You’ve probably heard the expression, it’s better to be lucky than good.

I contend, it’s good to be both. And that there is a balance needed which requires that you be good enough to take advantage of being lucky.

A few weeks ago, I hit my tee shot on the Par 5 15th Hole for the Cascade course at Gold Mountain Golf Course. I estimate it’s the longest drive I’ve ever hit in 44 years of playing golf – 314 yards.

My “average” drive is about 230 yards. A really well struck ball may go 245 yards. So how did this ball go so far? Was I channeling my inner Tiger Woods?

Well, it was that combination of lucky and good.

It was maybe my best swing of the day and I really hit it well. That was the good. 

It was also about 90 degrees, with a slight helping breeze. The ball flew over the crest of the hill and hit on the severe downslope. As it was summer conditions, the ground was “fast,” and the ball certainly took a big bounce and bounded down the hill. I initially couldn’t understand why I didn’t see my ball until I realized it was at the bottom of the hill!

A lot of “luck” with the factors described above.

But one shot doesn’t make a good score on the hole.

I actually found that my ball rolled off the fairway about six inches, leaving my in a bit of a bad lie (where the ball is laying). I also had a large tree directly between the hole and myself, and even if I were to avoid it, there was a sand trap guarding that side of the green.

To make my golf story shorter, I opted to take a very “safe” shot with a 5 iron (rather than a 3-wood which is what my app thought I used based on the distance). The shot put me in position to hit on to the green and make an easy par. Had I not used good judgment, my balance of skill and luck wouldn’t have worked out to a good score.

In business and life, we almost daily get good luck. We just sometimes don’t see it. It feels like we humans are more wont to observe and bemoan our bad luck and use it as an excuse. In reality, we should be taking advantage of the lucky breaks we get.

For example, the simple fact you are reading this means you are living in a first-world country with gobs of opportunities to create a business and career. Most of the world doesn’t get that.

We also are in a position to take advantage of the most technologically advanced medical and health care that allows us to stay healthy and recover from maladies more quickly. We have the opportunities to get business loans, professional coaching, world-class education, and transportation that the majority of the humans on this planet might not be able to comprehend.

So what are you doing with your “luck.”

We should use the “smarts’ that we’ve developed over our life to make decisions that will allow us the best chance to find success. My decades of experience told me that being sensible with a second shot out of the rough would best lead to a par, even after a monster drive. I’ve also taken calculated risks when it made sense. In both cases, my past failures and wrong choices (aka experience) were integral.

The lesson here is to understand that luck plays a critical factor in or lives. We should look for it, as it will lead to opportunities for success. By using your skill and experience (your good), you will be best able to turn that luck into “easy pars” daily in your business and personal life.

Keep chasing unleashed.

Quote of the Week:

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”

~ Vince Lombardi

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