to let go of the dream that won’t (can’t) happen. That doesn’t mean you don’t dream. Dreams that fill us are the ones that match the opportunities we can achieve. The dreams we will not experience have no power over the dreams we can achieve.

Rethinking Relationships

People should not be rated with low scores if they failed to help us reach our dreams or high scores if they helped us more than others. Each person in life has their own dreams to achieve and their own luck myths to overcome.

Our husbands and wives are people we choose to share a lifelong journey with. Marriage is a commitment to putting our spouse above our individual dreams and fears. I realize some feel differently, but at Life Vision Quest, the core people in our lives are the most important, and we hope you discover the same outlook.

Our children are a gift that inspires dreams. Some of these dreams are based on our struggles and experiences. Some are good things we want them to share, while others are bad things we want them to avoid. Yet our children will be individuals who may or may not pursue what we would have in their situations and with their opportunities. We should guide them, but we must let them live their lives. This doesn’t mean they don’t offer insight; as they age, their choices are less about fulfilling our dreams than theirs.

Our parents made choices we didn’t understand as children, and as they get older, they may not understand their choices either. So many times, the things we cannot rob our family relationships from seeing the things we can. It is funny how some teens demand the right to independence while they judge their parents and tell them how they should be approaching life. It can be challenging to give the same grace to one with authority that we expect to be given to those under authority.

Spouses, children, parents, neighbors, bosses, fellow workers, politicians, and others need to be treated with grace. However, this doesn’t mean everything they do is good or should be accepted. If we grow bitter because of minor issues that we magnify into mountains that are not mountains, it impacts us beyond the impact of the ones we blame. If we get lost in our relationship ‘cannot issues’, we will also miss beautiful can relationships with them, and it will impact our relationships with others.