Yesterday, I gave a ride to a newbie to Korea in my car who I’d never met before. She was a friend of a friend and the first thing she said to me was, “You’re so lucky to have a car.” Now, I’m not picking on her particularly because she is a nice person but my answer to her was my standard one: “It’s not luck. Anyone can do it.”
Sure, it takes a bit of effort to get a Korean driver’s license and to figure out the car purchase process in a foreign language and to navigate through the insanity around you on the roads, but it really is possible if that is what you want to do. I put in the hard work to figure it all out, so calling that luck is totally discounting the effort I put into it.
“You’re so lucky to not have any student loans.” My answer: It’s not luck. I lived on like $300/month for 2 entire years of my life to pay them back and always worked, sometimes a lot during the summer break and throughout the school year when I was a student as well as living extremely frugally.
“You’re so lucky to have traveled to so many countries and/or have such a sweet job that allows you to do that.” My answer: It’s not luck. I put in a significant amount of time and money to get well-qualified, and made networking a huge priority when I was working at less than stellar jobs so that I could move up in the world. And, I’ve given up the ease of life and stability that comes with living in my home country.
“You’re so lucky to have such a nice place to live.” It’s not luck. I paid someone like $300 to help me find such a sweet place and I pay about $250 more/month than I get in housing allowance.
I could go on, but I won’t. I think you get the point.
Make Your Own Luck
I think you make your own luck by working hard, working smart and being organized. It’s not as if some random turn of events dropped a car and driver’s license into my hands. I worked for them. It’s also not as if I somehow ended up with the jobs that I’ve had by a twist of fate. I also worked for them. Attributing much of anything to luck doesn’t seem like a great way to live life- working for stuff seems like a much better plan to me.