Positive Thinking, Success, Hard Work,Lucky,

Learning How to Be Lucky

Maybe it’s my love of all things Irish, but I’ve always considered myself lucky. And yet I’ve learned that success in business or any other aspect of life doesn’t just happen by chance. Rather success is the product of a lot of determination and hard work; with a good measure of optimism thrown in for, well – luck.

According to psychologist Richard Wiseman, most people make their own luck. Over a ten year period, Wiseman studied people who either thought of themselves as lucky or unlucky. He found that we can actively influence the amount of good fortune we encounter in our lives by following four basic principles. Lucky people “create and notice chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophecies via positive expectations and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.”  By following these principles, we can essentially create our own good luck.

CREATING & NOTICING CHANCE OPPORTUNITIES

 

How often do we miss a chance because we just weren’t paying attention? Or maybe we are so focussed on one strategy or one product that we don’t see other opportunities around us. Many of the best opportunities come from being in the right place at the right time. So how do we create more time for new opportunities? How do we make room for chance in our everyday routine?

I’m a huge proponent of processes. I love routines and systems that simplify my business resulting in higher efficiency and productivity. Some things need my individual personal attention. Other things can be automated or delegated to other team members. Implementing systems that really work gives me more time to focus on those things that I can directly influence. Scheduling time for creativity, for planning and for trying something new results in more opportunities for me to get outside of my comfort zone.

Systems are not the same thing as routines. Systems keep us organized with the purpose of getting things done. Routines are the way we regularly do those things and can often exist more from habit than planning. One of the best ways to create new opportunities is by changing up your regular habits and routines. As Wiseman points out:

“It is easy for people to exhaust the opportunities in their life. Keep on talking to the same people in the same way. Keep taking the same route to and from work. Keep going to the same places on vacation. But new or even random experiences introduce the potential for new opportunities.”

Changing up our routines opens our minds to new opportunities. When we move beyond our comfort zone, we’re more aware of what is happening around us. Instead of talking to someone we’re comfortable with, we’re more willing to reach out and meet new people. Getting out of our routine encourages us to try new things, see new possibilities and find inspiration in new ideas.

MAKE TIME TO LISTEN

All of us, especially entrepreneurs, can often feel like we are running as fast as we can to keep all of our plates spinning. It is exhausting! If we’re not careful, we can get so caught up in keeping everything moving that we don’t take time to listen and evaluate. This is where processes come in again. Effective systems help free up time and focus. A quick check on our systems assures us that everything is working well and moving forward. With that assurance, we feel lighter, more energized and excited to focus on new opportunities.

Schedule time each week (or even each day) to review, think and listen. Ask yourself if you are paying attention to the right things. Are you making plans and basing decisions based on only one factor or failure? Or are you open to new options that might involve taking risks? Have you become so focussed on one area that you’re not seeing other opportunities or solutions around you? Wiseman points out that often the harder we look at only one thing, the less we actually see:

“Unlucky people miss chance opportunities because they are too focused on looking for something else. They go to parties intent on finding their perfect partner and so miss opportunities to make good friends. They look through newspapers determined to find certain type of job advertisements and as a result miss other types of jobs. Lucky people are more relaxed and open, and therefore see what is there rather than just what they are looking for.”

Relax and take a step back. Make time to reflect and listen to your instincts. As you do, you will find yourself more open and aware of the real opportunities around you.

THINK POSITIVE — AND THEN GO TO WORK

There is power in positive thinking, but we can’t just sit back and wait for luck to happen. Success is the result of planning and hard work. Having a clear vision, and understanding your purpose or motivation gives you the direction you need to make things happen. Write down your vision and post it in a place you can see it everyday. With that vision in mind, set goals that reflect what you value, what you want most and why you do what you do. Tell yourself that you are going to succeed. Imagine what will happen when you meet your goals; then go to work. It’s easy to attribute the success of others to luck, especially when all we see is the new contract or the big promotion. But what we can’t see on the surface is all of the preparation and planning, the work and sacrifice, the effort and even failures that led up to finally achieving success. As Thomas Jefferson said

“I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”

Every goal has setbacks or roadblocks that need to be overcome. But if you continue to move forward expecting positive results, you will eventually get to where you want to be. Rather than leaving things to luck or chance, you’ll reap the results of preparation, hard work and expectations of success.

ADOPT A RESILIENT ATTITUDE

Success does not happen without failure. When we try new things we’re bound to make mistakes or end up with less than successful results. But how we think and feel about failure can make all the difference. Having a positive or resilient attitude helps us to learn, make adjustments, and recognize opportunities to change and grow. Failure shows us what we want most, and pushes us towards future success. Wiseman found this to be true for lucky people in his study:

“Lucky people tend to imagine spontaneously how the bad luck they encounter could have been worse and, in doing so, they feel much better about themselves and their lives. This, in turn, helps keep their expectations about the future high, and, increases the likelihood of them continuing to live a lucky life.”

So how do we create luck in our lives and our business? The good news is that luck is a skill that can be learned. Wiseman even created “luck school” to help teach people the skills they need to think and act like a lucky person. Start making your own luck as you

  • Define your vision and set goals to get you where you want to go.
  • Develop systems and processes that give you more time to focus on new opportunities
  • Change things up and get out of your comfort zone.
  • Develop a positive and resilient attitude.

As you change your own thoughts and behavior, you’ll be better able to embrace new opportunities and new ways of looking at your experiences. Add that to preparation and hard work and you’ll find the good fortune you’re looking for. Good luck!

Need help creating or automating your systems? You’re in luck! We’d love to help you simplify your business. Click here to schedule your free 15 minute strategy call with a member of our team.

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So What do YOU Think?