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How to Have Good Luck

Photo by Nickolas Sushkevich

Have you ever wondered why some people seem so lucky?

There are numerous stories of actors who were discovered by being at the right place at the right time.

Then there are stories of those who were able to take a small loan or investment and turn it into an empire. Such stories are part of popular culture and give us hope. Yet at the same time, not many people seem to believe that they too can have good luck.

The notion of luck is something which has been part of human consciousness for a long time. I don’t know about you but I used to think that luck was handed out by some mystical being who just wielded their magic wand whenever they pleased. The way I saw it, lady luck was very fickle and very selective.

That all changed when I met the man who would become my husband. One day, we started to talk about luck and he simply told me that there was no such thing. To be candid, I thought he had lost his mind. However, despite my initial disbelief, I asked him to explain why he felt the way that he did.

He went on to tell me that people create their own destiny and that there is no need to wish people luck. He told me that events in life are not arbitrary but rather self created and realized.

What he said made sense on an instinctual level but I needed to further probe the issue. Sometimes we know things in our hearts but in order to fully grasp them, we need to experience them for ourselves. Thus began my journey to figure out luck.

Luck: Is it Destined or Created?

 

In my journey to understand luck, I read numerous books and articles that described the subject. Inevitably, the concept of fate and destiny came up which only seemed to confuse the issue.

Being that I am an enlightenment seeker, I do believe on some level in the concepts of fate and destiny. Yet I also believe that we have the power to overcome any situation. Nothing in life is set in stone (except for the fact that we will all pass away at some point). Free will is real and does exist. It is also a tool that we need to utilize fully. We all have the ability to rise above any situation if we want.

I have known people who were born into horrible circumstances only to rise above them and become successes in every way imaginable. In my own life, I have faced odds that seemed insurmountable but somehow I managed to overcome them. Did I consider that luck? No, I considered it a product of lots of hard work and determination.

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
~ Seneca

So was luck destined or created? Both my mind and heart started to reach the conclusion that luck was self-created…but how? I decided to talk to some people who could easily be considered lucky.

The interesting thing is that in the ten conversations that I had on the subject of luck, one common theme emerged. All the people I interviewed (a world known doctor, artist, fashion designer, game designer, monk, surfer, writer, banker, home maker and web designer) told stories of how they were doing what they loved and somehow they were presented with numerous opportunities that enabled them to make their dreams come true.

It was then that I realized that the above-mentioned quote from Seneca describes the concept of luck beautifully and accurately. In order to be “lucky” one must master being not only prepared but ready to create and take advantage of opportunities. For when the two meet, luck becomes a reality.

Preparation

 

1. Study

Whatever it is that you are passionate about in life, study every aspect of it. Knowledge is power.

If you are passionate about art, study what goes into the making of a painting or a sculpture. Know the details about previous art periods and the various techniques. Study the lives of the artists that you admire. Learn about the paints, the kinds of canvases and all the tools involved in making a masterpiece. Basically, learn every single possible thing there is to know about art.

Expertise is not something you are born with…it is something that you earn and develop. Read books and listen to lectures on your area of passion. It doesn’t matter what your passion is…just master it. If you want to be the best mother there is in the world, then read up on the subject.

2. The 10,000 Hour Rule

The author Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers described the 10,000 Hour Rule as a reason why some people become successful. This rule is based on a study that was conducted by Anders Ericsson.

In this study, it was discovered that those who became successful in their given field had practiced it for a total of 10,000 hours prior to being discovered. In Gladwell’s book, he uses the example of the Beatles and how they practiced for 10,000 hours prior to becoming famous.

The point of this rule is that practice makes perfect. Or rather, practice helps turn luck from a concept into a reality.

Of course, this leads to the question: how can one person possibly practice for 10,000 hours? This is where the study factor becomes very important. Any time you are doing something that relates to your passion or whatever it is that you want to master, that time is counted towards your 10,000 hours.

Keep in mind, this does not mean that you need to document every single minute or second you spend on your passion or career or whatever. The number is not meant to set a rigid goal that needs to be met. Rather, it represents the concept of how important it is to master your subject.

Ten years ago, I realized and accepted the fact that my passion in life was to be a writer and I knew in my heart that my niche would be personal development and spiritual writing. The only problem was that I sucked as a writer and all my studies were just concepts at that time. I was not living my studies. All that I was reading were things that I admired and thought about but I was not putting them into practice.

