I believe in luck. I also believe in showing up, working hard, and being exceptional, of course. But there’s a small proportion of magic, accessed when all the inputs are right, that can only be attributed to chance. To coincidence or a fluke or destiny. Call it whatever you want. Believing in luck means you recognise that there is an element of your life and work over which you have no control. It’s empowering and freeing and feels like a game.
Some people always seem to be on the right side of luck. They’re jammy, or favoured in some way. You might be able to picture them now. If you asked, they might point to good decision-making, or quote a phrase such as Samuel Goldwyn’s “the harder I work, the luckier I get”. But really, being lucky is a system that anyone can apply, to reap the rewards again and again.
Here are the five habits of lucky people, and how you can use them.
The more tickets you buy at the raffle, the more likely you are to win. People who we think of as lucky tend to put themselves out there more than most are willing to. They find comfort in uncomfortableness. This means they win more opportunities. Of course, they lose a lot of the time too. But as they practise taking risks, they get better at working out what looks like a worthy gamble. Over time, they spot the best value options and the odds are in their favour.
Lucky people have already visualised where they want their luck to take them. They know how good it feels when their plans pay off and they can picture themselves there. Lucky people don’t fear setbacks. In a game of snakes and ladders, you will get to the end of the board if you keep rolling the dice. The snakes are just part of the game and a ladder is always just around the corner. Constantly worrying about the negatives will stop you getting your lucky breaks.
Paying it forward
The luckiest people I know aren’t all shrewd businesspeople or professional gamblers. They like succeeding in life and work and want others to do so too. They operate from a mindset of abundance. They feel they have fortuitously been dealt a winning hand, so they’re always giving legs-up or doing favours. They are sharing the knowledge, the wealth, or the opportunities. They are mentoring and coaching or helping others along their journey.
This creates strong bonds with those people, who are now lucky by extension. Favours are repaid in volumes and Mr or Ms Lucky wins again. It’s like creating your own karma.
The mother of someone I know always told him there is a “giant scoreboard in the sky”. It meant he attributed favourable news to something good his former self had done. It also meant he was never unkind or sought revenge. What if there was a giant scoreboard in the sky? What if all the lucky breaks you had were equal to the ones you had created for others? Lucky people know there’s some truth in the sentiment.
Lucky people hold an attitude of gratitude. They can regularly list things they are grateful to have and grateful not to have. They have trained themselves to notice when they have been fortunate, and they have started to believe that good luck follows them wherever they go.
They say thank you for every favour. They never forget a kindness. Their gratitude means people love doing things for them, and doors are always opening. Their overwhelming contentment is infectious and inspiring to be near. In A Guide To The Good Life by William B. Irvine, he describes intense gratitude as “stoic joy”, when we are… “susceptible to little outbursts of joy: We will, out of the blue, feel delighted to be the person we are, living the life we are living, in the universe we happen to inhabit.” Fortune favours the grateful.
Lucky people are not consumed with small and irrelevant details or things that don’t really matter. They’re not wasting time and energy with inconsequential matters because they know their input is far better invested elsewhere. They notice when they are too close to a situation, seeing with tunnel-vision or leading with fear. They can quickly switch to regain perspective and choose a new, more favourable outlook.
They aim to see gossip or petty situations for what they are; things that don’t concern them. They ask, “what does this really mean?” and don’t let limiting beliefs weigh them down. Their sense of perspective means their headspace and conversations are free from drama and negativity and open to ideas and speculating based on the bigger picture.
Building a network
Lucky people attract others. It’s almost like we think their luck will rub off on us if we spend enough time in their company. Maybe we think we’ll learn something. The truth is that every lucky person I know is updating and speaking with their network regularly. They’re checking in and catching up and looking to know people better. They don’t know for sure it will lead to lucky breaks and amazing opportunities, but somehow it always does.
Lucky people aren’t trying to sell to everyone they know. They know that things work out for them without needing to push. Instead, they look for ways to meet new people to learn from them and nurture relationships. They are prolific connectors and they always seem to have someone to introduce you to. They are known as always having a solution or knowing a person who will.
Being lucky is a mindset and a way of life. Becoming lucky is possible for anyone who believes it is. Act like a lucky person and it will happen for you.