When my daughter Maisy won first place in a dance competition and the scholarship and meeting with an agent that came with it, my first thought was who knew that putting in four to six hours a day six days a week for years would pay off?
While I’m obviously immensely proud of her natural ability (inherited, I am obliged to point out, from her mother), I know that un-nurtured talent and a $5 bill will get you a grande latte at Starbucks and very little else. I also know that putting in the hours doesn’t always pay off – otherwise everyone who works long enough and hard enough would play for their favorite sports team, win Olympic gold, run a successful company, and change the world.
But the opposite is true – nobody who doesn’t put in the hours succeeds at anything of note in any significant way.
Since effort alone is not enough to guarantee success, we need to depend in equal measure on what might be called happy accidents, or grace. Fortunately, moments of grace are surprisingly dependable.
There are many ways of defining ‘grace,’ but perhaps my favorite in the context of creating is ‘unearned rewards.’ Grace is the inspired solution that arrives unbidden in the middle of the night, the celebrity you’ve never met who tweets about how great your product is to their millions of fans, the stranger you bump into in a coffee shop who is the perfect person to help you move your project forward.
Some people think of it in terms of synchronicity, others as luck, still others as a gift from God or the gods.
In Creating the Impossible, I write about it like this:
If you take a fresh look at it, you’ll see that a remarkable amount of success in the world comes down to people staying in the game long enough to ‘get lucky.’ Fortunately, the emergence of luck, grace, and synchronicity is a predictable part of the process.
You can rest assured that when you show up to your life and start moving in a direction, the creative potential of the deeper Mind will show up with you. And you can have equal faith in the fact that if you keep moving in the direction of your goals and dreams, fresh possibilities and previously unseen opportunities will begin to emerge.
Here’s a simple rule of thumb:
As you begin moving in the direction of your dreams, the emergence of fresh new thinking and unexpected synchronicities (i.e. ‘luck’) is 100 percent reliable and 98 percent unpredictable.
Whether your missing ingredient is more hours than grace or vice versa can be difficult to self‐diagnose. My guideline (based on purely experiential and anecdotal evidence) is that if you think that you’re lazy and just need to work harder, you’re probably already a workaholic; if you think you just need to ‘let go and let God,’ you probably need to get off the couch, put in more hours, and engage more fully with the task at hand.
Either way, if you’re not creating the results you want to see in the world, chances are you’re suffering from a deficit in at least one of these two areas.
So what’s the solution?
To get more out of anything we do, we first need to put more of ourselves into it.
In other words, if you want to get more out of getting things done:
Throw yourself into each task as though it were the most important job in the world, knowing full well that it almost certainly isn’t.
With all my love,