I used to work for a person who was a total jerk but gave me some sound career and life advice: You create your own luck.
While there are numerous factors which may impede both our daily and long-term pursuits (race, gender, class, disability, etc.), we can always be our best selves. As someone who is motivated, though often scared of truly putting myself out there, sometimes I seem to get in the way of my own potential. I second guess my ability and worry about what people may think of me or my work, and as a result, I usually play it safe. But if you pay attention to many of those with successful careers who weren’t born with immense privilege (Queen Oprah comes to mind), at one point – or more like many – they put it all on the line. They certainly got lucky when making their way to the top, but they had to work hard to get lucky.
What is required of someone who creates their own luck? They’re assertive, confident, and driven. They are unflappable and unafraid to put themselves out there. They’re not too sensitive or fragile, and they have a clear idea of who they are and what they want. Creating one’s own luck requires an intense commitment to authenticity, a strong work ethic, and a willingness to fail and begin again. So while I work through my last year of graduate school I’m going to continue to ask myself, am I creating my own luck? And if not, how can I work harder to do so?