“The harder I work, the luckier I get.” – Samuel Goldwyn Depending on your media diet, you’re hit with varying degrees of existential human crisis. Some of us are doomscrolling right to the end of the world. There are undeniable shifts that are going on in our lifetime, and I’ve wondered what it will mean to grow up today relative to the past.
There are few guarantees, but the progression of humanity will bring with it a unique and irreplicable experience at every step. Beyond the geopolitical drama and the immediate societal impact of an unprecedented modern pandemic, millennials and younger generations will continue to lag behind their boomer counterparts in terms of opportunity and wealth.
Many have had to trade in a lot of things that were common stays amongst a particular cohort such as homeownership, marriage and family. But now, the real question arises: are we simply at the mercy of timing? Currently, that is. Are new opportunities being forged in this chaos and uncertainty? I suspect that my story may might across as one of steady rise and success? The last few years may have looked pretty eventful on paper. But to be honest, the two or three years of MAEKAN were its hardest. It felt like we were stuck in mud, with a lot of fuel in the tank but spinning our tires relentlessly.
I’ve talked openly about our challenges, but there’s something else that also allowed me to continue onwards: timing. MAEKAN arguably came too early, but the diligence behind the product and the unwavering belief it would work would be a good set-up for where we are now, in tandem with Adam Studios. I’ve looked back on a lot of my pivotal moments in life and, as much as we’d like to claim our personal talents and abilities as the driving force behind our success, there is a copious amount of timing that defines our paths.
A big inspiration behind this topic was a candid conversation Alex and I had while eating dinner at a friend’s place. It was a simple “what do you want to do? What are we going to do next?” Alex and I can shoot the shit over everything but rarely talk about more personal things. It dawned on me during that split second: everything that led up to that conversation was arguably marked by critical moments of important and impeccable timing. Two kids from their respective suburbs in Georgia and Alberta met in Hong Kong and formed a lifelong partnership and friendship.
We all had our own decisions that allowed us to share the same space at the same time. Many decisions are the by-product of two parties coming to some consensus. Any two parties are often walking down different paths, but opportunities appear whenever the right timing allows those paths to intersect. Whether you believe that we might live in a simulation (and let’s be real, 2020 was off the chains so far) or simply think there’s a level of pre-determinism, we remain at the peril of timing. We all have different appetites for pain, frustration, and stagnation.
But until that time comes, as we’re grinding away to little fanfare and momentum, it’s the genuine passion that keeps the wheels moving. Passion has this paradoxical positioning in our lives. On the one hand, it can push us to devalue our time because we’re passionate about the outcome or project. It can also buy us time or create a runway because honestly and excuse the analogy, but eating shit has never tasted better when sprinkled with passion. Passion is our fuel through the dark moments in our lives.
It may never always be that definitive shining light that illuminates the path, but it sure keeps our head above water. I think about all the times when I felt like I was in round 15 of a 12-round bout. I needed something to drag my ass out of bed, or help catch myself when I felt like everything was pointless. When you identify that one thing that can push you through adversity, because yes, it will come, it feels like a cheat code.
It’s the reason why I didn’t put things down far earlier, only to finally reap the benefits of those opportunities that started to mount. At some point, you hope to get so big you’re simply too big and too good to ignore. The quote above by Samuel Goldwyn, “the harder I work, the luckier I get,” serves as the title of this piece. While it’s not a direct 1-to-1 representation, work represents passion and luck equates to timing. It’s the same function.
Not everybody has the ability to monetize their passions, but this isn’t the point. The point is that passion, which can manifest itself through all facets of life, provides us the fuel and purpose to get us where we need to go. And with each checkpoint along the way, it becomes an opportunity to experience and/or make a positively impactful decision. We’re all familiar with the adage, “you can’t buy time,” but you can use passion as the currency to get you opportunity.