or To Hell With Luck, I’ll Bring the Luck With Me.
January 13, 2012.
I was with some friends watching a blues band when one of them, in awe of the lullaby, gushed her admiration for the guitar sliding talents. “man, some people are just born with it.”
That model of thinking is the laziest, damn near most pathetic way out of self-accountability I’ve ever known. Striking up someone’s skill as talent they were born with, or things that just come naturally to others, is an insult. It is an attack on their hard work and determination. Nobody is naturally more inclined to play guitar or sing than someone is to cook gourmet meals or be a yoga or fitness guru. Its not to say some people have a natural inclination or interest in things that will come out in their eventual mastery of skills and talents. Im not talking about savants or prodigies.
For as long as I can remember, I liked art. I would draw, and people would praise me for it. So I drew more. And I got better and better. But you know what, I drew a lot. I mean, a ridiculous amount.
As a kid, music wasnt terribly appealing to me. I listened to whatever was around me and I didn’t care one way or another. But when I was 18 I picked up a guitar. And I learned some chords. And I played. A lot.
So now when people see me draw or play music, they often think I was born with it. I wasn’t. I played and practiced and played and practiced.
Or when the conversation whispers to travel, folks will tell me, “you’re lucky. I wish I could do that.”
No asshole. I made a plan. I saved and lived deeply within my means, and for two years I did just that. In fact, I did it with a low paying non-profit wage. No new cars, no mortgage, and very few new shiney toys. Sure I’m lucky. I am lucky to have been born in this day and age, with all the privilege that comes with it. And you know what? So are you.
This is beyond talking about excuses. Sure, you may even have a family and there’s just no way you can travel with them in tow. Well, don’t mention that to The Denning family, driving from Alaska to Argentina with five kids and one truck.
Or The Zapps, from Argentina, traveling over 150,000 miles as they build their family and do it driving a 1928 wagon.
Or you want to learn a language, or maybe how to sing. Well, it took Derek Sivers fifteen years to learn how to sing. Fifteen years. Do you have that sort of determination?
Whatever it is, it isn’t a gift. Nobody is born with it.
If your life is lacking in any way, that’s on you. Quit believing some folks are just born with it. There is no luck, you’ve gotta make it.