Often people describe memorable fortuitous events as grand measurements of destiny. A job, a spouse, a championship, a near death experience, all can be common interpretations of destiny, fate, or divine intervention.
Over the past two months I've been working my way through a book that dives deep into this concept ("Chase the Lion", by Mark Batterson). The book was given to me by two beloved friends (Corey and Amy Brown) as part of an incredibly generous and unforgettable gift.
Before heading to work today I got through a few more pages. The book is the religious flavor of the "Think and Grow Rich" variety (Napoleon Hill, 1937). Both books can be thought of as a collection of anecdotes that support a broad appeal for deliberate action and general flexibility.
Instead of getting into the destiny debate, I'm going to focus this post on a very simple message by presenting a mundane fortutious event that just happened to me today.
I got free Piada.
What's the simple message?
You can't catch a lucky break until you start doing something.
While waiting in line there was a mix up. And they ended up unravelling my Piada on the counter to make sure it wasn't the order of the customer in front of me. I was pleasantly surprised when they ended up handing over my re-wrapped sandwich for free.
Destiny? Fate? Divine intervention?
I don't need to answer those questions to tell you I wouldn't have gotten that piada for free if I didn't go out for dinner.
As in fast food, as in life, you have to start doing something before you can catch a lucky break. You have to step out the front door.
Too often I hear people compare the lucky breaks others have caught in life, and insert their own credentials.
"Well 'I' could do 'so and sos' job.."
"Well 'I' could do that under those conditions"
Well of course "you" can. "You" could've also earned my free Piada today by standing in my place in line.
But "you" weren't there. Sorry we're not sorry.
What I've just said might sound overly simple or obvious to some, but I just don't see people embracing this simple message in day to day life.
Just thinking about the lucky breaks I've caught over the last eleven months since I quit my engineering job makes my head spin.
It started with the car I got appraised in Ohio. I sold it for $500 more than it was appraised for in Ohio when I finally sold it in San Diego, 7,000 miles later. And then there was the very awesome Michel family I stayed with in San Diego for a couple nights (twice). Turns out Chuck works with my dad and somehow, after I hit the road towards San Diego, we were able to get connected and they were generous enough to let me into their home.
Chuck even drove me the hour from his house to the start of the PCT (Another break btw, I left Columbus in my car with no idea how I would get from wherever I sold my car to where I'd start hiking at the Great Wall of Mexico).
On the PCT, I didn't die. So count that as atleast one break. But there were so many people who helped me out in between both borders, too many to mention even, too many lucky breaks to even count!
The story goes on. Owning the van is a lucky break. Buying a 23 year old jeep in Cleveland that spent 0 winters north of the Mason Dixon Line is a lucky break. Getting a job at Mercedes just by showing up at the front door is a lucky break. Over and over and over, I put myself out there and I continue to collect the lucky breaks.
As your story goes on, take what I've written here into consideration. You can't catch a break until you start doing something.
So do it. Just do it. Stop waiting to live.