There’s a phrase a lot of people like to toss around. I’ve even tossed around the phrase. That phrase is: Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. This phrase on luck is attributed to the Roman philosopher Seneca.
While I agree with this phrase for the most part, I’m beginning to think it’s not only about preparation and opportunity. Luck is something much more.
Sitting With My Childhood
I had the experience of my life in early November. My wife and I had chosen to invest in a local Comic Con, Grand Rapids Comic-Con. Because of the loan, we were given special access to the convention. We were also able to attend a VIP party.
This is where the fun really began.
We walked into the party venue and looked for a place to sit. Seats were scarce but I found a few empty chairs. Approaching a man in an X-Men jacket, I asked if the seats were open. He told Pam and I they were and we were welcome to join them.
The table began to talk. I began to realize I was at a special table. The man I’d asked about the seats was Eric Lewald. The woman to his right was Julia Lewald. To my left was Len and Sue Uhley.
While these names didn’t ring a bell. What Eric, Julia, and Len had worked on did.
Eric was the showrunner for the classic cartoon X-Men: The Animated Series. Len and Julia were writers for X-Men: The Animated Series. Not only did they work on one of the shows I loved as a child, but they also worked on other beloved cartoons such as Exosquad, Beetlejuice, TaleSpin, Darkwing Duck, and others.
I was sitting with my childhood.
These men and women had created the stories I grew up on. I remember Jubilee, Wolverine, Cyclops, and Jean Grey battling evil mutants. I remember Baloo, King Louie, and Shere Kahn operating a transportation business. And the caped Darkwing Duck fighting the good fight.
Talk about WHOA!
It only got better from there. Behind Pam and I sat a lady who looked familiar. But wasn’t…
Talking some more, we learn this woman is Carla Perez. This is the woman who played Rita Repulsa in the original Power Rangers TV series.
My evening was complete. I’d met and had dinner with my childhood.
You could say this happened because Pam and I had ordered our lives in such a way we had the extra funds to invest. You could the opportunity presented itself because we’d prepared to be at the VIP party.
While all of that may be true, something else was at play. I never could have anticipated this would give me the opportunity to meet these great men and women. I believe luck still played a part.
There’s Still Luck
No matter how much you prepare. No matter where opportunities present themselves. Luck plays a part in our lives.
You may call it fortune or the fruits of hard labor. It may well be. However, you never know where your lucky moment will come from.
This is why Seneca claimed luck is when preparation meets opportunity.
But we all know of people who have prepared all of their lives. They trained, practiced, gave their all only to be let down.
Then there are those who slack off. They fail to do the hard work. Then success lands in their lap.
I don’t want to say “don’t work hard.” That’s not what I’m saying. You need to work hard. You need to give your work everything you’ve got.
Just don’t discount luck. Luck has a way of creeping into our lives and blessing us beyond what we deserve.