If Something Works Out The Way You Wanted It, You Don’t Get Bragging Rights

I mean, it’s ok to enjoy, but claiming too much personal contribution to any project, or goal, isn’t very accurate. Yet, we have this tendency to brag, even ingenuously, about the things we did, about our accomplishments, about our successes. I call this tendency “post success bias”. It’s like after everything actually worked out, we start to breed this conviction that we always knew it will work out. Which is obviously not true. Nothing is done until is actually done, you know.

Just to be clear, I’m talking about really consistent projects here, like becoming financial resilient, or location independent, not about brushing your teeth kind of projects.

Anyway, any time we get to accomplish something big, our first emotional choice should be gratitude, not contentment (or, worse, complacency). And I’m not saying this because gratitude seems to be cool these days, or because this is the “right” thing we should lean towards to (both are true, by the way: luckily, gratitude is kind of a big thing lately, and it is the right thing to do).

But the deeper, more important cause for gratitude as the first choice after finishing something big is something else.

Namely, our own limitations. Our own incapacity to know everything and our inability to execute perfectly. Which makes every big accomplishment even more precious.

Most of the time, things are working out for us not because of what we know, and of what we are capable of. But because unexpected, unseen in the beginning, even unfathomable factors, are all serendipitously compounding to make things happening.

How many times you thought you were never gonna make it, then something “lucky” happened? How many times a friend unexpectedly showed up? How many times you got some piece of inspiration from random people? Each and every time something like this is happening, just realize it’s not you. It’s the luck, it’s the friend, it’s the inspiration. You had nothing to do with that. It was outside of your control. Most likely, when you engaged on that project, you had absolutely no idea something like this will come your way and make things easier.

Every time we succeed at something, there’s a significant part of unexpected, lucky stuff that contributed to that, and, every now and then, we get to see those events, or meet those persons. But just think about how many things you’re not aware of, how many people you’ve never met are contributing each day – what am I saying, each second – to the fabric of reality that eventually sustains everything you do.

Every outcome in your life is the effect of innumerable causes and conditions.

Yes, you have some part to play in this.

But that doesn’t mean you should take credit for it. Instead, you should be grateful for all the other things that made it possible.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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