You can make your own luck!

There is an interview that I think about often.  It was a sportscaster interviewing a football player who was sitting on the sidelines for a very long time and got called up from the bench to play.  I don’t remember the specifics but I remember the circumstances that led him to play were described as “he got lucky”.  What struck me was his take on being lucky.  He acknowledged that it was luck that got him off the bench, but it was his preparation and hard work that allowed him to succeed in that lucky break.

We often hear stories of famous athletes, actors, artists, authors, inventors and entrepreneurs who caught their “big break” and achieved “overnight success”.  To the rest of us it might seem that they got lucky.  It’s more likely that it took many days, months and years of hard work before anyone knew their name.  

“Being in the right place at the right time.” There is something to be said for that.  I’m sure we have all had those experiences where we felt lucky because we found a dollar bill on the street or spotted an eagle in the sky.  We all know people who seem to attract luck, whether it be winning the lottery, finding the love of their life, scoring a great job or a big win at the casino.  They seem to have been born with a lucky streak.

For those of us not born with a lucky streak, there are ways we can make our own luck.  One way is to prepare.  This can be in the form of training, education, practice and experience.  You never know when you will get that call, that email, that opportunity.  The better prepared you are for it, the greater the chances of luck happening “because” of you.

I remember receiving a call from a former boss who was supposed to go on a work trip to Ireland.  At the last minute something came up and he needed someone else from the department to go who he could trust to do a good job.  I happened to be the one with a current passport and off I went.  Was I in the right place at the right time?  Was I lucky?  Yes. I was also prepared.

Psychologist Richard Wiseman who is noted to be a “luck expert” was cited in entrepreneur magazine about a presentation he made to the London Business Forum about creating your own luck.  He suggests that “Luck is not something that happens to you, it is something that you create.”

He goes on to say that lucky people are very positive, when they see an opportunity they make the most of it.  When bad things happen they are very resilient and they bounce back.  While unlucky people tend to be very fatalistic and convinced they are going to experience bad luck so there is no point in preparing (I’m going to fail anyway so why bother studying) and that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  

He explains that there is a psychology where people create their own good and bad luck. About 82 percent of lucky people are prepared to work hard and create their good luck.

Aside from your attitude and approach to life, your actions can help you attract more luck. 

Inc. Magazine offers 5 ways you can make that happen.

  1. Be an opportunity magnet:  Let people know what you want and what you are looking for such as a new job.  As word moves throughout your network of colleagues, friends, and relatives, chances are you will be presented with a number of opportunities.
  2. Loosen up:  The best opportunities, and the greatest sources of luck, often arrive from unexpected places at unexpected times. Be open to possibilities rather than shutting them down.
  3. Be outgoing:  You’ve got to put yourself out there and talk to people.  The more outgoing you are, the more opportunities and luck you will attract.
  4. Be flexible:  The more flexible you are with your future possibilities, the more luck you will bring into your life.
  5. Don’t be afraid to fail:  ​​The faster you fail and move on, the faster you will ultimately succeed. 

Whether it be the “Luck of the Irish” or that lucky break you’ve worked so hard for, keep your eyes open for opportunities and four leaf clovers!


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