I decided that in order to achieve my dream, I really needed to master my writing and know my subject thoroughly. So I spent the next ten years perfecting my writing and my knowledge. I worked at all kinds of jobs to support my desire for knowledge and travel. Every spare moment I had, I was reading or talking to someone who was doing what I wanted to do. I also began to apply the theories to my life and started living what I studied.

All that hard work paid off. Did I actually spend 10,000 hours? I have no clue. I still could be even better at my craft but I do know that I am much better now than I was then.

3. Visualize

Whatever it is that you want to experience in life, visualize it. See yourself doing whatever it is that you desire or want to achieve. If you want to be a successful artist, visualize what that would look and feel like. Imagine your work on the walls of a gallery. Carry yourself as if you already are a working artist who is not lacking in funds or commissions.

Years ago, I read a biography on the life of the singer Madonna. Many people recounted how when Madonna was just a club act, she handled every show as if it were a concert in a huge arena. The general conclusion was that she was acting like a superstar even before she became one.

Visualization is a tool that I use frequently because I have seen it work. Many times in my life, I visualized achieving certain goals or having certain funds. And every single time without fail, each item that I visualized became a reality. Sometimes it took hours and other times it took years.

The interesting thing about visualization is that it works with not only positive thoughts and images but with negative ones too. So take care of what you visualize.

One more thing in regard to the tool of visualization; it is important to keep in mind that it does not mean that you visualize while sitting back and doing nothing. You have to take some form of action too. Visualization without action will not yield results.

4. Surround Yourself With People Who You Wish To Be Like

The company you keep does have an impact on you. This does not mean that you get rid of all your friends and family. All this means is that you have people in your life who are not only like-minded but who are also doing what you wish to be doing.

Call it vibes or energy or whatever you wish; the people we spend time with do affect what we do and how we think and feel. Spend time with people who complain about life, inevitably you will start doing the same thing too.

Studies have proven this and I have seen it in my own life as well. When I spent time with people who lamented about their lack of success and lack of funds, I experienced those same things.

However, when I started to surround myself with positive people who were doing what I wished to be doing, I began to notice how my mindset of lack was being converted into a mindset of abundance. And you know what happened?

My awareness of my chosen career path began to expand and I began to notice all the possibilities that were out there. I also met an investor who willingly gave me the money to start my own business and I did not even have to write up a business plan.

Someone once said that you can tell a lot about a person by the company that they keep, so surround yourself with people who are living what you wish to achieve.

Meeting Opportunity

1. Be Kind To Every Single Person You Meet

We all have our off days. We all have days where it is hard to be compassionate and kind. However, you never know whom you will meet.

The person in line behind you at the supermarket may be an agent who can give you a record deal. The person who is sitting next to you on the subway may be the best friend you always wanted but never had. The guy serving you coffee may be your soul mate.

Every single second of every day we are surrounded by people. You never know whom you may meet at the gym or at the coffee house. Every single person you meet might be someone who has the power to change your life for the better.

In order for you to have your dream become a reality, you need someone to help you. We do not live in a vacuum. The concept of being self-dependent is an illusion because we need other people to buy our record or book or whatever.

The problem is that sometimes when we are out in the world, our focus is on ourselves and our thoughts usually are on what is happening in our lives. That kind of narrow-minded focus limits you from seeing your surroundings.

A guy dressed in sweat pants may seem like a nobody to you but for all you know, he may be the person that has the ability to help you achieve a certain goal.

In our society, we have a tendency to invest more in things than in people. Therefore, many tend to be impolite or totally unaware of others. Compassion and kindness go a long way. Being rude never does any good.

2. Be Confident and Excellent in Your Chosen Field

When you know your subject like the back of your hand, it is easy to be confident in your talents and skills.

This does not mean you have to be aggressive. Aggressiveness is a wasted emotion because it is a mask for insecurity. If you are good at what you do, there is no need to be insecure. Nor do you have to resort to backstabbing or pushy methods to get what you want. No one likes to be cheated or bullied.

When Charlie Rose asked Steve Martin about what advice would he give to others starting out in the acting business, Martin said the following: “Be so good at what you do that they cannot ignore you.

So if you want to be the next top game designer, then be confident at your coding and designing skills and just be as excellent as you can be. Someone will notice it and provide you with an opportunity. It may take time but it will happen.

Passion combined with hard work always -without fail- pay off and create so called “luck”.

3. Visualize Your “Lucky Break”

Again, the tool of visualization comes into play when creating an opportunity for luck to take place.

