Lucky people are often perceived as successful, as if their success is attributable to luck - to being in the right place at the right time. In reality though, we make our own luck. Here is how to do it.
If you feel lucky, it is because your open-minded mindset optimises the situations you encounter. Lucky people see situations differently - they see opportunities that other people might otherwise miss. Where there are positive outcomes, it could be attributed to luck. Where there are negative outcomes, rather than get down or disheartened, a lucky person can make the most of the opportunity to change course, correct, learn for the future, or even see a new door opening.
Have a mindset that sees the best in the experiences you encounter.
2. Availability for Luck
“Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity” - Seneca. Lucky people actually go out to seek luck - they know it doesn’t necessarily come to them. There are two points here - firstly taking action to be available for opportunity, and the second is to flexible enough to adapt when that situation arises, in order to capitalise on it. This might mean doing things or going places outside your normal routine. This is why people travel - exploring new places naturally increases good fortune by opening yourself up to new experiences.
Being super focused on one’s path and one’s goals is great. But too much focus might close down other opportunities. Acting on impulse now and again can be a great way to expand those opportunities to take us in a new direction, where serendipity can take over and luck can reign.
Saying yes to opportunities is a great way to increase your availability for luck.
Being grateful also increases luck as a result of being more positive, and you are more likely to be open to the experiences that are perceived as lucky. Being negative and closed shuts off these opportunities.
Be grateful for the little things that crop up and present themselves to you - you never know where they will lead. Rather than be resentful or frustrated towards a change or a hiccup, see it from all sides and find a positive angle to view it from.
4. Keep growing
Lucky people have a growth mindset. A growth mindset is a mindset which is always on the look out for new things to explore, to learn or to do, as opposed to a fixed mindset which assumes that this is your lot. Being up for discovery expands our capacity and our availability for opportunity. It might also be about not being afraid to make a mistake, and to recognise that any experience may be an opportunity to change or do something new - a good thing. A fixed mindset sees no way out, and is much more likely to be closed and negative, whereas a growth mindset will find the luck, the opportunity or the solution in any situation.
5. Feel the fear and do it anyway
Fear is often the feeling we get when we are doing something new, going in a new direction, or even considering it. Caving in to the fear is what keeps you playing small rather than rising up to meet the opportunities that exist on the other side of that fear. Being lucky might be about being in the right place at the right time, but what is critical is to have made the decision to get there regardless of the fear. Sometimes fear is a useful indicator, and it is designed to keep us safe. Fear is something we all get, but the distinction is how you interpret that fear and what you do next. Learning to take action and to manage the fear is a significant element in being available for luck.
6. Embrace Failure
Often the thing we are afraid of is failing, and that keeps us from getting outside of our comfort zone. And yet failure is the badge of honour in the business world - most successful entrepreneurs have tried and failed at something, if not multiple endeavours. Successful people know that the most important lessons and teachings are within the realm of failure. Practicing resilience in the face of failure is “character building”. These experiences teach us that we can survive, we can be independent and interdependent, and that it will be ok. This in turns gives us strength to not be afraid to try new things, and this is where the opportunity for growth and for deployment of luck exists in abundance.
In all these situations, it’s not really luck that is at play. It is you. It is the choices you make. When you start to take choices intentionally and consciously, all the doors in the world start to open.
Here are some practices to build resilience and increase exposure to those opportunities:
1. Activate. Make a list of things that you want, and go out and ask for them. Be ok to get No’s. The point is to ask, to take action. Fortune favours the bold.
2. Enjoy experiences by yourself - go for coffee, dinner, see a film. This stretches the courage muscle and being open to seize opportunities when they do arise.
3. Try gratitude journalling - at night, list 3 opportunities you noticed that day. As you do this more, you will see more and more opportunities. Research suggests that people who experience lucky situations are the ones who are exercising higher awareness of their surroundings.
Go forth, blaze your own trail, be lucky!