What’s Luck Got To Do With It? Sounds a bit like a Tina Turner song. We all know someone who’s lucky. Here are 3 great tips to show you how improve your luck!
Their number always comes up, their horse comes in first…they could fall in shit and come up smelling of roses.
There are stories of people who have won the lottery – and then won again, who have bought a painting at a boot sale for a fiver and later find out it’s an original piece worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Is it possible that these people were born under a lucky star – that they were destined to be one of the ‘chosen ones’? Are there strange forces at work? Are they favoured by the universe? Or is it all down to their own doing: or a mindset or optimism? An innate sense and deep-held belief that everything will go their way?
Whatever ‘success’ means to you, what role does luck play, if any?
When it comes to the secrets of successful people, there is a general assumption that it is their talent, skill, hard work and tenacity that has got them to where they are today. It’s what they would say themselves.
But how true is that?
Countless people of the ‘rich and successful’ variety have insisted that it’s sheer hard work and determination that are the keys to their success, and that we all have the same 24 hours in a day, and that if only we were to steadfastly believe in ourselves and not take no for an answer, and keep our noses to the grindstone, that we too could be living in a mansion with access to unlimited amounts of cash.
It sounds fair enough in some respects; you’re not going to get that dream job if you don’t apply for it and you’re not going to win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket.
But how much of success is down to sheer dumb luck?
Having the knowhow and putting in the work is definitely important, but without the opportunities presenting themselves, aren’t we just pissing in the wind?
Surely luck is when skill and opportunity come together.
So, what about your own success? Is it just ‘not happening’ for you?
Maybe you’re sick of seeing people less talented than you enjoying the success and riches that you want. Are they working harder? Do they know something you don’t? Or are they just, as you’ve probably ranted to all your mates in the pub, ‘lucky bastards’?
Your ranting might not actually be that far wrong; research has actually shown there to be a link between luck and success. Think about it, if success was purely down to IQ then the cleverest people in the world would be the most successful, but that simply isn’t the case.
The same with working hard – the average number of hours worked in a week in the UK is around 38. Perhaps you work REALLY hard and put in 60 or 70 hours a week…but any more of that isn’t sustainable over a long period of time, and it certainly doesn’t guarantee a Ferrari on the driveway. So if the differences in our material success can’t be explained by intellect or the number of hours worked, where does it come from?
A study carried out by a team of Italian scientists found that luck plays a bigger role in success than people realise, with so-called ‘lucky events’ being responsible for some people’s incredible success, even if their talent, IQ and propensity for working hard was lower than average.
Of course you need to have SOME talent, be reasonably intelligent and put some effort in to be able to exploit these lucky opportunities – but it’s not the be all and end all. Let’s face it, we could all name an actor, singer, writer, artist who surely didn’t get that role, six-figure deal or award based on raw talent and effort alone.
Even just looking (discreetly) around the people in your own life, I’m sure you can spot plenty of instances of someone who you don’t consider to be especially clever, dynamic or hard working, yet has somehow reached a high level of wealth or success.
One can’t deny that having a well-paid job is going to be easier if your dad is CEO of the company, or that breaking into the film industry isn’t less hard work if your mum is an Oscar-winner…after all, there are plenty of singers-turned-actors and models-turned-authors out there, and those opportunities for success have little if nothing to do with talent, and more to do with the luck of being who they are.
So, how can you increase your luck and success if you didn’t happen to be born to a footballer and a Spice Girl, or your grandfather didn’t found a fortune 500 company?
Traditionally the formula for success tells us that if we fail it’s because we didn’t try hard enough, and most career paths are built around the idea that if you work your arse off you’ll enjoy success – it’s the very reason we’re encouraged to get good grades in school: ‘you can be anything you want to be’ we’re told from children, and we’ve all heard the phrase ‘the harder I work, the luckier I get’. Not that I’m discounting putting in effort and hours, but it certainly doesn’t make you luckier.
It’s all about spotting those opportunities that come your way and exploiting them. But, with people working even harder than ever, and with life being so busy, we could be walking past our luck more often than we think, and just assuming that we’re unlucky.
Thankfully, we can create those ‘lucky events’ for ourselves simply by keeping an open mind to new ideas and surrounding ourselves with stimulating people.
Sitting for years in an uninspiring career, keeping the same mindset, feeling the same feelings and meeting the same types of people day in, day out, week after week, year after year is hardly going to create many opportunities, is it?
The key to creating luck and becoming successful is to harness a growth mindset, step out of our comfort zone and explore new opportunities. If you are connected to your ‘why’, and are purpose-driven, you’re much more likely to manifest lucky events in your life.
It sounds a bit woo woo, however, your vibe definitely helps towards creating your lucky events, and you can give yourself the best chance of success by these three tips:
1. Slowing down enough to spot lucky opportunities
A great example of this is an experiment that was carried out which split subjects into two groups: those who considered themselves lucky, and those that considered themselves unlucky. All subjects were asked to read a newspaper and report back how many photographs there were in the publication as quickly as possible.
Overwhelmingly it was the ‘lucky’ people who found the not-so-hidden message on the second page that said in large letters, ‘Stop counting, there are 43 photographs in this newspaper’. Undoubtedly, not rushing ahead contributed to their luck.
2. Know your ‘why’ and what it is that makes you feel fulfilled
If you’re excited about life, you’re going to find it easier to create your own lucky events. If you have no idea why you’re doing what you’re doing, and have no passion for it, it can be really easy to slip into a closed ‘nothing-goes-my-way’ mindset. Once you think like this you stop looking for opportunities, and just accept your fate as unsuccessful.
3. Surround yourself with people who are actively creating opportunities for themselves
If you spend all your time with people who just sit back and let life happen to them, rather than actively participating, you will become one of them. Life will become an endless round of all sitting around and sharing bad luck stories about being passed over for promotion and what-not. Your energy will constantly be drained and your vibrations at an all-time low, and your bad luck will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
On the flip side, if you surround yourself with people who are networking, starting their own businesses, training for skills they wish they had, for example, and are grateful for those opportunities then you’re much more likely to act the same way. These types of people bolster each other’s energy, motivate and inspire, and share their opportunities and good fortune.
It’s fair to say that it’s what you believe about luck, rather than luck itself, that will shape your chances for success. If your view is passive, then success might happen to fall your way – you might ‘get lucky’, as it were.
And, if your view on luck is positive; if you believe you can create it yourself, you’re going to be able to deal with negative situations better, and be far more likely to take advantage of opportunities that occur. Your mind is open to good things happening for you – you’re not jealous of those who are already there, you actually celebrate them. For you too, are talented and hardworking, and you will be just as successful and, yes, as lucky, as they are.