Some guys have all the luck. A great business, an amazing family and frequent picture-perfect vacations. Everything is just perfect. The Gods of fortune seem well pleased with them.
We attribute much of the success we see in others to good fortune. And link lack of achievement to a lack of effort or intelligence. Conversely, for our own achievements, we tend to discount the role of good luck. We are proud of the work we’ve put in and link our achievement to the efficient and intelligent use of our abilities.
So, how much of ‘Achievement’ can a person claim credit for? ‘Achievements’ which cannot be attributed to luck? That’s a difficult question since everything we achieve can be drilled down to a cause which we didn’t have a hand in. What if you became a wildly successful businessman because of your intelligence? You were lucky to be born intelligent. Or is your success due to the great education you received? You were lucky to have teachers who taught you well. Or parents who provided the right environment for you to learn. Or if you taught yourself by being a voracious reader? You were lucky to be born with self-discipline to learn and the desire to read.
As Oliver Burkeman succinctly says in his Guardian column, nothing is entirely our doing.
“On and on it goes: whatever your station in life, you got there by following some course of action. But even if that course of action were wholly your doing, you still had to be the kind of person able to pursue it; and even if you became that kind of person by the sweat of your brow, you still must have already been the kind of person who could raise that sweat…
Eventually, working backwards, you will reach some starting point that can’t have been your doing. The troubling conclusion is that the person born in poverty, with no parental support, who scrimps to put himself or herself through college, finally achieving success through ceaseless suffering, owes their triumph no less to luck than, say, Eric Trump does.”
So, does this mean that we leave everything to luck? That we can sit back and what needs to happen, will? If that makes you happy, do so by all means. Yet, for most of us, a sense of control over our destiny is a necessary ingredient of a happy and contented life. And the good news is that the more we perform some actions, the luckier we get. Think of them as good luck charms. And they are….
Lucky Charm #1: Acknowledge that you’re lucky
Yes, your talent contributed to your success. Yes, your hard work and sacrifices contributed to your success. Along with those, accept that luck has played a role in your success. Funnily, that acceptance makes you luckier. People who acknowledge the role of good fortune are humbler and more liked. And make for more successful leaders. Humility is always more attractive in a leader than arrogance.
Thinking you’re lucky is also a kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Feeling lucky makes you calm and confident. Often, these are necessary attributes for a successful person.
Lucky Charm #2: Define your destiny
Its super useful knowing what identity you aspire to have. To define the type of person you want to be. Or to define what success looks like for your business. Success for your business doesn’t just mean how much revenue the company will earn. By defining the future, you are influencing your ‘destiny’.
Sure, you’ll need luck to realize your destiny. But at least you realize when you’ve had a lucky break. When you know what you want, it’s easier to identify and take advantage of opportunities. And be luckier.
Lucky Charm #3: Widen your horizons
The cheapest and most effective way to widen your horizons is to read. Travelling is also very useful. Both give new perspectives and open your mind to new possibilities. That opens your mind to new opportunities which you can then ‘luckily’ exploit.
Lucky Charm #4: Don’t be too busy
If you’re forever busy doing mundane activities, opportunities will pass you by. Without you realizing it. Having your eyes wide open is a fundamental requirement of being lucky.
We’ve been dealt a good hand. We’re lucky to be born into a world of opportunity. Of course, you’ve worked hard and smart to make the most of the opportunities. Use the 4 lucky charms to become luckier.
And finally, spreading luck is a great way to get more luck our way. Educate a needy kid, mentor a smaller business, gift opportunity to others. Go get luckier and make others luckier. Have a lucky 2020!
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