“That guy is so lucky. Why can’t I have that kind of luck?” You can, if you work at it.
“Greg, I think you’re missing the point of what luck is. You don’t work at it, you either have it or you don’t.”
What it that’s wrong? What if “luck” is actually something much different than we were raised to believe? What if you can create and grow “good luck”? That would be cool, wouldn’t it?
I don’t believe in “luck” the way most people define it. I think “luck” happens to people who work hard and look for opportunities. I think when we think positively, focus on our purpose and serve others we see and create good luck.
Professor Richard Wiseman did extensive research on this in his book, The Luck Factor. He discovered four common principles among his subjects on becoming “lucky.”
1) Maximize Chance Opportunities: LPs (lucky people) are open to what some people call chance opportunities or coincidences or serendipity. They look for them and act upon them. They’re also open to new ideas and experiences.
2) Listen to Lucky Hunches: LPs pay attention to that little voice inside them. They go with their gut.
3) Expect Good Fortune: LPs have a strong belief that things are going to work out for them. They always expect the best. This helps them create the future they want. LPs keep going in bad times because of their belief that good things are coming. It also helps them relate well with others. This helps them network and creates even more opportunities for them.
4) Turn Bad Luck to Good: Finally, when bad things happen to LPs they don’t think about them the same way unlucky people do. Instead, they truly look on the bright side. “It’s not that bad.” “It could have been worse.” “I can learn something from this.” “Here’s how I can fix it.” This allows LPs to quickly get back in the good-luck groove.
Lucky people build a strong “network of luck.” Your chances of meeting the right person increase with the number of people you engage with every day. Just like you will never be lucky enough to win the lottery if you never buy a ticket, you will never have that “lucky” encounter if you don’t bother to meet and engage with people on a daily basis.
If you truly enjoy meeting people and talking with strangers whenever the opportunity arises, you will become much luckier.
This really paid off for my wife and me when we were getting ready to put our house on the market for a big move to Dallas. We had only bought the home a year earlier and we knew by the time we paid the realtor we were going to lose money on the deal.
But, we stayed positive. We knew the move to Dallas was the right one, and knew I was going to use my purpose to serve a lot more people in Big D. We knew good things were coming our way.
I had a radio fundraiser that week at a children’s hospital. I talked to all the people manning the phones and had a great morning getting to know everyone.
A couple weeks later my wife and I were on our nightly walk in our neighborhood and I saw one of the guys I met at the fundraiser driving by. I waved him down, talked with him, and learned he was looking to buy a house in the area.
I explained we were getting ready to sell but hadn’t put it on the market yet. I invited him by to look at our home. It was perfect for his family and he asked me how much I wanted for it. I told him we had only bought it a year ago and just wanted to break even on it.
He said he would feel bad if I didn’t make something on it and offered me a couple grand more than I asked for!
Has this kind of thing ever happened to you? Was it “luck,” or was it an opportunity you created without even realizing it? When something that good happens I also like to think of it as a God wink, but God helps those who help themselves.
I believe in preparing yourself to take advantage of opportunities that will appear as you stay focused on your goals. If you are constantly thinking about where you want to go and improving yourself in every way to be the person you need to be to achieve the success you are working towards, you will see opportunities appear with increasing frequency. Is that luck? No. It’s the result of hard work and taking consistent action.
Some of the biggest breaks in my radio career came from “luck.”
Before and after I had my own syndicated radio talk show, I guest hosted for other national programs. I can’t tell you how many people would comment on how “lucky” I was to fill in for so many big-name radio stars. The truth is luck had nothing to do with it.
I worked hard at becoming a good host. I kept making demo tapes and sending them to program directors all across the country. (Yes, I started in radio when we still had things called “tapes,” even 8-track tapes!) Then I started asking the producers and hosts of the national shows if I could fill in for them when they were on vacation.
Now, when one of those hosts got sick and they needed someone to fill in at the last second, was it luck that I often got the call? Once I filled in and they liked what they heard, was it luck that I was asked to guest host again? When a smaller syndication company was looking for a new national host, was it luck that I got the gig?
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