Today, I woke up before the sunrise and went on a stroll down the Arno river to watch the sunrise. There is something about being in the presence of a beautiful painting by nature that makes me reflective and grateful. I couldn’t help but feel a huge sense of warmth in my heart and shed happy tears again. Seeing the sunrise painting the skies with a paddle pop concoction, I am grateful to just be here right now — that this is my life. What a lucky life!
Looking back at the past 10 years of my life, I can’t help but marvel at how far I’ve come. It is a mixture of hard work, perseverance, effort — but also luck, privilege, and the good fortune of meeting the most beautiful people in the world.
10 years ago, I moved to my first country, Hong Kong. I have no clue what to expect, I just knew that the wind shifted and the year will be fantastic. Moving forward, the past 10 years was absolutely beautiful and my heart is full. As the sky shifted from a light yellow glow to a myriad of pastel colours, I reflected upon how lucky I am to be here. I am so lucky all my life. Sure, I am terrible with lottery tickets, but in everything else, I am very lucky. The people I meet, the opportunities, the way I am.
Sometimes, it makes me wonder if I am good at what I do, or I am just lucky. That makes me feel uncomfortable, because it almost feels like success (however one defines it), is dependent on things out of our control than the hard work and effort we put in. At the same time, I am very certain I cannot attribute everything about where I am today to just my own effort. Without others, I am not here today. I always say that and I truly mean it.
The truth is, success is a mixture of both hard work (skills) and luck (non-skills).
I have to keep working hard and improving my skillsets. At the same time, acknowledge that the distribution of luck is truly random and it plays a role in where I am today. Yes, one can create more luck by creating the right opportunities and be prepared to receive new opportunities. But the tipping point is still luck and that is something out of all our control.
I’m grateful for where I am today. Lisa of 10 years ago will be so proud of where I am now. As I look up at the lovely painted ceilings, I am just so grateful to be one hell of a lucky motherfucker. The last 12 months, I perhaps forgot about the idea of luck and just focused on hard work and skills. That was not good for it did nothing to humble me and added more stress as I try to increase my internal locus of control about things I have no control about.
I’m grateful to read this mixture of books that brought me back to reality — Unwinding Anxiety by Judson Brewer, Think Again by Adam Grant and Dare to Lead by Brene Brown. I am reminded that grit is good, while being curious, being flexible and just being are also important to have.
Be humble. Stay curious. Think again.