“Luck” is what happens when someone wins the Lotto. Against several million to one odds, the six numbers drawn match the six on the winning man’s ticket. Or the little old lady pulls the “one-armed bandit”, and bells ring and lights light up as she “hits the big one”.
There was once a time when one’s values, work ethic and determination went a long way in explaining success. Horatio Algerism meant that a well-dressed, hard-working, likable person could write his or her own ticket–climb the corporate ladder, live in a big house in a nice neighborhood, drive a fancy car, and vacation with the family once or twice per year.
But today that’s not enough. There’s something else–some other factor that separates the ones just getting by (in spite of their hard work, etc.) from those who appear to be living the American Dream. When you try to analyze it, it seems to be, well, luck.
Sure, one can do okay by doing “all the right things.” But today, you don’t necessarily get the white picket fence just for performing up to your bosses expectations, and running a profitable business. No, today we seem to also need something intangible, some break, some uniqueness. We need luck.
By definition, luck is completely out of our control. I believe, however, that there are certain things we can do to position ourselves for it. Earl Nightingale defines success as “when preparedness meets opportunity.” Here are a few ways to “prepare” ourselves for the “opportunity”:
Work hard. In the words of Chuck Berry, “The harder you work, the luckier you get.” While hard work alone does not guarantee meeting Lady Luck, people who work long enough and hard enough at their goals tend to be lucky.
Be couragious during the storm. As elusive as good luck seems to be, bad luck seems to happen so naturally. While you can’t escape it, how you weather it will have an effect on the kind of luck that follows.
Be positive and optimistic. Being positive helps get you through the bad luck, and also positions you for lucky opportunities to flow your way.
Do what you love. Passion seems to be a conduit for luck. When you have discovered what you love, and focus your energy in that area, you are well-positioned for luck to occur.
So go out, get positioned, and get lucky!