…then probability will occur.” – Elon Musk
Interviewing for my first job out of business school, I had the opportunity to speak with CHROs/SVPs of HR at several large cap companies during the course of the interview process.
For me, these people represented the apex of career accomplishment. To lead the people department at one of the world’s largest enterprises would be to find the pinnacle of success. As such, whenever an exec gave me the chance to ask him/her questions ,I asked them the one thing I really wanted to know most: “How did you do it?”
I did not expect to find a one-size-fits-all answer to this question, and indeed I didn’t; life is highly variable, and there are many ways to reach most given destinations. For this reason, the answer that most resonated with me was the answer that I (coincidentally?) received from CHRO at the company I eventually joined. He said to me (among other things) that “You have to get a little lucky.”
It took me quite a while to reach this place… but I am no longer uncomfortable with the uncertainty inherent to seeking great success, and you shouldn’t be either: To live life is to make a series of choices, each choice taking us to any one of several possible outcomes, only to face a new set of choices.
…There is no way to escape uncertainty; it is a part of life. With this in mind, don’t choose to live your life based on what is certain – almost nothing is. Instead, start with what’s possible and then let probability take its course.