The Irony of Success and Failure

“I don’t know how this happened! It was all good luck..!” – Nobody, ever.

LuckOne day, I was sitting in the coffee shop and I heard two guys discussing something that caught my attention. As I was alone, I decided to listen to them for a while and then join the conversation. They were talking something about luck. One of them (say X) had gone for an interview, but was not hired. He was constantly cursing his luck while the other (say Y) was consoling him. They were strangers to me, yet I decided to shift my place to their table.

As I pulled out a chair, sat beside them and joined the conversation, I figured out that it was all about perception. X vehemently claimed that he had prepared very well for the interview and had left no stone unturned to ensure his success. He believed that his “bad luck” cost him the job in spite of all his hard work. Y seemed to differ with X on this, but did not disagree with X as he did not want to criticize X during his emotional furore. Finally we agreed with X and then set out for our homes. They were strangers to me and we’ve never met since then.

That evening, I was thinking about that incident. I realized that this is what happened in most of the cases. We humans are very good at blaming luck for our failure. But even if we win or succeed in something coincidentally, without doing anything to win that, we always attribute our success to hard work, irrespective of us having worked hard for it or not. I have never seen or met anyone in my life who has succeeded in something and then said, “I don’t know how this happened! It was all good luck..!”

It is very common for man to attribute his success to hard work and failure to bad luck. A man thinks that if he attributes his success to hard work, people would respect him as a hardworking guy. He gains sympathy when he tells others that luck did not favour him and that led to his failure. But I have also seen men who have accepted that they had failed as they had not worked as hard as the man who succeeded. The number of such analytic and honest men is very few of course; so few that they can be counted on my fingertips.

I wonder why men are afraid to speak the truth. Why can’t a man accept that he was defeat because of his own mistakes and shortcomings and then decide to improve upon them? Personally, I don’t believe anything called “luck”. Luck does not exist. It’s just a coincidence. What you get is what you deserve. And once you get what you deserve, be it silver or mud, you need to realize and accept that it is you who are responsible for what you’ve got. Until and unless you realize that, you’ll never be able to strike gold. You’re either left with mud, or both gold and silver.

© Barnadhya Rwitam Sharma

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