In the third grade I had to choose a quote that meant something to me. Picking out quotes in the third grade is a bit of a challenge since much of life has yet to be lived. My mother helped me choose this quote because she truly believed in it, “It seems the harder I work, the luckier I get.” This quote is by Abraham Lincoln and at the time of being in the third grade, I think that I had already experienced how hard work can lead to accomplishing great things. I’ve never been the quickest learner, but hard working I am which has led me to many wonderful accomplishments as being top in the class, winning dance competitions, getting an academic college scholarship, and now, starting up a business doing something I love!
I’m currently reading the book, “Outliers” by Malcom Gladwell. It’s all about people in this world, past and present, who have succeeded, and why they succeeded. It also explains why a lot of the reason pertains to luck, but luck can only take you so far. Luck is something like being born in January if you play hockey because you most likely are more athletically ready than your younger peers born in the same year. Or, luck is an instance of culture, like in China, the Chinese learn to count to higher numbers at an earlier age because of their language numeral system being less confusing than in English. Therefore more Chinese people are good a mathematics because less of them struggled at an earlier age. Luck is the time period you are born in, sometimes within a 5 year span you can be born in the precise boom for a new technology. Luck is also related to those people who were surrounded by people and instances that helped them along the way.
He explains the importance of luck, but also emphases practice and hard work as a key ingredient to success. 10,000 seems to be the magic number. For musicians, computer engineers, hockey players, etc., he states that combined with 10,000 hours of hard work and the presence of luck, a person will be a successful “outlier” surpassing the competition.
I’m not saying in any way that I feel like I’m an outlier, but I do feel very fortunate about my life. I feel fortunate for my family, my friends, and my education. I also feel that I work really hard for what I do and can’t be here today, doing what I’m doing without that combination. So far Justin and I have put in many hours into our business, Panama Lens, but there is a lot more to practice, learn, and achieve through it. Optimism, luck, hard work, and practice is all important, and the harder I do work, the luckier I seem to get. : ) So to this day I think about that quote and take it to heart as I did back then when I struggled with reading. It’s amazing how much a little extra hard work can change everything…