Monday, February 6, 2012

Luck 101 Classes Do Not Exist

I just spent about 30 minutes reading some articles in the Self Help section of my Zite app. And I am irritated.

Not only did the articles not intrigue me, and not only were the writers not familiar with at least some form of correct grammar, they kept saying things like, "Understand what you want out of life." And "Just get out there and do something." Or in the article titled, Mark Zuckerburg's 8 Secrets of Success, the writer listed "luck" "timing" and "determination" among other ephemeral concepts.

They make it seem like you can take a Luck 101 class or Intro To Determination class.

You learn these things by learning other, more tangible things, like speaking a new language, or how to budget your business account, or learning the basics of marketing.
Determination, confidence, execution and even things like luck and timing are developed over time. Time taken to learn new things and solve real-life problems.

I've heard that basketball players will imagine themselves playing the game and making perfect free-throws on bus trips. I guess I can see the science behind this. Playing a physical game like basketball is as much about your mind as it is about your body. Your brain is like a muscle in the sense that if you think about something a lot you will start to believe it. But the difference between the basketball players and zombies sitting in a self help seminar is that the basketball players have real-life experiences to back up their imagined success.

Yes, instead of sitting on your butt watching tv and wishing you had a patio outback you should probably get up and "do something". But that "something" does involve figuring stuff out like learning how patios are made and practicing using the tools involved.

If you want to improve your life stop trying to be more "determined". Stop waiting for the timing to be right. And for god sakes, stop visualizing your life.

Learn how to do something. Read about topics you are interested in. Write about observations. Oh, and get started right now.

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