“Some people have all the luck.”
“I’m just unlucky in love.”
“She just got lucky.”
Is luck a story you tell yourself?
How empowering is that story?
Yes: some things come down to the luck of the draw.
You can’t control what you started out with.
Sometimes good (or bad) things happen to you that could have just as easily not happened to happen.
You can’t control certain aspects of who you are, even if you wanted to.
Right now, though, I want to focus on the things you can control.
If you “get” these 9 things that are totally within your control, chances are you’ll get lucky, too.
1. Get real. It’s easy to assume that people who have the things we want are just lucky. To a large extent, though, luck is a myth. Many seemingly “lucky” occurrences are the result of a series of conscious or unconscious choices.
How true is it that the people you envy or see as successful are “just plain lucky”? When it comes to “overnight successes,” sometimes all we see is the sudden skyrocketing to success. In reality, though, most so-called overnight successes happen after many, many days and nights of trying, experimenting, honing, failing, bouncing back, and choosing over and over again to keep going. (You just can’t always know what is going on behind the scenes.)
Of course, some people seem to have advantages that we can’t help but covet. In these situations, it’s easy to throw up your hands and say, “If only I had ___’s money,” or, “If only I had ___’s family.” It’s not so easy to roll up your sleeves and work with what you’ve got.
While we can’t control what happens to us, we do get to decide how we receive what happens to us. We also get to set the stage for what we want, and take actions that make “luck” more likely.
If you really want to get lucky, lose the victim energy. Take responsibility for your own choices and your own success. Be the hero of your life.
2. Get clear. If you know what you’re looking for, you’ll be much more likely to spot it when it appears. Getting clear on what you want creates a sort of filter through which you see the world—and the opportunities in it. Clarity of purpose makes you more aware when those opportunities come knocking. It’s like your radio has been tuned to a certain frequency, and you can pick up signals that you wouldn’t otherwise.
For example, so many of the career changers I’ve coached experience a tipping point, when suddenly everything stops looking like a dead end and starts looking like an opportunity. This tipping point often feels like a sudden click, but is actually the result of all the foundational work and investment they’ve made in getting clear on what they want and taking action to create it. Once they have a unifying purpose and mission in life, they are able to see how the world is conspiring to support them.
Clarifying your purpose and tuning your radio station accordingly can result in big wins.
3. Get open/get over yourself! We humans have this crazy tendency to think we know what is supposed to happen—the “right” partner should look a certain way or come into our lives in a certain way. That one job is the only one that could make us happy.
If you are so attached to how you think things should go—so fixated on how the right thing will look—you’ll likely miss tons of opportunities that come by. For example, if you believe that the only possible “win” from going on a date is meeting your soul mate, you may lose out on all of the other possible wins that could come from connecting with that person sitting across from you. If you believe the only real success that can come out of a networking event is a new client, you may miss all kinds of other beneficial—even lucky-—connections.
Here’s my favorite personal mantra that I use to get in a good mindset when venturing into an event or opportunity. It helps me to be open to all the possible unexpected gifts:
I can always count on a win, but I can’t yet know what the win will be.
This actually gets at the positive energy behind a luck mindset—because it has to do with trusting the universe to continue providing us with gifts and direction, if only we are open to them.
When you detach from a particular outcome in a particular scenario, you can be open to whatever gifts present themselves.
4. Get positive. Cultivate an abundance mindset. If you have optimism that good things are coming—that the world is full of opportunities for you—you’re much more likely to spot and seize those opportunities.
If you need a model for this, just watch a dog walking its owner down the street, and anthropomorphize away. Do you see how thrilled that dog seems to take each step—how excited that puppy looks to round each corner? It’s like they’re saying, “Ooooh! I wonder what’s next! This is awesome! This is the best day EVER! Ooh! Ooh! Look at THAT!”
Luck is largely about attitude. Cultivate the belief that awesomeness is available all around you, and you’ll probably find it.
5. Get in shape. Are you really ready for what you want? When the opportunities do appear, “lucky” people are prepared for them. This can mean taking steps to be at your best:
- physically—getting enough sleep, exercise, and nourishing food;
- emotionally—getting support you need and developing practices that keep you emotionally and spiritually grounded;
- environmentally—getting your home/physical environment organized in a way that supports who you are and what you want;
- financially—getting clear on your finances and making intentional choices with your money that help you build a solid foundation;
- relationally—investing in and nurturing relationships that support you
Take care of yourself and the different aspects of your life in such a way that you can readily say yes to the opportunities that appear.
6. Get vulnerable (AKA get brave). Sometimes taking advantage of opportunities requires you to take risks and open yourself up to possible failure. People who are lucky are also people who are open to letting go of control. That could mean being brave enough to feel the fear of stepping onto a larger stage, or going to an event alone, or saying yes to leadership opportunity that scares you…and do it anyway.
“Lucky” people are often people who are afraid of failure but still choose to get in the game. If you don’t play, you can’t win.
7. Get attuned. Learn to tune into your intuition and listen to what it says. Sometimes it’s okay not to know why. Follow your nose and you might be surprised at how “lucky” you get. You have an inner GPS for a reason.
(This includes listening to yourself when you need to take a break and get out of the game once in a while.)
8. Get involved. Yes, there is such a thing as being in the right place at the right time—but you greatly enhance your chances of that happening if you get yourself in places and use your time intentionally.
You’re more likely to move forward in most areas if you leave the safety of your nest and get out there. Say yes to the opportunities that present themselves. Every person you meet has the potential to connect you to a new world, a new perspective, a new opportunity, or another new person.
“Lucky” people do stuff.
9. Get grateful. I have seen it again and again and again, in my own life and in the lives of people I work with: when we are appreciative and mindful of all the good that we already have, we tend to attract more goodness into our lives.
“Lucky” people focus on what they have (inside and out), and build from there. While you’re working toward goals not yet realized, be sure to develop a mindset of gratitude for all that’s already right—for all that you already have—for all that you already are.
Photo by Bill Selak