We all have dreams of how we would love to be discovered. Why not visualize that dream coming true?

About a year ago, I was working at a job that I did not love. I convinced myself that I loved what it gave me and that I could tolerate the gig until I was able to earn a living doing what I love.

This delusion lasted for some months but then I reached the point where I realized that I needed to quit because the job was creating so much stress which was affecting my health.

Shortly after, I was laid off from this soul-sucking job which then provided me with an opportunity to start a new career. Being that I was afraid and concerned about money, I started to look for another job but despite numerous interviews, nothing worked because my heart was just not in it.

For years, it has been my dream to have my own business. I have spent countless of hours visualizing what it would be like. I just never had the funds or it was not yet the right time. I simply hoped that someway and somehow it would happen.

I remember thinking it would be nice if life provided me with the money to fund my dreams of being self-employed. Then one day I was having coffee with someone who was living their dreams. We got to talking about my situation and one thing led to another and they offered to fund my new business.

They had no desire to see a business plan nor did they care if I paid them back. They saw the passion with which I spoke and that I knew every single detail of what I wanted to do.

I was able to rattle off figures of what it would cost and every other detail imaginable. Because of the fact that I was so prepared and enthusiastic, they wanted to be of help. Someone had helped them to become a success and they wanted to return the favor.

As you can see, my problem of being unemployed was solved simply because I was prepared when confronted with an opportunity.

Parting Words

One of the beautiful things about life is that we get out of it as much as we put into it. We all have our share of challenges and obstacles. No human being is immune from such incidents.

Success has no set definition. It means different things to different people. Someone who stays at home and does a beautiful job raising her/his kids is as successful as the person who runs a small company.

We each have the power to live a life that we love but it doesn’t happen by the simple fickle finger of fate. It is brought into fruition by the way you choose to engage in life. We all have the potential to be masters in whatever it is that makes our hearts sing.

We are the creators of our world and therefore, we are the creators of our so called luck.

* What do you think? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below. See you there!

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About the author

Nadia is the VP of Spirituality on Think Simple Now. Nadia has worn many hats in her short life. She used to be an image consultant, political campaign writer and attorney. Writing and photography are her passions. Through her writing, she intents to help people see how Divine they truly are.

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48 thoughts on How to Have Good Luck

  1. I love that you thought that guy was nuts, and now he is your husband. Sometimes goes to show that we can’t judge from initial interactions with people!

    I never thought about visualizing a lucky break, so thanks for sharing your story. It’s quite the inspiration!

  2. I have a quote by Thomas Jefferson hanging in my hallway. He said, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”

    Great article.

    :) Laura

  3. Wonderful article. I think it’s definitely true. A lot of people just underestimate somebody’s success saying it must have been luck, but that person had actually worked hard to be able to use the opportunity. Also, I believe that you have to enjoy the process of working. If you’re not motivated and inspired it will be a chore and you’ll hardly succeed.

  4. In soccer there is a saying “A good goalkeeper is always lucky”.
    I think this sums up what you are saying very well, the fact is that the good goalkeeper isn’t luckier than anyone else, he creates it himself.

    What might look like luck is careful preparation an understanding of the situation and the ability to use it to your benefit.

    The same goes for all in your life.

    The more prepared your are, by visualizing, studying and aiming for excellence the better your chances are to get that lucky break.

    Now it does feel like some people just have a un-proportionate share of luck and that might be the case, but it isn’t anything we can change so we might as well do all we can to create as much “luck” as possible in our own lives.

  5. I find I “make luck” whenever I’m doing, feeling, or aiming for something I really believe in.

    I think when we pursue what feels right and what flows, we naturally find and create opportunities for ourselves.

    For example, when I realized I wanted to leave my 9-5 corporate job and learn more about web design, I met more web designers and entrepreneurs in the span of 3 months than I have my entire life.
    Some interactions were random, and some were from me finding events on my own or talking to more people in general.

    Another example (this is more about luck), a few years ago when I was volunteering at a fair trade store, I wanted a beautiful elephant piggy bank for Christmas. I told myself I would do something beautiful with all the money I saved in it. I usually don’t find money on the ground ($1 at the most), but that year I found anywhere $0.25 to $10 on the ground in parking lots, walking, and in movie theatres. I was shocked to see at the end of the year I had found over $35!! I was delighted to donate it all to a cause I believed in.

