Sunday, 30 June 2013

What luck!

Last week I watched a segment on 60 Minutes about a guy who found his family in India using Google Earth.  The basic gist was that he was born in a small town in India, got lost when he was 5, struggled, was adopted by an Australian couple, and when Google Earth came out, used it to find where he'd grown up, then went and found his mum.

The thing about the story that struck me was that it had been advertised as a "lucky chance" that he'd found his home town and mum.  "Just like that" was the phrase used.

But when I watched the story, it wasn't "just like that" at all!  He'd spent years (about five or seven years from memory) searching along all of the train lines that left from Calcutta (where he ended up).  He worked hard all day, spent time with his Australian family, then spent hours every night searching and searching.

That's not luck!  That's persistence!

I get to see that kind of "luck" in action regularly.

The Big Fella is definitely a "lucky" guy!  I mean, for starters he has me ;-)

But seriously folks.

Let's take a look at just his work life for example.  When we first met, the Big Fella was a mechanic for a small, family-owned garage.  He worked hard and tried to do the best job, and make the most money for his boss.  He was, essentially, the foreman in that workplace and ended up working with them for about 10 years.

Through various contacts, he had the opportunity to work for a high performance workshop.  They transformed cars from regular, run-of-the-mill cars, to high performance machines that probably shouldn't have been driven on normal roads!

While he was there he learned how to re-build an engine, mostly in his own time.  He worked long hours, studied manuals at home, talked to as many experts in the field as he could and made himself an invaluable employee for his boss.  He also talked the fabrication guys into teaching him how to weld well.

While he was there, he had the opportunity to participate in creating an awesome vehicle for the Army's promotion team.  They had to design and build it from scratch.  Again, there were looooooonnnnnnnggggg hours (several all-nighters from memory), and lots of learning from books and other experts.

When we decided to move north, the Big Fella ended up working in a regular workshop again, making pretty average money, but giving his best to make as much money as he could for his employer.

He ended up working pro bono for a transmission specialist in his lunch hours and after work, learning how to rebuild and repair transmissions.  He spent long hours learning from that man, and reading everything he could get his hands on so that he understood everything he could about those machines.  Eventually he was offered a position in that workshop.

Later the Big Fella worked for himself, using the skills he had learned to build a great little business.  He worked long hours and did everything he could to satisfy his customers.

One of those customers told him about the train driving job.  And now we're here.  He's making good money.  We get to do some fun stuff because we live in the country.  Yeah, he's "lucky".

Some people will always look at "lucky" people and bemoan that their own life is no good.  They don't see the hours of effort that have gone into making that "luck".  They don't see the sacrifices along the way.  They don't see the discussions and painful backwards steps and the wondering if it's all worth it.

They don't see that "luck" is often made, not granted.

I wonder what kind of "luck" you're making today?  What will the efforts that I put in today, effect in my future?  What will the lessons I'm learning right now translate to?  What kind of "luck" do I want in my life?  And what am I willing to do today to make it happen?

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