Skip to content

Weekly dose of self-improvement

Sign up
change your perspective

9 ways to get lucky in life

There are ways to increase the odds in your favor. Improving your luck isn’t magical. If you want to learn how to get to lucky, continue reading…

Ed Latimore
Ed Latimore
Writer, retired boxer, self-improvement enthusiast

If you want to learn how to get lucky, you’ve come to the right place.

It seems mystical and magical, but this illusion dissipates once you understand how to create good luck for yourself.

Getting lucky is just like anything else in life.

There are ways to increase the odds in your favor. Improving your luck isn’t magical. If you want to learn how to get lucky, continue reading…

How can I become lucky?

I think luck plays a significant role in the life of any successful person.

Hard work is important, but a little good fortune goes a long way in being successful.

Everyone’s gotten a lucky break or two, but people don’t like to admit this for two big reasons:

1) People believe that it takes away from the effort they put in. After all, even people who are OBVIOUSLY lucky don’t like to hear that’s why they have a good life. If you reduce all success down to “right place, right time”, then how are you supposed to seriously teach someone how to be successful?

2) They severely misunderstand what luck ACTUALLY is. Most people think it’s picking the right numbers or winning the “genetic lottery”. These things help you excel, but they don’t really matter

Dealing with the first misunderstanding is a natural result of dealing with the second.

Before I give you my definition of luck, let me warn you: it’s probably going to differ from whatever’s in Webster’s dictionary. If you’re satisfied with your level of luck, go read theirs instead.

Ed Latimore’s Definition Of Luck: Let “n” be an intended or predicted outcome. Let k be any number of events that occur because of “n”. The unintended n+k order of effects of an action is luck.

I’m also a slight math nerd, but you don’t need to be a numbers junkie to understand or apply this groundbreaking formula for getting luckier. 

Have a goal

Trying to accomplish something makes it more likely you’ll get lucky by at least a factor of ten.

Ok, I just made that number up, but you need to take action to create your own luck. You need an initial event to ripple the pond of life so that it sends the waves of luck reverberating around you.

I’ll put this point another way: you can’t win if you don’t play. You can’t get lucky sitting on the sidelines.

When someone complains about their bad luck, I know they’re living without purpose. These are the people who go through the motions of life. Coincidentally, they have the worst luck.

When you take action towards a goal, you automatically do two important things for improving your luck: you increase your number of constructive decisions and decrease your number of destructive decisions.

When it comes to getting lucky, not doing things that take you off track is just as important as staying on track.

Always be ready to take advantage of opportunities

“Luck is when opportunity meets preparation.”

Once you select a goal, you must work relentlessly on achieving it. This ensures that you are ready whenever you get an opportunity to advance on it.

Imagine being a writer, waiting for your big break. You meet an agent who has a great opportunity for you IF you have a finished manuscript. Meeting this agent may be a random encounter. It may be a result of you putting the first principle into action. Regardless, you’ve wasted an opportunity because you weren’t prepared.

Preparation is a result of dedication to your craft. By constantly improving, you will always be as ready as you can be for any opportunity.

Take more chances

There is a great book I recommend called *[Hustle](1623367166)* (written by Neil Patel, Patrick Vlaskovits, and Jonas Koffler). In the book, they compare getting lucky to getting up at bat in baseball. The level of skill or preparation you have is your batting average.

If your batting average is .400 in major league baseball, apparently this is excellent (please forgive me baseball fans. I don’t know the game well at all). This means that if you got up to bat 10 times, you’d hit the ball 4 times.

We don’t know which of those 4 hits will be home-runs or base-hits. You still have to swing to make something happen.

Your “batting average” is–more or less–fixed. Since you’ve maxed out on skill and preparation, the only way to get more opportunities is to swing more often. Instead of 10 times, get up to bat 100 times.

There’s a MUCH greater chance that one of the 40 hits will be a homerun compared to just the 4.

The luckiest people are always looking for a way to show off what they can do.

Having skills is one thing, but marketing and selling them is another. You must find every single way you can to display who you are and what you can do.

Help people when it costs little or nothing to do so

We do things without awareness of how far–in time or space–our actions will reach. While we don’t know what they’re going to affect, we know there will be reactions along the way.

In many ways, this is just another phrasing of the concept of luck that I gave earlier.

