How to Manifest Luck in Your Life and Career
Linda Griffin | Excelle
November 12, 2008
Most of the things we call luck are really results of statistical probability. When someone has a fender bender, it wasn’t bad luck that they happened to be on the road at that particular time. Everyone who was traveling that road had a statistical probability of getting rear-ended. Likewise, when someone wins the lottery, it wasn’t good luck that caused them to pick a certain combination of numbers. That sequence came up because of mathematical probability. These random events are definitely outside of our control.
When it comes to our careers, I’m not a big believer in luck, or in random events. Like Dr. Richard Wiseman says in his book The Luck Factor, I believe that our thoughts and behaviors determine whether we attract good fortune into our lives. He calls out four basic psychological traits lucky people have that unlucky people don’t: the ability to maximize chance opportunities, to listen to “gut feelings,” to expect good fortune and to see the bright side of bad luck.
For example, if you get passed over for promotion you have two options. One, you can assume that you were unlucky. The other person was friends with the boss, in the right place at the right time or any number of reasons that are outside of your control. Or you can ask yourself: ‘What can I learn from this situation, and how can I use it to improve my chances next time?’ This approach takes you out of the mode of waiting for random events to propel you to your next promotion and into the mode of taking responsibility for your career. When you think this way, you will have a much better chance of being ready to take advantage of the next opportunity that comes your way.
In his book, Dr. Wiseman talks about having an expectation of good fortune. He proved during his research that people who are open to possibilities find more good fortune. In other words, they expect to be lucky. They look for good fortune and are more apt to find it.
Take a look at the things that have happened in your life. What percent of them do you attribute to luck, good or bad? Dr. Wiseman says that only ten percent of the things that happen are luck — the rest is a direct result of how we think. If you focus on good luck, that’s what you will see.
I’ve seen this focus – or lack of – work in my own life. I’m not always successful in thinking that good luck will happen, but one of my positive examples happened recently. A fellow coach and I attended a workshop. Our intent was to learn some new techniques and ideas that we could include in our businesses. On day one, it was clear that we already understood the material being covered, and we wouldn’t be able to accomplish our original objective. My friend left after the first day, saying that it was a waste of his time. I decided to stick around, and on day two, I met another coach with whom I am now partnering on a joint venture. Was it luck? I believe it was because I was open to finding something good from the workshop and was able to take advantage of an opportunity that was different from my original goal.
How can you get yourself into this lucky mindset? One way is to use your journal. Each day, write down any good luck thing that happens to you. Don’t write any bad luck events. After a time, you will start looking for good luck things and set up an expectation that they will happen to you. Being lucky will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.