Hard Work Brings Success… But Some Element Of Luck Is Always Needed

Last month was a sweet month, paving a fragrant flower-lined path towards the end of the year. Not only were friendships on point and animals healthy, but work was smooth-sailing and the after-work air was bouncy with the excitement of an upcoming tournament, which we eventually won.

Contrary to the run-up to most tournaments, this year was organised. The team was set early and the line-up was chosen more from a pyjama party A-list perspective rather than trying to put together a trophy-hungry competitive team. While the results could have gone either way, good dynamics proved to be of utmost importance. Even though early practices resulted in much bickering, the foundations made out of solid relationships prevailed and bad vibes were soon forgotten as quickly as they appeared. They say you are only as good as the company you keep, and true enough, with such precious company came the precious tournament trophy.

The uniforms were also designed in advance, with ample time for vetting and revisions. Despite multiple rounds of requests filled with echoes of pink and fluorescence, it was decided that red would be the best and luckiest colour to play in, according to Feng Shui. Importantly though, the team name and team members’ names could not be printed in red as this would be a bad omen. Instead, black or dark grey was to be used. This was surprising to a Feng Shui layman such as myself, and a good point to note for all future endeavours.

Being Singaporean, I have traditionally thought that the key to success is to master a checklist of lucky elements, and to overload on them in any way possible. Apparently a very wrong approach, and I stand corrected. In the same way that too much salt and pepper, though necessary for a good dish, can ruin that same dish, so too can Feng Shui elements ruin your luck if not used strategically and in the right way. Red may be a lucky colour, but writing your name in it is counterproductive, it seems. The designs were finally finalised and sent to print, in accordance with all good luck Feng Shui principles in existence, and sure enough the victory came.

Much hard work and practice was also put in, mind you. While you can do your best to create good karma, there is nothing like hard honest work to achieve the results you so want. Indeed, every 5pm was the start of an exciting afternoon to lock in intensely sweaty training sessions, amidst battling rush hour traffic to get to the practice ground while praying for good weather and incessantly checking Yahoo! weather (figuratively speaking of course, because no one uses their phone while they drive unless hunting for Pokemons).

Through all the stress and chaos however, nothing seemed like a chore. The saying goes you should do what you like, and like what you do, and this was a classic case of it. Whilst our bosses would surely not concur with the first half of the saying, it is undeniable that enjoyment was the key to success. Ironically, the tournament was in aid of breast cancer, and when you think about how short life can be, it makes sense to work towards doing what you like to do in life, so as to make every moment count. And in this case, it really did, because tournament victory was waiting around the corner for us.


The tournament itself ran beautifully. Tournaments this late in the year always run the risk of being a washout, literally, with the coming monsoons, and yet the final day was filled with a clear cool summer breeze with but a quick recalcitrant shower a few hours before the match started. Coincidence or contrived, it was a beautiful afternoon with many spectators remarking how the weather was reflective of a summer’s day in Europe rather than a Saturday in South East Asia.

They say a weatherman had been arranged to ensure nice weather, but can it really be so that a person can control the weather against all odds? The obvious answer is no, and yet you have to wonder sometimes. At the very least, there is no harm in letting the believers will the desired outcome to happen, whilst you remain neutral and call it good karma. Whatever your religion or beliefs, it is nice to know that there is a higher recourse and why criticise or question whether that includes the control of weather. Just smile with the sun and let karma take its course.

And so we won. Albeit due to good organisation or Feng Shui or karma, we achieved what we set out to do and victory was the sweetest tasting chocolate to end the month with. Despite my slight attention deficit tendencies, and though I may rebelliously not admit it, I do believe hard work pays off in the end. However, the efforts need to be channelled in the right way and I believe good organisation and strategy is crucial to any plan.

But most of all, some element of luck is needed. One can only prepare and do so much, but if a tyre punctures then you cannot get to where you want to go. And in this way, luck was on our side in the form of bright red shirts and anything-but-red names, and a beautifully cooling afternoon for both participants and spectators to enjoy the tournament. Thank you to Feng Shui and karma, we could not have done it without you.