Monday, February 7, 2011

"The Harder I Work, the Luckier I Get"

If you follow me on twitter, you'll know that I saw a sign on a truck the other morning that said "The harder I work, the luckier I get". I was riding pillion on the bike while we were on the way to work, which is about the last place you expect to get inspiration, but it really struck a chord with me.

There have been a few times throughout the process of planning our European Adventure that Courts has said 'Maybe we should have thought about this more'. Usually times when an unexpected expense has come up and the Euro budget is reshuffled and we have a wee panic about how we're going to catch up - one of many ways Europe is helping us learn more about each other before we even get there. How so? Well, Courts has a panic and thinks we should have thought it through more. I, on the other hand, go 'She'll be right!' and keep planning. I have a feeling that despite his dreams of metal based kinship in lands far away, if it was up to him and 'thinking about it', we would still be thinking in several years time.

Now, I'm not saying my way is the right one because Courts has his own way of doing things and he is extremely smart and has many big achievements behind him, that I for one am very proud of. Never mind that my way of doing things sure has caused some trouble over the years! To sum it up though, my approach tends to be - 1) Decide what I want and 2) Get It.

Which brings me back to the sign on the truck. It is a slight pet peeve of mine when people tell me how lucky I am. Mind if I share an example? Last year I met Slash, my idol and hero of many years, and spent time - real time - talking to him and his band in their dressing room (with quite a few others, don't get any ideas!).

When I tell the story, so many people say 'Oh my god you're so lucky!'. No, I am not lucky. I've barely won a dollar on a scratch and win in my life. But I did get up at 3am, fly to another country (Australia) with nothing but a handbag, check into a hostel, and go straight to the stage door of the venue. I was there within an hour and half of landing, at 10am, and I was there, in the rain and freezing cold, for the next 9 hours, until the doors opened and I made front row with a sign carefully prepared by myself and my friends, begging Slash to sign me so I could get the autograph tattooed.

I enjoyed every second of the concert and then once again I patiently waited by the stage door. Myself and some very lovely people I made friends with in the queue, had met Slash's guitar tech, Chet, during the day after he heard how long we had been waiting. Chet was kind enough to take us down to the dressing rooms after the show to meet Slash, and my dreams came true, with the tattoo to prove it. I got back to the hostel at 3am and after emailing everyone at home, I slept terribly for 2 hours (trying not to smudge the as-yet-un-tattooed permanent marker) and then was back on a flight in the early hours of the next morning, bound for home (well, Eastside Tattoo actually).

Yes I am bragging. Come on, it was the highlight of my life. BUT, people, my point is - meeting Slash was not luck, I made it happen, and had it not happened that day, I had tickets to see him again in New Zealand the following weekend with a very similar plan.

Meeting Slash is not the only time I have made my own luck. I moved to the Gold Coast in Australia when I was 17, straight from High School, on my own, for a boy (I came home 2 years later). I've travelled across the USA. I have two beautiful animals and some beautiful things (made less beautiful by the perils of flatting but that's a whole other post). I've sung on stage when no one knew I could sing. I've seen much of Aussie and of course I have tickets to see much of Europe. I have a good paying job, I have followed a great career path, and I have an awesome future ahead of me.

My friends have success stories too, amazing long term relationships and marriages, musical success, health and weight loss success, amazing travel stories. I often think 'Gosh they're so lucky' before I remember there is no luck involved.

Despite the downs that have accompanied the many highs of my life, if these are the highlights of almost-25 years then I have lived a pretty good life.

Of course, I have had help. People who drop me off at the airport, a Mum who chases down a lost passport the day before a flight, dear friends that let me practice for auditions with them and one in particular who inspired me to try in the first place. I also have a substantial personal loan, which follows me round in my daily thoughts and will be the guest of honour at a huge party celebrating its demise one day (probably not long before I get a mortgage, ha!).

Anyway, I admit my flaws when I recognise them. One of them being that I jump into everything feet first and leave the carefully-thinking-things-through part out till last. Poor old Courts has been on a roller coaster of learning, trying to deal with that personality flaw of mine. But, for myself at least, I wouldn't have it any other way.

I see people make excuses every day as to why they haven't reached a goal, why they've given up on something or why they can't have what someone else has. What a load of rubbish! "The harder I work, the luckier I get". If you want something, you can have it. Decide on it, set it in stone, and then make it happen. No excuses! Or at least if you do have a hurdle in your way - get over it.