I read The Alchemist during a formative point of my life. I was a teenager on a subway in New York City vehemently nodding my head every time Coelho wrote about the universe conspiring in our favor.
Since then, I’ve believed in beginner’s luck as the Universe’s nod that you’re on the right path. It took me a while to understand that when the Universe stops nodding, it doesn’t mean it’s stopped being on your side. It’s waiting to see what you do with what it’s left at your doorstep.
Making the decision to keep going can be hard when you feel the magic of beginner’s luck wearing off. It doesn’t necessarily feel like the world is against you, at least not yet, but it can feel like there’s nothing going for you. You want to write, but you can’t sit down long enough to do so. There’s a desire to have something to share with the world, but you can’t clear your mind enough to know what that something should be.
In a matter of hours you can go from being your strongest ally to becoming your worst enemy.
You recognize the voice your impostor syndrome is speaking because it’s turned into your own. You’re angry. You’re disappointed. Most of all you’re sad.
Your defeatist attitude isn’t one you seem able to shake off no matter how many other fingers point at the silver linings.
When you’re up against one of these moments, the best thing you can do is stop and reach for all the Universe did provide for you. The tools and your new starting point are there.
Any time you start believing that passion is only momentum-motivated, remind yourself it’s a skill that you own, hone, and can tap into. Don’t see bursts of inspiration as your only means for an outcome. Think of the projects you’re proud of that were born out of days when you felt the lowest. They are proof that the Universe isn’t the one who stops being on your side — it’s you.
I don’t blame you, but I do hold you responsible for attempting as many restarts as are needed.
It’s easy to forget you have agency. The creative rollercoaster you’re on is full of thrills, but you also have levers. You can stop it or restart it whenever makes sense for you.
I like the idea of feeling like the Universe is on my side because sometimes the Universe is the only one who really gets my wild ideas and their viability. We all need a champion in our corner who is rooting for us. Eventually though we need to become a member of that cheer squad if we want longetivity more than we crave adrenaline-giving spurts.
The next time you think of the Universe or beginner’s luck, think too of commitment. It if it’s committing to you, you need to commit as well.
That’s where the real luck rests.