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Success = Preparation + Opportunity


Chance favors only prepared minds. Louis Pasteur

We do not control the opportunities that come our way, what we control is our way of seizing them as best we can.

Fortune favors the bold, it is said, and one might add that it favors those who train every day. Since we cannot pull the strings of destiny, what we need to focus on is our ability to improve in the field we are interested in. Being competent is one thing, being excellent is quite another. When you have a clear idea of what you want, you increase the likelihood of giving yourself the means to become irreproachable in your work. In order to be successful, you have to optimize your chances of seizing the opportunity that comes your way. One’s destiny can change and take a completely different trajectory if he or she seizes the chance that is offered to them. Imagine you are a soldier in peacetime. Nothing forces you to train hard, all signals are green, your country has no rivals, and so everything can lead you to believe that it’s okay to let yourself go. Now imagine that diplomatic relations between your country and one of its neighbors deteriorate and that your nation is increasingly considering armed conflict. Do you think you can be at the level of an impending confrontation in a few weeks and still win if you have not trained hard the last few years?

This situation shows the importance of always being prepared to face danger or seize an opportunity. When you think that the worst or the best (an opportunity) can happen, you suddenly change your mindset about how you train.

Therefore, it is appropriate to:
Train in your field as if an opportunity will pass before your eyes soon.
Make sure you are always ready to respond positively to positive circumstances.
Success is intimately linked to your preparation and your propensity to seize the opportunities that come your way.

To accomplish this, you will need to do three things:
Identify what you want to excel at and thus make a career of
Work as hard as you can to become the best at it
Increase the serendipity in your life so that opportunities will arise in your area of expertise that you can then seize

If it helps, you may choose to use a well-known figure as a role model who exemplifies the qualities of perseverance and expertise. The world of science offers hundreds of examples of this. Are you more like Darwin, who seized the opportunity to travel around the world by boat and collected hundreds of specimens that gave rise to the idea of the evolution of species? Or are you more like Thomas Edison who did thousands of tests before concretizing his incandescent light bulb model? There are many figures from the past, you just have to pick one that looks a little like you to have a greater effect on you.

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