There was a time in my life when I was in a rut and my academic life wasn't moving forward. I wasn't able to make a decision on further studies/job hunt. I was indecisive. People are very headstrong when they are indecisive. Funny isn't it? You are changing your mind about what you wanna do at the drop of a hat, you are open to everything, but still someone calls you headstrong. It is true. This contradiction is very hard to explain. I have noticed that people are at the peak of their dogmatic mode during 4 stages of their life jobless/frustrated, idle/jobless, trying-but-failing and indecisive. They are headstrong about their fundamental principles. This is where they firmly believe that what they are doing is right and think that the lack of success is because of "luck" and other random factors. They also attribute other's success to freak accidents. It was then when I chanced upon a proverb that completely altered my mental state at that time "Losers don't like doing what winners do as a habit". This is what experts call as a paradigm shift. The common (mis)conception is that you lose because you aren't able to perform as well as the person who wins (or as many people like to believe - you aren't lucky enough). You never think that you lose because you do not like to win.
This realization deeply affected me. I backed off from my mental state and tried to figure out what was going wrong. I then realized that I liked doing things that contributed to failure and disliked doing things that led to success. Here is when self-confidence, strong-mindedness become a disadvantage. People don't veer off from their bad habits because they firmly believe they are right. I think self-confidence and determination are like huge amounts of money that is standing to be invested. If you don't invest them on the right stocks, the very same qualities will take you down. Moving on, upon further inspection, I found that people who succeeded were not actually lucky. There are a lot of factors that go into building a positive internal environment. So people have certain habits that they follow internally within themselves, which contributes to a positive external behavior and thereby success. A class first ranker is not a first ranker when the results come out. He is a first ranker when he studies daily, understands well and prepares hard. Fundamental principles, preferences, ethics, behavior, philosophies and attitudes are actually the attributes that shape a person's internal environment. This is what is technically called as the inside-out habit. Change begins from within you and not from things outside to you. Successful people are not sudden winners. They were not just standing on the road when someone threw a big paycheck or a Harvard Admission on their heads. Nothing in life comes that easily. Free lunch? Remember? They sowed the seeds for success a long time ago. Just that you did not get to see that part of the act.
So when I began questioning my preferences (because that is what the proverb directly attacked) I found that I did not prefer to do the right things. On looking around it is easy to find all the CEO's Managing Directors and Entrepreneurs have one thing in common. They preferred to do the right things at the right age. They got their advanced education, the PhDs the MBAs at the right time. Luck is all about the right preference, the right attitude and the right investment at the right time. Most of the people I met in the previous company I worked for were really capable of higher studies and better jobs. In the age when they should have actually pursued it -- They just didn't want to do them. Maybe they blamed it on the Parents. Think about this Career Path of Person A (8 years after graduation): Anna University -> MIT M.S -> IBM Watson Lab -> Wharton MBA-> McKinsey. Career Path of Person B(8 years after graduation): Anna University(Gold Medalist) -> Infosys Project Manager. The difference between them was not ability but preference. Person B realized that at a later stage and rued the loss of that window of opportunity. He called person A lucky. When that was not really the case. The audience do not see these preference investments that happened much before success was met. The audience only sees the results and based upon some superficial interaction -- they decide the successful person was lucky. Hey! if Bad luck was the only thing preventing your success then the story is believable maybe for one instance. But if a person quotes bad luck all the time, then he is due for a serious introspection. He needs to change his habits.
Changing habits is the toughest thing to do. Because that involves a swallowing a huge lump of ego down your throat. You are actually accepting that your preferences/attitude/thoughts/perceptions were wrong when you change your habits. And believe me its a good thing to do. This is what experts constantly call re-invention. I heard someone mention "you are lucky to have been involved in charity for past 5 years. You got a Harvard admit". I was thinking "wait a minute! That's not luck. That's an investment that paid off". 5 years in charity is no joke. It is the blind and the foolish who attribute everything to luck. You make your own good luck and bad luck. Deep investigation always contradicts the luck factor. Look around you and see all the successful people -- they had the essential attributes that bought them success. Successful people have an environment around them which is filled with the right attributes. They are like the package set of right things. Check if you are winner or a loser by questioning your thoughts on their success. Do you think everybody is lucky? Are you successful. If yes, then do you think you are lucky? Apply the same law to everybody around you.
If P then Q is a basic logic theory. Its useful for GRE preparation. If it is given that -- If P exists then Q will exist -- then what is the corollary? The corollary is If No Q then No P. Not the other way around. i.e you cannot say If No P then No Q. This is false. Q can exist alone. But if P has to be there then Q has to be present. So if P = Success and Q = the attributes that go into making a person successful. Then If P is there then Q will be there. If No Q is there P will not be there (barring a few very very rare exceptions). Q can exist alone as a result of certain abnormal circumstances which is also confused as bad luck. Q will not exist alone for a long time. If you have the right Q then P will certainly be around the corner.