Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Are You Ready to Get Lucky?

Push Button For Luck

by Karen D. Swim, Photo credit: kamaru, Flickr.com

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.--Seneca

The Detroit Pistons made it through 82 regular season games and won a spot in the playoffs. Reserve Guard, Lindsey Hunter had been inactive for most of the season but he too would participate in the playoffs.

Like his teammates Hunter wanted the team to become the 2008 Champs. After all, at 37 this could be his last season. He wanted the ring and they now had an opportunity to go all the way. When the time came, Hunter was ready. Physically and mentally prepared, he sprang into action and energized his team at crucial moments during the series. He showed no sign of rust from lack of playing time, in fact he looked better than most of the starters who had played all season long.

Are you ready for opportunity? If the phone rings today and you are asked to give a presentation for the biggest client you've ever landed, are you ready? If offered a chance to exhibit your work, are you ready? If your boss quits and you are suddenly in line for a promotion, are you ready?

Far too often in life, even if we are technically ready, we are not emotionally or mentally ready. We make excuses as to why we cannot seize opportunity when it lands on our doorstep. "I don't have enough experience." "Well, I would if..." "I just don't know if I'm ready for that." Any of these sound familiar?

"..be prepared in season and out of season.."--II Timothy 4:2, NIV Bible

Perfect alignment rarely, if ever happens. You have to be prepared in and out of season when opportunity comes your way. If called into action, are you ready to bring your "A" game? How do you get prepared? You practice. Lindsey Hunter practiced all season long to play mere minutes at the end of a long season. You have to train your mind, body and skill set as if every day you will be presented with your shot at the championship. Look deep within your soul and ask yourself what you really want. Are you ready to have it?

It's fun to share, so please join in the discussion and share in the comments!

14 comments:

Brett Legree said...

You know, I like the part where you talk about excuses, particularly "I don't have enough experience."

When Neil Armstrong was about to land on the moon, he didn't have any experience doing that either. Yeah, a simulator - not a very good one, considering it was 1960's technology.

And he had to manually take control because the computer wanted to land them on a large crater. He did it, first time, with about 25 seconds of fuel left.

Technically, he didn't have enough experience either. Where I work, we're made to believe that we don't have the experience to make the big decisions.

Yet, 60 years ago, people just like myself designed nuclear reactors with slide rules. No computers. And no experience. One of those reactors is still operating today.

Designed by people without enough experience. They were lucky enough to be in the right place, at the right time, and they were prepared.

So as you say - stay on your game, you never know when you'll be called to play.

-Brett

Words For Hire said...

@Brett, too funny this message came in as I was leaving your place. You weren't home but I left you a message too. :) Brett, this is an incredible example. It is yet another very good example of not only "being ready" but how our society often hinders innovation with the new rules of the game. We are so often smart enough, experienced enough and competent enough yet our institutions impose a new set of rules that can hold us back because we have not met man-made criteria. This also inspires me to keep pressing forward. Thanks for sharing this kilted wonder friend. :) Can and will!

Anonymous said...

Argh! I left a comment, but it got lost.

What I had tried to say before, is that success is also knowing when to say "no".

You mention that phone call, or being offered your boss's job. What should you do if you're not ready?

Well, I've had several job offers or interviews, where I wasn't "ready". I mentally wasn't there, I felt pressured.

Despite being unemployed at the time, I turned them down. My gut feeling said this was too soon, I didn't really want this.

Looking back, I'm glad I made those choices. In hindsight, if I had taken those other jobs, I'd have been miserable.

I feel "lucky" that I had the sense to listen to my inner voice. Sometimes your gut feeling is right.

- Friar

Words For Hire said...

@Friar, you are right and one thing I did not say but you caught with your keen intelligence is being ready for the right opportunity. A part of being ready is having a clear sense of what you want. Those jobs were not opportunity, at least not for you. I have turned down many things that were not right even though they appeared as "opportunity." I'm glad that you added that to the discussion.

Yvonne Russell said...

