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Some say luck is all around us and all we have do is look. Those of us who are luckier than most understand that is true; however, we have to do more than look. We also have to work at it. When we hear the word “luck,” things that might come to mind could be winning the lottery, finding a $20 bill on the ground or even getting the first parking spot at the front of the full lot.
If the definition of luck is “a form of success brought by chance,” then the above would, in fact, be correct examples of luck. That is one literal definition of luck: good fortune brought about by chance rather than one’s own actions. However, what if we had the ability to increase our chances and make better choices? Wouldn’t we be luckier? Yes, and because of that, there are two types of luck I have come to find in life: unreliable luck and reliable luck.
Unreliable luck fits the traditional definition: success resulting from chance. But reliable luck involves increasing your chances by making strategic choices.
Here are three reliable choices I have found that have increased my luck over the years.
Take more success-driven actions
There are some people who believe when they focus and spend time envisioning a certain outcome or possession they desire, all they have to do is will it, and it will come to them. Then, there are some of us who know that when we increase our actions in a strategic way, we increase our chances of getting what we want.
You can think about getting a new job, or you can do something to get a new job. You can think about making more money, or you can do something that will make you more money. You can think about falling in love, or you can go out and put yourself out there more. I am not saying we get what we want every time we take action. I am saying we get luckier with every action we take.
Build critical relationships
Several people have told me who we surround ourselves with is who we become. I agree with this; however, we are in charge of who we spend time with and who we don’t. Who are three people you need to stop hanging out with? And more importantly, who are three people you need to start hanging out with that will better your chances for success?
When selecting these people, don’t confuse someone who is on the journey with you with someone who has already been where you want to go. Having support is necessary; having insight in terms of getting lucky is better! Spend time with people who have already finished the race you have set out to start. These people can give you insight, feedback and, more importantly, connections to get you to where you want to go faster.
Decrease the physical distance between you and your goals
While in New York City, I sat next to a stranger while eating lunch on a bench in Central Park. We both gave the smile of approval to sit beside each other as we ate our sandwiches, and after a bit, we started talking. She shared with me her big dream is to be on SNL one day as a cast member. I then found out she lives in a small town in the Midwest and travels to New York once a year to get a feel for the city and check out comedy clubs where she hopes to get lucky and be discovered.
When I explained that her odds of getting on SNL would be better if she moved to New York or a place where they scouted for new talent, her response was, “If it is supposed to happen, it will happen!” Maybe. But that’s unreliable luck! When it comes to my dream and desires, I would rather invest in reliable luck. Instead of thinking it will happen, make it happen. We can do that by being in a place that we can get the experience more often than once a year. If you want to be a tennis player, but are hanging out on a football field, it’s unlikely you’re going to be the best tennis player in the world.
There are some people who glance at my success and consider me lucky. I am lucky — very lucky — because I invest in reliable luck. I take actions every day toward the goals I have set. I build relationships with people who can take me to where I want to go. I put myself in places that help me excel in my profession. I am not waiting for things to happen. I am making things happen. I am increasing my chances.
When we want to be luckier in life, we should look to increase our opportunities, not leave everything up to pure chance. Yes, there are some people who go from having nothing to having everything because of unreliable luck, or they believe they willed it to happen. We can sit around and wait for that unlikely turn of events to happen for us, or we can go out and make our chances increase.
When we invest in reliable luck by taking action, building better relationships and decreasing the physical distance between us and our goals, we will inevitably get luckier. Don’t leave reliable luck to chance, and chances are you will have more luck.