Luck, Skill, Generosity and Hard Work

It’s undeniable that our brains (and our egos) trick us to equating luck with skill. We do it all the time when making life choices. Even when there is a “good” outcome, we tend think we made great choices looking backwards. I would surmise that it’s mainly luck.

As luck would have it, my mother met her best friend that way. My mom had a long commute to work and on her way she would encounter this stranger, who took the same routes at the same times. My mom would offer her candy and the rest is history.

Through the years, my Aunt Doris would become a great family friend and a god-mother to me. Even though neither of our families were wealthy and we lived farther and further apart, she’d still send money to my mom and I regularly to pay for my piano lessons and such.

She’d also take me to see the world; on bus tours and road trips and learn more about history and the natural world around us.

I am lucky.


Hard work is sticking to something even as it’s seemingly hard.  All work likely is hard to begin with but hard work entails that one keeps to it even in the face of physical, mental and societal obstacles.

Though those obstacles may be subjective and contextual to the situation, hard work means sticking with something even thought the fruits of that labour isn’t going to bear for years to come.  It may also in fact be invisible or not tangible, ever.  It doesn’t make it any less hard to keep to it.

It’s never more true than to stay the course when everyone else is doing something that’s entirely opposite.

Stay the course and allow time for luck to come around at least once.


Skill, I think, is really the intersection of having been lucky (and continue to be), having someone or something that is overly generous toward you and you then putting all that hard work back in.


(It happens that today would have been Doris‘ birthday.)  Best of luck to everyone in 2021.