    I think, by going for what we want, plus some luck from the universe, we end up with beautiful results and opportunities :)

  6. Jay Schryer

    Excellent article! I love how you tied many different concepts into one unifying discussion on the exact nature of luck. The combination of hard work, persistance, and preparation are key. We create our own “luck” just by being ready for the opportunities when they arise. There is a popular saying which goes: “God helps those who help themselves.” I have a friend who puts it this way: If you take a tiny step forward, God/The Universe will take a tiny step towards you. Take enough steps in the right direction, and the Universe will meet you in the middle with a plateful of your desires.

  7. Suchai

    “Bundit Ungrangsee” also wrote this article in a book,
    It is very interesting and I love his book so much, you’d better check it also.

  8. What a truly wonderful article Nadia.

    My Boyfriend is the extremely lucky type. Particularly in horse racing and I don’t know how many times he finds money on the streets or disbanded cash in ATM machines, (erhmm not when someone has just used the machine in front of him!!)

    I have always felt lucky with me as a person, lucky for my strong and healthy body and lucky in love. However I haven’t always felt lucky in my career.

    I was in exactly the same situation as you in a soul sucking job. My decision to leave was a moment of great relief which turned to joy when I decided I would take this “opportunity” to create my own little business and blog. Ok so the business is yet to launch but I am proud of my little blog. For me it was quite the learning curve- can you believe at one time I even grappled with commenting on blog posts like this!! One step at a time…

    I will definitely take heed of your advice and visualise my “lucky break”. I do already visualise the success of my business. Though I have to be careful on occasions to fend off the fear when I catch myself visualising failure.

    Also I loved this… “Success has no set definition. It means different things to different people. Someone who stays at home and does a beautiful job raising her/his kids is as successful as the person who runs a small company.” It is so true!!

    Thank you very much for such an insightful post!! Ox

  9. That’s what I believe too.
    Luck in itself doesn’t exist. Cool things happen when we are in alignment with our thoughts and actions. We have major influence over our destiny. If you follow your deepest desires, and work towards an inspirational future that benefits your world, you will experience magical situations.

  10. Hi Everyone,

    Thank you so much for all the positive feedback. Every single comment was a joy to read. It is nice to see how so many of you are following your bliss as Joseph Campbell suggested.

    Luck is one of those things that we think is a mystery but it really is not. We are far more powerful than we realize.

    And a special thanks to Tina for allowing me be a part of this blog. “Think Simple Now” has always been and still is one of my favorites and to be a part of it is such a gift. Thank you! :)

    Have a great day, everyone!

  11. Fantastic presentation of thoughts and ideas Nadia – and I so agree.

    Ha! when I was a teen, I thought of all sorts of things when it comes to luck, and fate and destiny. I thought that good days, had to be followed by bad days… and then I remember I broke a mirror when I was 14, and I just refused to believe that I was going to have 7 years of bad luck. So I pushed it back…. but on some subconscious level, I know it bothered me a little and had some influence in my life. I laugh today, but how sad the stories we tell in society and how destructive they can be to us.

    Today, I too feel that there is no way there is such a thing as “luck”. It is about so much more than that, and your article presents this perfectly.

  12. Very nice article.

    The only thing I would add is to not expect luck. Know which way you are heading and enjoy walking. Good luck is useless if you are not happy :)

  13. This article made my day! Lately I’ve been thinking about the same, because people is constantly reminding me how hard my top dream is: work as a Fashion Designer in Japan. I know it’s difficult, but who says I can not? :) I believe in myself, and I’ve been studying Japanese for 4 years already, and I’m currently doing my best at the career of Fashion Design. Perhaps it might seem huge because it’s too far away and it’s a different culture, but I know it’s the path I want to take for my life <3.

    Continue being this wonderful!

  14. Hey Nadia, thanks for the post.

    I can immediately relate it to my life too as all others in previous comment’s did.
    And I think it starts with the same subject as this blog name.

    Luck for me, really begins with “think simple now”. And I mean it. The “now” creates the “future”. If we take care of it, luck is definitely there for us. As of success, has not got a definite definition, so as luck.

    For me, I have seen complicating things for myself only by thinking of it over and again. And I still do the same.Though it has been shorten down by my own effort that not to ruin my beautiful future, by thinking complicated now. It took me years of practice to do it, but then once you start moving in the right direction, you can feel the change and so I felt and then I moved on and on. So now I am kind of really thinking simple now and that helps. That helps in keeping myself concentrated for my work, my passion and above all my happiness. It never was like this, I used to complain about everything, all the time. But now I have been asked many a times, how can you be like that, in this kind of situation!! For them it may be a difficult situation, for me it was kind of the same situation I have prepared myself for.

