Success Needs Luck

Anyone who is reading this is incredibly, amazingly lucky.

You are one of the select group of people who reads English, and has access to the internet.

The odds are that if you were randomly born again onto this planet you would not be able to read this, and most of us would not be wishing for the life we would end up with instead.

It’s easy to talk about success, Law of Attraction, and so much more, but by golly I think luck has a lot to do with it.

I mean the sort of luck Bill Gates talks about when he jokes with Warren Buffet that both of them would have been tiger snacks or worse if they had been born any way other than males in a Western country in the twentieth century.

Success requires luck. You can rely on it.

I like the quote of Samuel Goldwyn, “The harder I work, the luckier I get

I also like “The opportunity of a lifetime happens about once a week.”

But best of all I like the thoughts of Ricardo Semler, the “gainfully unemployed” head of Brazilian company Semco and author of the best-seller “Maverick”. Semco has grown 40 time it’s original size in the past 20 years, and has become an MBA talking-point because of it’s radical use of full-on democracy and openness inside the company.

Ricardo is a very successful man in many ways and says in his book “The Seven-Day Weekend: A Better Way To Work In The 21st Century”,

“Luck does not strike all of us equally. Yet it’s a most necessary component of success. To ‘accuse’ people of being lucky is usually unfair. Luck is an add-on to effort – it crowns a compulsion to succeed.

Success has a long-term measurement in the form of sustainability. Luck rarely has such longevity. It’s like lightening – it may strike, but then it’s fast, furious and rare. What you make of that stroke of luck is a result of the diligence you apply after it strikes.”

When you define your own success are you planning on luck or sustainability, or both?

-Dr Martin Russell

Saying Sorry Pays Well

The problem will alot of the self help literature is that much of it is unproven guesswork.

That’s why I thirst for real data and evidence on self help topics.

One area of big importance to self help is apologizing. However I have never found anything in my medical or psychiatry or psychology background that said anything about this vital human skill. Wonder why?

Anyway, it fascinated me when a market research study came to this conclusion.

“People earning over $100,000 a year are almost twice as likely to apologize after an argument or mistake as those earning $25,000 or less”.

For the full story from Fortune writer Anne Fisher click here.

-Dr Martin Russell

Self Help Martial Arts

Solving people’s problems day in and day out can seem like a hard thing to do.

I met with a very successful woman a few weeks back who runs her own multi-million dollar company with many employees. She also has her own coaching practice where she has done telephone and personal coaching for hundreds of people.

She very clearly distinguishes between coaching, which is what she offers, versus counseling / therapy, which people often seem to expect in coaching, but is what she doesn’t do.

She told me how she couldn’t imagine dealing with the type of people I meet. Just too hard, too draining, to be able to keep being positive and inspired about life when continually meeting people who are stuck and in such a bad way in their lives.

Yet I enjoy meeting almost all the people who come to me in my counseling practice.

Personally I look back to a decade ago when I was working as a family medical doctor and I think of that work as so much less inspiring for me. I was doing 10-minute in-out medicine, in an office with doctors who did 5-minute medicine, competing with a clinic down the road that seemed to be doing 2-minute medicine.

These days I luxuriate in 50 minute long sessions that allow me to explore more and offer more too.

But the best part is meeting people who are motivated.

Yes the motivation is mostly desperation, but for my purposes that’s far better than the apathy and disinterest that most of my medical patients had.

I use the metaphor of martial arts in my self help work.

If you want to get someone flat on the ground you can either use brute strength, or you can use leverage. Best of all you can wait until they are coming at you with force. Then you just need enough finesse to redirect their momentum to where you want them to go.

Personally it’s more frustrating for me to hear “ordinary” people talking about their problems and issues. I sit there with a whole toolkit of options knowing that the moment I bring one of them out and offer it, there will most often be a polite curiosity and then either a change of subject or a raft of excuses/explanations about why it won’t work in their particular case. No momentum.

Henry David Thoreau said that most people live lives of quiet desperation.

What kind of life do you lead?

In my one-on-one work I prefer to wait until someone is unable to keep quiet any longer. My job is much easier when I wait for them to come to me.

If you have desperation in your life, you don’t have to find a psychiatric label for it, you can just embrace it and go with it.

Look for self help martial arts classes.

You can think of this blog as being such classes, and each of my products is a set of moves for a particular situation.

Some people are only ready to learn when they are in danger. Others learn self defense as a life skill ahead of time.

A fundamental set of self help moves I recommend people learn is here:

-Dr Martin Russell