Plucky or Lucky, You Decide

UPDATED: April 22, 2013
PUBLISHED: April 22, 2013

So often people tell me that I’m lucky. Lucky to have an exciting career. Lucky to work with phenomenal people. Lucky to have a healthy family.

While there’s no denying any of that, much of what I’ve created and received hasn’t been drawn from sheer good fortune. Instead of attributing it to being lucky, I’d say it’s a lot more about being plucky.

I admit I wasn’t quite sure what that word meant when my father-in-law affectionately used it to describe me. It’s an adjective that means, “Having or showing determined courage in the face of difficulties.” Synonyms include daring, fearless, spirited, resolute, audacious and even spunky.

Not sure that I’d call myself spunky, but I know for sure that I’ve faced countless challenges—more frequently than I care to admit—and it’s through sheer determination that I’ve been able to break through to the other side—the happy, successful one.

Waiting for luck is akin to planning to pay your mortgage with your anticipated lotto winnings. Bad idea. Luck is rare and elusive… somewhat out of our control.

Pluck, on the other hand, is the very opposite, and it’s totally within your reach. It’s about taking control and making your goals a reality. I’ll take pluck over luck every time.

If you’ve ever bet on yourself, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you’re ready to take control of your career reins, I can promise you that pluck will serve you better than luck no matter what you face or where you want to go.

So what are you waiting for? What holds you back today? Instead of waiting for things to happen—stuff that’s often out of your control—what plucky actions can you take right now to get where you want to go?

Tory Johnson is CEO and founder of Spark & Hustle, a weekly contributor on ABC's Good Morning America and a contributing editor of SUCCESS magazine.