    I have gone through the thought of money when corporates show that they are not interested in me. But that never stopped me from doing whatever I like to do. I never was a good speaker through out my academic career. But recently I had organised developers meet for a local group, I used to mentor people on my past organisation, and head counts were from 15 to 30. I am surprised to see my own potential. I always wanted to write, but then could never pen down one article for my college magazine. When I started my blog (www.saumyaray.wordpress.com), I initially thought it as a practice for me write. And I am kind of happy today that my blog is at least read by some people arround the world. Some can say this is luck! And I know people saying it, but the truth is its the preparation, determination and persistence. I am not saying I am perfect, I am noway perfect but I never left my practice.

    When I started the blog, being technical, I was worried, how the comments would be, that led me to study about the subject. Again, I am not perfect in my field, but then studying it for a certain time, gave me confidence to put it on the blog.

    Regarding, positive people. Yes, definitely. I could not believe it, until I met with someone in my last to last office. That guy was just beginning his career. He was very poor but the thing which separeted him from the rest is his happiness. I was kind of surprised to see his attitude towards life. I must say, I got inspired by him to live now. Because this is the time. After some days, we were close friends and I must say the way I am now, is partly because of this fellow. He is happy all the time, and fortunately now he is leading his life with his wife and kid. All the best wishes to the couple. So, yes people around you really matter a lot on your life.
    All in all, I think its a beautifully put article.Thank you.

  15. Dear Nadia,
    Thank you so much for this beautiful and wise post. It is a pleasure to read you at TSN. May you keep spreading the joy and wisdom :-).
    What resonated with me, was the fact that all the people you interviewed loved what they were doing. It’s key isn’t it ,to do what makes our heart sing and keep practising it. What was very useful also was that our learning and our action have to match. We have to believe and embody what we know. Thanks for a great article. Hope to keep reading many more :-)

  16. Nadia,

    Good to read you after a long time. Uzma told me about your post before I got to read you email.

    The article is SUPERB. The tips are practical and basically you’ve managed to sum up the whole topic of creating one’s own world beautifully.

    Stumbled! :)

  17. I believe that we mostly create our own luck. I agree with what Jay shared about “God helps those who help themselves”.

    “Luck” as I think it to be is some kind of assistance that we receive from higher forces when we are aligned to our purpose. Hence, at appropriate times, I still wish others “good luck”.

  18. Hi Nadia – I had no idea that Madonna had visualised herself performing for a much larger audience. That is interesting and useful to know.

    I loved Outliers and I wish I’d read it years ago. I think I would have had far more confidence in my abilities, if I’d understood the 10,000 hour rule. Oh well, better late than never I guess.

  19. Nadia, I can’t imagine your writing ever “sucking” as I’ve never known it to, and it sure does not now. But yes, we all have to begin where we are and put in those 10.000 hours.

    I like the idea of visualizing positive thoughts.

    And I really like the idea of investing time in people, over things, and being kind to every single person.

    Great to see you again, Nadia!

    xo

  20. Michael Yanakiev

    Hi Nadia !

    This is a great article that you have designed on ‘How to Have Good Luck’. It is extremely well thought through and argumented. The central thesis is that contrary to most beliefs – our destiny is mainly created by ourselves and thus luck is self created and realized. A fantastic quote from Seneca – “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” –penetrates the whole article and becomes a homeostasis of the system that Nadia has crafted out.
    Great insights like :
    – In our society, we have a tendency to invest more in things than in people.
    -“Be so good at what you do that they cannot ignore you.“
    -Passion combined with hard work always -without fail- pay off and create so called “luck”.
    -Again, the tool of visualization comes into play when creating an opportunity for luck to take place.
    -As you can see, my problem of being unemployed was solved simply because I was prepared when confronted with an opportunity.

    Are the memorable take a ways for me in this marvelous post.

  21. The best blog post i have ever read ! Amazing ! Inspiring !
    Thanks !!!

  22. I believe if you are a good person and try to good by others that luck will follow. Good karma helps!

  23. I believe in creating your own luck. If you don’t work for it, you’ll never get it.

  24. success doesn’t happen from the first attempt and by being persistent enough to keep trying we will eventually succeed and create our luck
    thanks for your post:)

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