Regardless of how much blood, sweat, and tears that you’ve shed to achieve greatness in your life, there is always an element of luck in your success.
People don’t like to admit that luck played a role in their success because they think it discounts their own efforts, but the truth is that we’ve all had lucky breaks. The only difference between you, someone who got it worse, and someone who got it better is their preparation and initiative.
In this article, I give you 5 quick tricks that will help you not only have more lucky breaks but I also help you take advantage of them when they happen.
What is Luck?
I’m a big fan of simplicity.
I truly believe that if you can’t explain a concept simply, then you don’t understand it. The goal isn’t to make laymen get the fine points and nuances of a topic using basic talking points. That’s impossible.
The goal is to give them a general enough understanding so that they understand governing principles and big ideas behind something. Interesting enough, the ability to do this only comes after you yourself have mastered the intricacies of a topic.
I don’t know if I’m a master of luck, but I do know that I’ve been the beneficiary of enough of it to offer some insights on generating more of the good kind and avoid a lot of the bad kind. Here’s what I’ve discovered:
“Luck” is merely an unintended gain or less from an action. When it’s the former, it’s good luck. When it’s the latter, it’s bad. The word “unintended” is important, because it implies that the event that causes the gain or loss is either beyond your control or defies expectation.
You don’t expect the airplane you’re traveling on to malfunction and crash. When it does, that’s considered bad luck. This is something that’s beyond your control.
If you drive sober, in the middle of the day, and you’re not on your phone, you make a safe trip much more likely to occur. However, if you get into a car accident because someone is driving with a .25 BAC at 3:00 p.m., then it’s bad luck.
People buy lottery tickets, but no one really expects to win (you’re a fool if you do). So when people do win, it’s good luck.
If you were born to a wealthy family of responsible adults who give you love and made sure you want for nothing while exposing you to many opportunities, then it’s good luck.
These are simplistic examples but hopefully they make the point. Luck is something you have no control over. When it helps you, it’s good luck When it hurts you, it’s bad luck.
5 quick tricks to instantly have more good luck
Change your perspective about hardship
There is almost always some way to see an event as an opportunity. The famous quote is that “luck is where preparation meets opportunity”. This is true, but what is often forgotten is that opportunity is in the eye of the beholder.
Where the unlucky person sees a setback, the other sees a set up.
Where the unlucky person sees a tragedy, the other sees an opportunity to triumph.
The beautiful thing about sudden hardship is that it’s often the only way to force growth in areas of your life where you’ve become comfortable. Your weak traits, inadequate abilities, and insufficient resources are exposed for the first time.
When you change your perspective about the event that appears to be bad luck, it doesn’t turn it into something that you’d consider good luck. It does, however, allow you to see it as an opportunity to fix something that will make you better. This is typically an opportunity that you wouldn’t otherwise have gotten.
If you just sit in the house all day, nothing will happen to you–for better or worse. You need to be out in the world in order to have more events. When you have more events, there’s a better chance of there being an unintended 2nd or 3rd order event. Some of those events will be good, some of them will be bad, but there will be more of them. This is a good thing.
While it’s impossible–by definition–to know exactly how the second and third order effects will play out, there is a way to tip the odds in your favor and make sure that more of them are positive than negative.
Act with intention
Generally speaking, when you try to make things happen, other things will happen that you can’t anticipate. If you’re trying to do good things and improve your life, then the 2nd order effects should help you. If you’re up to no good, you’ll probably agitate and aggravate people and circumstances that will make your life difficult.
What happens may not appear to contribute directly to your original goal, but it will set you up with other opportunities. Remember: luck is when preparation meets opportunity, so these opportunities may not be immediately useful but they will come in handy in the future if you follow the next step.
Have a flexible plan
A lot of what appears as bad luck is not really bad luck. It’s just an unexpected deviation from a strict plan. People forget that there are many paths to the same outcome. The trick is to understand exactly what the outcome is.
Most of us are not chasing a position or a thing, but rather the feeling that we think that thing or position will give us. Once you understand this, you will see almost everything that happens to you as a way to get closer to your ideal life.
Lie to yourself
The best lie to tell yourself is that the universe is on your side.
The truth of the matter is that the universe is 13.8 billion years old, there are likely other life forms that exist in it, myriad processes taking place–not to mention over 7 billion other humans on this planet alone. The universe doesn’t really give a damn about you.
Telling yourself that it does and that’s it’s trying to help you is a useful delusion. Convincing yourself that the world is out to get you is not helpful. In fact, if you start to think the world is against you, you start to believe it’s the truth and will find everything you can to support that conclusion.
Fortunately, the opposite is also true. When you believe the universe is on your side, then you will interpret everything as a benefit. You will see all things as an opportunity and when that happens, then you’ll notice more lucky breaks around you.
You’re way luckier than you think
I’ve been thinking a lot about the “lucky breaks” in my life and how they’ve got me to where I am.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve worked my ass off for everything that I have, but I do not discount the role that all types of luck has played in my life. Remembering the role that luck plays in my success keeps me humble.
Hopefully, as you take advantage of these 5 tricks and tips you will develop your confidence as your humility in the same stroke.