When watching those dancing or singing competition television shows, I am reminded of the relationship between fate and hard work. It is rare that winning contestants acknowledge their own hard work, but when they do, I perk up.

Those who only credit circumstance, talent or fate as the reason for their successes are minimizing the effects of their own effort. These are often the same people who use the following excuses:

  1. “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”
  2. “I’m not smart enough or talented enough to do any better than I am now”
  3. “It’s not fair; why don’t good things happen to me?”

When I was younger, I used to feel guilty about my successes. There were people in my life who seemed to think it was their job to keep me from enjoying my achievements; that somehow I wasn’t responsible for them.

But I was responsible. If I won a position at work, it was because I studied and prepared for my interviews. If I received recognition, it was because I focused on my employers objectives and helped them reach their goals.

Fate may bring us to a certain place but our decision to proceed in a particular direction and our hard work to learn and improve is what keeps us moving forward.

It’s a rare person who succeeds without hard work. Talent will only get us so far. At some point, talent isn’t enough.

We often find ourselves surrounded by people who aren’t happy with their lot in life; people who feel entitled to have more without working for it; and even people who believe that G-d or the Universe will provide for them if they just pray for or think about what they want often enough.

I believe that you need to ask for what you want…and I believe that you have to work for what you’ve asked for in order to receive it. The work may have been done years before your goal is realized, but you still did the work.

If you’re on the road to achieving your goals, and someone tries to trivialize your efforts, take a look at where they are in their lives before you accept their assessment of yours. Real friends will ask what they can do to help you; or they’ll cheer for you along the way.

My favourite proverb is: The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.

I rarely let anyone interrupt me. How about you? Are you being interrupted? Or has fate and hard work brought you to exactly where you want to be?