“Always stand as it were on guard, and mark the attacks and charges of Fortune long before she delivers them; she is only terrible to those whom she catches unawares; he who is always looking out for her assault, easily sustains it.” -Seneca
So, today is the day we often realize that the one thousand good habits we resolved to uphold on New Year’s Eve can become quite unsustainable without some careful planning.
On that last night of glee and vice you pledged to make yourself a better, stronger, healthier (fill in the blank) person. It doesn’t really matter what your resolution was that night. Today is often the day we will realize that what we hoped to achieve is far more difficult than we realized.
In this way Fortune—that strange and coincidental luck that spontaneously assists and hinders us—appears to slowly sneak up on us and steal our zeal for change until we give up the struggle to become something new and settle on remaining broken, unfulfilled or indifferent.
The truth is that Fortune isn’t involved in your success or failure. You alone hold that power. Careful preparation, resolve, patience and endurance are some of the virtues you can choose to embrace to overcome the obstacles in your path.
Yes, life at times will give you some unexpected grief and pain—if it hasn’t yet, it will—so we need to accept that truth. Pain and discomfort are part of our lives and are not to be avoided, but accepted as natural and right. Making plans to reduce that pain is all we can really do. The amazing truth is that by making those plans and by sticking to our goals, we actually can force ourselves to become more aware and better connected to our surroundings.
This means we not only become more aware of the dangers slowly approaching on the horizon, but we equally begin to notice the unseen opportunities in the chaos.
Remember, those who fail to plan tend blame their misfortunes on luck. That’s a shame. If you fail to take responsibility for holding yourself accountable to achieving greatness, you’re missing out on the real secret of success.
No one becomes great without planning, practice and pain.