Preparation + Opportunity = Luck

I’ve been spending far too much time watching the Olympics (like most of the 1st world, I suspect) and I’ll keep doing so until the Paralympic closing ceremonies.

(For those of you with Olympic fever and wished the games would last longer, they in fact do, the Paralympics just aren’t on TV as much).

With the Olympics comes a lot of discussion about what it takes to be an Olympian. I think anyone who is an Olympian will tell you that although the destination is the same, the paths can be different. That’s also what draws people to the Olympics (I think), the stories that the athletes have. I still remember hearing about a swimmer who had some kind of respiratory condition that was like the equivalent of an average person breathing through a straw, and he was a world class athlete.

I remember thinking, if he could be who is and do what he does than I have a chance too.

I don’t remember his name so I have no idea what happened to him, but he still comes to my mind on occasion.

The philosopher Seneca said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

This has become my philosophy on athletes, especially world class and unknown ones.

People can argue that blessings can get you anywhere you’re meant to be in life but that’s like saying wishing a flight of stairs would turn into an elevator and having it actually happen.

Blessings are great and they do have their place but no amount of blessing is going to make it possible for you to win a gold medal without some amount of training beforehand.

For example, as much as I want to be a world class athlete I have yet to be “blessed” with the resources to even be able to a serious recreational swimmer. But I have been damn lucky and chased every potential opportunity I can come across. I’m not where I want to be but I am putting forth the effort in the unlikely event that one day enough opportunities align themselves to make things a little easier.

It’s nice to call someone blessed but that can downplay the hard work and dedication that goes into achievement. It’s like calling someone an “overnight success” when they’ve been working towards their success for countless years.

Just because you haven’t seen the blood, sweat, and tears, doesn’t mean they didn’t (and don’t) exist.

God is great and everything and unbelievable blessings do happen but not as often as people like to think (not unlike other things in life).

Luck and blessings are real but rarely do they ever come alone. Instead they come mixed in with blood, sweat, tears, disappointment, hard work, early mornings, late nights, busy schedules, sacrifice, and a host of other things you don’t catch on camera.


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