The 5 Lies of Lucky

So easy to dismiss the success of The Great Ones in business, sports, science or the arts as “lucky”. But success doesn’t just show up. It’s always earned. High achievement isn’t the result of “destiny” but desire – and acute determination.

From Branson to Bono and from Mandela to Michael Dell, dive deep into the stories of the best of the best and you’ll see they’re are all thinking the same thoughts and doing strikingly similar things (all of which I write about in my new book The Leader Who Had No Title.

Don’t buy into the following 5 Lies of Lucky:

1. Successful people don’t work hard – they just happen to be at the right place at the right time. Sure, timing makes a difference (just ask Jobs or Brin). But business superstars not only out-think their competition – they outwork them. Few things are as mission-critical to leadership and winning as blood, sweat and tears.

2. Successful people had a smoother path and more lucky breaks. Nope. The people who have achieved the most are generally those who have failed the most. Success is a numbers game and those who have reached the mountaintop were those who simply refused to lose (and turned every stumbling block into a stepping stone). FedEx’s first day in business saw only about 15 packages moved. But rather than shutting down, they regrouped and reinvented.

3. Successful people are born motivated. Motivation is a learned sport. To play at peak and light a fire in your belly takes daily devotion. The best among us are up while the world around them sleeps, listening to inspirational cds, reading heroic biographies, planning their days/weeks/months/lives and basically preparing themselves to deliver their leadership best. We all need to refill the well of passion and inspiration every morning.

4. Successful people are “one person shows”. Behind GE’s Jack Welch lived a superb group of followers. Alongside Jeff Bezos walks a remarkable band of believers. Can’t do the dream without the right team. If you are really serious about getting to wow on each of your business and personal goals, make sure you have the right people and resources to help you get there. To paraphrase John Donne: “no person is an island”.

5. Successful people are geniuses. According to the latest research, genius isn’t a natural trait – it’s a learned skill. The “genius research” has found that every so-called “genius” invested the equivalent of 10 years singularly focused on their chosen sport/business/craft. As I’ve written in The Leader Who Had No Title: “Mediocrity occurs when we focus on many things. Mastery arrives when we focus on only a few.” Commit to being brilliant at just a few passions in your life and cut out all the rest. And then practice on these obsessions daily. In time, you too will be recognized as a master. And that’s my great wish for you.

Keep Leading Without A Title.

Robin Sharma

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27 Responses to “The 5 Lies of Lucky”

  1. elif says:

    Dear Robin,
    I’d like you to mention the honor of my country, the nobel prize winner in Literature, Orhan Pamuk’s name in your list of successful people.
    You always mention Western succesful people’s name and I think you should mention about some really bright people’s name from the East part of the world in your writings.
    Orhan Pamuk worked so hard to be at the point he is right now!! and he is a great role model for Turkish people but for the rest of the world too i think !!!

  2. Dave Krunal says:

    Hi Robin,

    I am eagerly waiting to read your new book. It is making sense that I need right people and resourced to achieve my personal goals. Thanks a lot for bringing me more awareness. Please never stop writing new books.

  3. Vikas says:

    Dear Robin,
    I got a question on your statement, “mediocrity occurs when we focus on many things. Mastery arrives when we focus on only a few. Commit to being brilliant at just a few passions in your life and cut out all the rest. And then practice on these obsessions daily”. I too want to follow my passion but What if I don’t get to earn living while focusing on our passion at least in the initial days?

    Please clear my doubt…

  4. Harshi says:

    Thank you Robin. That was great to read. Dispels the myths we have, the assumptions we make.

  5. Amit Kauntia says:

    Dear Mr. Sharma,
    i dont know if this will reach to u, i chanced upon ur book (the Greatness Guide), i liked it a lot.. i have just finished till Ch 12 & i felt the urge to write to u. Dunno why. I am a great Fan of Ayn Rand & chetan Bhagat & when i saw his comment for u on the back cover, i had to buy it.
    I dont know how it will affect me as such, but i plan on reading Monk & your other books too.
    But i diagree with your Ch.3 remarks, as i have seen many hotels.. even though they have competition, and giving bad service.. ppl. just dont leave it.. and it survives ( though ur thought was well reciprocated in the movie “Rocket singh” sales man of the year), but still i somehow disagree with it.. like if u replied to ever blog u recieve.. si not practically possible.
    Otherwise i think i’ll soon become a fan of yours..

    Amit Kauntia

  6. Chidi says:

    Splendid indeed, will like to learn more.

  7. Atul says:

    true…very true…waiting for ur new book


  8. These 5 lies of lucky should be published in every classroom, the new generations will face a troubled world and must focus their energy in actions that will benefit their kind and their country. Lucky is synonymous of: lazy, don’t worry be happy, light, it will come to you….No a big NOOO!!!! You have to fight your comfort zone, yourself and your environment to conquer your goals, it is important that the young people are clear with this, hard work and extra effort will take you where ever you want.

  9. Mitika says:

    Hi Robin..

    U are a sweetheart and have always motivated me thru ur pearls of wisdom..I have same doubt that Vikas stated earlier…The question : what if don’t get to learn or follow my passion while m engaged in earning my living….

    Pls advise..


  10. Hi Robin,

    Great sharing! Thank you!

    Lucky doesn’t exist! Anyway, if we think we are lucky, it will be good from a Law of Attraction point of view.

    I agree with you about success is desire, determination, blood, sweat and tears.

    Successful are those who lead from within! It’s not a matter of titles!

    Keep leading without a title, Robin…keep leading from Within!

    Cheers from London UK.

    Linda Lattuca

  11. love, love, love ,love…superrrrrrrrrlove.i need to make prints of this page and stick them on every wall of my home!!! really. Robin are you from Earth or some other distant planet…..your energy is boundless. even in your videos you seem to radiate a glow!! wowwww……

  12. sandhya tripathi says:

    dear sir .

    i like your all books its very motivational for me

    tyanking you

  13. vicky says:

    Dear Robin

    I have been reading all your books ,yours post,podcasts etc which i really like and share with frends regularly and still i’ve found that there are one unanwered questions to which i am sure many followers would like to get an answer:

    What is the value of God and Destiny in your Leadeership lessons u share with us all??


    Vicky from Mauritius

  14. Olga says:

    Thank you Robin!

  15. pampareddy says:

    dear young leader maker,thanks to your all grate books which gives leader qualities and decision making hints to come out productive result in critical situations …. thanks to you and your groups

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