Do you account for karma? Because hard work isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

You can clock the hours, give it your all, play by the rules. You can create the smartest, slickest, artful something that can be made. You can be the best guy for the job.

And after that — after you show up fully, then karma is going to kick in. Or The Fates, G-d, Angels, Destiny, Luck, Divine Energy, The Personal Beliefs That Engineer Your Reality. Call it what you want, there is a force operating beyond the material plane that’s impervious to worldly success formulas.

Take Harry Potter, for example.

There have been magical children’s series created before, just as good but uncelebrated. Or Fifty Shades of Grey — hardly the first erotica to get women wet. Or the year Esperanza Spalding, an unknown jazz bassist player beat out Justin Beiber for the Best New Artist Emmy. Underdogs who soar; right place, right time; came out of nowhere.

Then there’s these less pleasant dynamics: can never seem to get ahead; bad timing; so talented but…

For every big hit that we see, whether it’s a book, an Oscar winner, our co-worker’s promotion, or the runaway trend of the season, there are hundreds of other products, creations, and people just as meritorious and awesome. When I look at the phenomenon of Fifty Shades of Grey, I don’t see luck (because I don’t believe in luck.) And I don’t think that it’s success is about filling a cultural need, or simply good timing. I look at it and think, She’s got some damn good karma. And I’m happy for her.

We bring an energetic blueprint into this life. It can trump our sweat-pouring diligence, as well as against-all-odds circumstances. It influences our reality.

The good news is that we can choose to erase some old structures in ourselves, re-jig our karma, smash down a few limiting belief systems, but the first step is to realize that hard work is only half the equation of success — if that.

The rest is energetics.

 

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