How To Be Lucky

Have you ever had a friend or associate get a big promotion or win an award or land a huge account and you wonder how it happened? You might say “she was just in the right place at the right time.” Or “he must have known somebody.” Or “he/she was just lucky.”

You may have heard people say, “I’d rather be lucky than good.” But luck often comes to those who are already good.

Is it possible to develop luck? We cannot control our genetics. Our physical appearances and our mental capabilities are predetermined in the womb. But we can work with what we are given to prepare ourselves for success and for, yes, luck. We can get an education, stay fit and control the way we interact with others.

How can you develop luck? Be aggressive, but not obnoxiously so. Be present—show up and stick around. Be alert—pay attention to overt and subtle messages.

Many of us are uncomfortable being aggressive. But to obtain good things in life, you have to ask and tell—in some cases, many times—to get what you want. I once missed out on a job upgrade because, the boss told me, “I didn’t know you were interested.” Was I lucky to have married a great woman? Yes, but first I had to get her number, ask her out and woo her—aggressively!

Being present may or may not mean working long hours. It does mean being available when you are needed. Sometimes you will be asked to perform menial tasks, but your performance and attitude on the little stuff can lead to big stuff.

Being alert to what’s going on in business and in life is not as easy as it sounds. You may get a vague signal about an opportunity via an indirect comment. You may realize a raised eyebrow means something totally different from the words coming out of someone’s mouth. An offhand remark about poor service from another provider may be a cue for you to pitch for that business.

Yes, sometimes things that occur in life are hard to explain. Pure luck is a random thing. But working to be lucky requires effort on your part. Making your own luck means controlling the circumstances that you can control. And it means putting the pieces in place that allow luck to happen to you.

Good luck? It’ll come when you’re ready.

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2 thoughts on “How To Be Lucky

  1. mrsbarfield says:

    I really enjoyed your post – it is a concept I try to get across to my students (I work in career guidance in the UK, helping young people plan for the future). I am a big fan of Krumboltz Happenstance Theory of Career Development, which details “critical skills” to increase career opportunities:

    Curiosity: Explore learning opportunities
    Persistence: A way of dealing with obstacles
    Flexibility: Learn to address a variety of circumstances and events
    Optimism: Positive attitude when pursuing new opportunities
    Risk taking: May be necessary during unexpected new events

    I too believe you make your own luck to an extent!
    Melanie

  2. David says:

    Thanks for your comment! I believe risk taking is hard for many, including certain folks I consider to be courageous. Curiosity, I believe, is the hardest of those qualities to develop. Those of us who are curious by nature are lucky (there’s that word again!) to have been born that way.

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