Hi Karen
I can just see a book shaping up with your insightful articles. Put me down for an autographed copy. :)

Brett - Interesting insights - Perhaps it's that short sightedness from many employers with regards to trust and decision making, that sets people off on the path of wanting to work for themselves.

Brett Legree said...

@Karen,

That was funny, wasn't it. I always like the Armstrong example and I'll often quote it at work when people are yammering on about how we have to be so careful with everything and follow the procedures to the letter. Good thing he didn't!

And to what Friar said - I've been sitting on a nice idea for a bit, but today I'll move on it. I have an opportunity to partner with a high-profile company on a computer related project. If it works, I can see it going places. If not, I'll just do it myself as planned.

Can and will.

@yvonne,

Exactly. I had more freedom and did more real engineering work in my very first engineering job, well over 10 years ago. Today, I generate reams and reams of useless documentation that is obsolete the day it is issued. We aren't allowed to innovate.

Words For Hire said...

@Brett, I am truly beginning to see your world in a whole new way. Not the greatest career for a take charge innovator who is not afraid to fail, eh?

@Yvonne, book? Wow, I really appreciate the encouragement and it never even occurred to me. You have planted an idea which has me very excited! You will get more than an autographed copy! Thanks Yvonne!

Brett Legree said...

@Karen,

The trick for me (and I'm there, on the cusp) is to kick myself in the butt (or get Dave Navarro to do it), to take inspiration from all of you great people out here, and just do it.

I know what to do. I know how to do it. So I'm going to do it. In fact, I've already started the ball rolling... :)

-Brett

Ellen Wilson said...

@All - I too, will go to Dave for a flogging.

Seriously, I was just at Brett's and this theme came up also. You just have to keep going. Who knows what will happen? We don't have crystal balls. Life throws challenges in our face, and if we are lucky, luck.

But if you keep moving ahead, you build on your perserverance.

@Brett - That just sucks (all that documentation). I would feel so thwarted, like a flower kept in the shade and never allowed to see the sun. But you're pushing ahead.

It's awful when people are conditioned (or buy into it) that they lack the intelligence to be innovators. Such crap! It's all propaganda.

Congrats again, Karen, on your award. I think I understand it a little better. I haven't been to Liz Strauss's blog yet. But you have been working really hard, and your blog fits all those criteria. You give us many good ideas and inspire us. And keep us on track!

Ellen Wilson said...

@All - I too, will go to Dave for a flogging.

Seriously, I was just at Brett's and this theme came up also. You just have to keep going. Who knows what will happen? We don't have crystal balls. Life throws challenges in our face, and if we are lucky, luck.

But if you keep moving ahead, you build on your perserverance.

@Brett - That just sucks (all that documentation). I would feel so thwarted, like a flower kept in the shade and never allowed to see the sun. But you're pushing ahead.

It's awful when people are conditioned (or buy into it) that they lack the intelligence to be innovators. Such crap! It's all propaganda.

Congrats again, Karen, on your award. I think I understand it a little better. I haven't been to Liz Strauss's blog yet. But you have been working really hard, and your blog fits all those criteria. You give us many good ideas and inspire us. And keep us on track!

Brett Legree said...

@Ellen,

It is a bit of a downer for sure, and many folks just give in and accept it.

Not me, not any longer. If I'm going to give 1/3 of my time to something, I'd better love it, money or not.

I've tried to fight it, and, not being able to fight it here, have decided to move on to something else.

I've read in many places, you can't change other people, only yourself.

So I will. Can and will!

Andrew said...

Hi Karen,

I saw the review for this post on the Brad Shorr's Word Sell Inc. blog.

Interesting topic. I am reminded of a short story which I heard many years ago.

Two old men were sitting inside a house. One said to the other, "When opportunity knocks, you've gotta open the door."

His friend laughed, "Yeah, opportunity knocked on your door once, but by the time you took of the padlock, undid the latch, unhooked the chain and opened the door, it was gone."

It's easier said than done, but we must always be open and ready to move and take advantage of opportunities when they arise.

Cheers

Andrew

Words For Hire said...

Andrew, that is a great story! Thank you so much for sharing it. Congratulations on your blog too! I found you through Brad Shorr as well.

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