Feeling a little unlucky lately? Want the secret to being lucky? You have it already – it’s you. The secret to improving luck is about perspective, self-belief and erring on the side of optimism. It isn’t about winning huge pots of cash – it’s about making the most of the wonderful blessings already surrounding you. Here are some thoughts for making your own luck grow.
1. Prepare. “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity,” said Seneca, Roman dramatist, philosopher and politician, 5 BC – 65 AD. If you have the groundwork in place you can take advantage of the opportunities that come your way. Be proactive.
2. Network. Lucky people know people. They don’t have to be everyone’s bosom buddy but it is the art of being open to many new people that counts. Practice feeling comfortable talking to strangers when you are out and about. Actively listen to them when you strike up a conversation because you can often learn a lot and they will remember that you appreciated what they had to say. This can translate into opportunities; the more people you meet and the more people you display genuine interest in, the more your likelihood of meeting the right people at the right times.
3. Trust your instincts. That little inner voice is often right and lucky people know this. You will also know when your “common sense” or “reason” are trying to override the lucky hunch. When this happens, take a moment aside to sit and think things through clearly and uninterrupted. Consider whose voices are speaking to you when you are faced with overriding intuition – is it your own trustworthy voice or is it the voices of others’ expectations – a spouse, a boss, a friend?
4. Take it easy. Anxiety and worry are enemies of luck. They introduce a factor that says “Be very risk averse” and “Whoa there! Hold back now!” You won’t be stumbling across luck while you are too busy hiding out. When opportunities come, you need to notice them and you need to seize them. A lucky person believes in now as being as important as tomorrow and much more so than yesterday. Don’t be held back by ghosts of failure – they were just learning experiences. Tomorrow will always come whatever happens, so do your best to enjoy today so that tomorrow has a standard to match!
5. Be ready for new opportunities. The more open you are to novel ideas and new ways of doing things, the more likely it is that you will strike it lucky. Lucky people don’t plod along methodically; while that guarantees a safe and secure path, lucky people take the path less known and meet all sorts of amazing opportunities along the way. Put your foot on that path now… try something you have never done before, try something you have convinced yourself you would hate, try something that someone else has suggested you try. Be bold.
6. Be an eternal optimist. Expect the best. Yes, anyone can do this and why not? This is all about being positive and creating the outcomes that you want most. Lucky people are optimistic and they expect that good things will happen to them. Heard the mantra “only good things happen to me?” Well, probably not, as most of us tend to whine “why do all the bad things happen to me?!” Stop that right now and start expecting the best. Instead of choosing to wallow and feel rotten about things that go wrong, look for life’s lessons in the experience and look for new solutions that grow out of the bad experience. Dwelling on horrible events in your life gives them great power over you, stifling your growth and stomping on your luck. When you view the world in this manner, even if Lady Luck does call, you’re likely to sabotage it because that suits your negative mindset.
7. Never stop learning. This is related to staying open to new opportunities. Unlucky people think their learning stopped at school or university. Lucky people realize that that was just the beginning and that life is one huge university. Soak it all up; even the stuff you find hard, boring, or uncomfortable. It really makes your life a whole lot more exciting and helps you to understand where others are coming from. Aiming to understand a wide range of perspectives makes it easier for you to forgive people and to see their points of view. Knowing this enables you to weave others’ motivations into how you approach life and treat them with respect.
Adapted from How to Improve Your Luck.