I’m not a religious person, and I won’t insult you by pretending to be particularly “spiritual.” I just believe in being as Good as possible to people as often as I can. It’s my version of Humanism, which can be pretty harsh sometimes. Kind of like Mother Nature. Related in a roundabout way, I suppose I believe somewhat in Karma – does that make me religious? Maybe I’ll just say that what goes around (eventually) comes around. Secular enough? But I do believe in the idea of Luck. And it irritates me when people don’t give Luck its due.
“When I thought I couldn’t go on, I forced myself to keep going. My success is based on persistence, not luck.” ~ Estee Lauder
I came across this image and quotation in my Facebook stream or timeline or whatever it’s being called these days, and I hated it immediately. Perhaps because of the backlash from when Obama said “You Didn’t Build That.” Or maybe it had to do with people thinking they deserve wealth more than others because they worked harder than anyone else. (Which, if you’ve never been a house cleaner or assembly line worker or muckraker, you can’t really say.) And maybe it’s because of the horrific coloring – which I’ve adjusting here to make even worse.
Now, I know that perhaps Estee Lauder is talking only about her own success, and I don’t know enough about the hardships she has endured to say whether she had few lucky breaks. But this quotation is now being shared by others, and judging from all the “likes” – so much persistence to LIKE all that stuff! – people seem to feel that they are in the “it wasn’t luck, it was persistence” camp as well. And that’s not okay.
I’m not saying that someone with success DID NOT work. I’m happy to be able to say with no irony that I consider myself successful. I also consider myself very hardworking, and I consider myself extremely lucky. One does not negate the others. Personally, I believe that taking advantage of opportunities equals success. And that’s where the persistence comes in. Someone may be consistently hardworking, but without a break – or starting out in a lucky place – it’s a much tougher hill to climb. And maintaining success is not the same thing as achieving it.
Anyway, I just wish she had switched up the “NOT” with “AND” in her explanation of how her success developed. What do you think?