The best way to take advantage of this is to protect yourself from the consequences of abusing it. You don’t have to bend over backwards to help people. However, if it only costs you a small amount of time/money to make a disproportionately large difference, do it.

You never know when or how this person may be in a position to help you. It should also go without saying that kicking people while they’re down is completely unacceptable.

Helping others makes you luckier, but you also feel like a good person. Seriously, the reward for helping is the feeling of being helpful.

An unintended benefit (the “k” in the “n+k” formula) is that it makes people more likely to help you. It also makes it less likely that they will try to set you back.

Be likeable

No one is saying be a brown nose, but don’t underestimate the power of likability.

If you know how to make people like you, it’s amazing how much luck you’ll have and the trouble you’ll avoid.

When people like you, they want you to like them. My experience has been that no one is immune to this rule of human interaction. To gain your approval, they will present you with more opportunities and prevent others from taking yours. Not only will you get more tries at bat, but a benefit of likability is also that it “shortens the field”.

People are more likely to make exceptions, give you bonus points, or help you succeed in spite of yourself.

Take advantage of life by using leverage

When you don’t have anything to your name, you still have your name. Make sure it’s worth a damn. In some circles, your reputation is the only currency accepted.

This is an excellent base for building any number of skills. When you have a solid reputation, you will get opportunities to be around people. With this exposure, you can build networks and build your value in a variety of ways.

If you’re only good at one thing, don’t worry about it. This is what you will use to leverage your money and time. The better you are at your skill, the more ways you can leverage it into money and manpower.

People never think of this as a way to get lucky, but it always pays off. When you’re good at something, you can take advantage of trade and acquire resources. Employment is nothing more than an exchange of skills or time for money.

Take calculated risks

The safest path is the surest path. It’s the one most people go down and it’s the reason most people, almost by definition, aren’t lucky. This is because most people do not expose themselves to volatile events. They prefer a life with little chance to mess up, but with little chance to excel as well.

Lucky people always take risks. Unlucky people don’t.

One of the things that I love about entrepreneurship is the thrill of bet everyone on myself and my abilities. Some people feel it’s too risky to live like this, but taking calculated risks is a defining trait of entrepreneurs.

We make calculated moves, but we still don’t have a guaranteed positive outcome. We do things that most people shy away from, so we end up with chances that most people never get.

This isn’t doing what’s difficult so much as it’s doing something where there’s a chance you can lose big. A basic example is someone who starts a business. It’s safer and easier to get a job, but there is also less reward (with less freedom as well).

To increase your luck, learn to eat a healthy amount of risk.

Nurture your relationships

At the end of the day, people are the most important thing.

It’s important to be likable with the public, but your friends require a higher degree of authenticity. They’ll be there with you through thick and thin and they want to see you win.

This is, of course, assuming you pick the right friends. Selecting the right friends is beyond this article, but know that doing so makes you incredibly lucky. They will come through for you when you really need it and are least expecting it.

Choose your perspective

There is another old saying that I love. “Nothing is either good or bad, only thinking makes it so.” Then there’s another one I also think is appropriate. “Life is not what happens to you, but how you react to it”.

How you perceive events dictates your reaction to them.

Everything that happens to you is an opportunity. A lot of people can’t see obstacles as opportunities and this is a tremendous advantage for you.

I knew a guy who got clean only after he did a long stretch in prison. As long as you aren’t dead, there is a way to use the situation to make something great happen.

I’m aware that this step is a bit of a cheat code. It’s taking any event and seeing it as good rather than what it is. Well, it’s all relative and subjective.

A poor kid in Detroit doesn’t realize that he’s still in the top 10% of wealth in the world. A middle-class family thinks falling behind on the mortgage is a tragedy.

But if you don’t see things this way, then it doesn’t matter. You could win one million dollars and still feel like you should have 2 million. Gratitude and perspective are the keys to feeling lucky. Not only that, but a positive mind is one better able to solve problems

A Summary Of How to Get Lucky

  • Take more chances
  • Treat people better
  • Improve your skills
  • Always be prepared

If you do these things, your luck will dramatically increase. You may even find a few quarters on your way back from making the world a better place.

Ed Latimore
About the author

Ed Latimore

I’m a writer, competitive chess player, Army veteran, physicist, and former professional heavyweight boxer. My work focuses on self-development, realizing your potential, and sobriety—speaking from personal experience, having overcome both poverty and addiction.

Follow me on Twitter.