Admitting that luck has a huge part in most of our achievements and successes does not mean diminishing them. Nor does it mean diminishing our skills and capacities.
It’s more about understanding that there are a set of things we have under our control and a set of things (usually bigger) that we have absolutely no power over. When we understand this fundamental difference, than it is a whole lot easier to practice accordingly and let go of worries, preoccupations and anxieties that are linked to the latter group. And usually strongly limit and hinder our performance in the former one.
You can decide to show up for work every day, you cannot control the path your career will take five or ten years down the road.
You have power over how you will use your time today, you have none over whether people will like what you did or will agree with your decision.
You can set out to begin a project that can potentially touch the life of many people, you cannot decide whether people will actually be touched by it, or change their mind if they are not.
It is up to you to say yes or no to that request, you have very limited grasp on what will happen next.
When we look back at the successes we’ve had, we should praise the role of the work we’ve done, of the efforts we’ve put in, and also be very mindful of the fact that under very similar circumstances the outcome could have been completely different. You can call it luck, randomness, environment, chance, context. It does not matter. As scary as it sounds, you control the inputs, never the outputs.