And he WAS just a simple farm boy.
In fact, Luke Skywalker had only been away from his home for a month when he destroyed the Death Star.
Think about that.
One moment you’re lending a hand on your uncle’s moisture farm and a few weeks later you’re the galaxy’s ultimate hero.
It’s easy to overlook how big a deal this is, and just what a hero Luke ACTUALLY IS. I mean, the whole ‘force’ thing makes the victory look like a cakewalk.. In fact, most major accomplishments look like easy from the outside.
Left and right in our own galaxy, success is labeled as luck. Shark-Tank entrepreneurs and Who Wants To Be a Millionaire contestants alike suffer through behind-the-scenes work before their apparent ‘luck’ kicks in.
It’s not luck
These people aren’t lucky. On the surface it appears they’ve stumbled into the ultimate jackpot, but that’s NEVER the case. In actuality, they’ve discovered the secret to success.. There’s a quote I’d like to share with you:
Reread that. Actually, reread it a few times. Let it really sink in. It’s the internet, I can totally wait for you.
Done? Success occurs at the nexus of preparation and opportunity. We’re actually presented with dozens of opportunities hourly. Opportunities that will bring success, opportunities that will introduce us to the love of our life, or will net us millions of dollars.
An opportunity presented itself to you this morning while you were getting coffee and you overheard that guy talk about his tech start-up. Another opportunity presented itself when you walked by the “help wanted” sign and again when you passed by the “Out Of Order” sign.
All of these opportunities slip through your fingers. You probably didn’t even see them as opportunities. You didn’t have the preparation in place to recognize what you were walking past.
Money never made.
In the original Star Wars film, Luke Skywalker didn’t thwart the evil empire because he was in the right place at the right time. He didn’t succeed because “the force is strong” in him. There are a few indicators throughout the movie that PROOVE just how dedicated Luke was to excellent. Even on a desert planet run by gangsters, he was doing some serious preparations.
In the scene on Yavin when they’re covering the Death Star’s weak spot, Luke speaks up:
General Dodonna: “The target area is only two meters wide”
Red 2: “That’s impossible, even for a computer!”
Luke: “It’s not impossible. I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home, they’re not much bigger than two meters.”
It had been revealed earlier in the film that all of Luke’s friends had already left Tatooine and joined the Imperial Naval Academy. Despite not being able to train under experienced pilots, Luke let experience become his teacher and used what he had.
Sure, he was killing defenseless animals with a space laser, but it looks like that’s just the sort of training he needed for the mission. During the actual attack on the Death Star, Luke is forced to enter the trench at a much faster speed than initially anticipated.
Biggs: “Luke, at that speed will you be able to pull out in time?”
Luke: “It’ll be just like beggars canyon back home!”
Once again, Luke’s unorthodox training saved the day.
It wasn’t magic that won the battle; It wasn’t Obi-wan or Leia that landed the finishing blow. It was Luke’s behind the scenes dedication that scored the victory. Outsiders have a habit of attributing success to ‘chance’ or ‘luck’ or ‘divine will’ or ‘the force’.
No, this success was caused by opportunity meeting preparation.
Yes, It DOES Eventually Pay Off
Yes, the hard work IS hard.
It’s especially difficult because the finish line isn’t in front of you. It’s not even in sight. Hell, it hasn’t even been drawn yet. While you’re sweating away it’s easy to feel like you’re standing still. The hard work DOES pay off… your opportunity will come, and you’ll get your reward.
It happened to me.
My last semester of college, I was interning at my dream job: an advertising agency. I was responsible for all the boring stuff: labeling boxes, managing shipment logs, organizing footage, cataloguing tapes.
But I never stopped honing my skill.
Every night I’d go home and practice. While my friends were blowing off steam, I was devouring tutorials. When I was called a loser for not hitting the local bars, I held steadfast and studied the greats. My day eventually came.
It was almost noon and the lead editor wasn’t there yet. Somebody had to sit with the clients and make changes to the commercial. After another half hour of waiting, my boss approached me, and asked if I knew how to do what they were asking.
I knew my stuff. I had been training myself for an opportunity like this for years. I stepped up, and knocked it out the park. Guess who got hired that quarter?
It wasn’t The Force that guided me, it was my practice shooting at womp rats and racing through Beggar’s Canyon.
Are You Prepared?
Every night before you sleep, what are you doing? Are you ‘blowing off steam’? Playing video games? Watching TV? Or are you preparing for your opportunity?
I promise you, the opportunity WILL come, even though you can’t see it right now. I’m going to leave you with a quote from one of the most quoted men on the internet: