How to Create Your Own Luck
All of us know at least one obnoxiously lucky person—the one who always wins raffles, who bounces back from breakups only to find a new and improved partner, who never seems to stress over exams and always gets the green light.
It’s so easy to resent the very ground they walk upon, or assume that they were just “born lucky.” What if we told you that you could be the obnoxiously lucky person? It’s true. By the end of this article, you’ll know the secret behind creating your own luck.
It’s all in your head
That’s it: that’s the big secret to creating your own luck. Our mindset and attitudes are the single biggest contributing factor to good luck. That means that if you want to get lucky—in ways both euphemistic and literal—you’re going to have to make some change from within. This is as close as you’ll get to a cheat code for life.
The key to making your own luck is to look at everything as an opportunity, even if it’s inconvenient at the time. For example, you spill coffee down the front of your work clothes, only to find that the time it took to change your clothes saved you from getting into a major pile-up. Perhaps you compliment someone on their 49ers jersey, and in the ensuing conversation, learn that they’re the CEO of a tech company looking for someone to fill your dream job opening.
There’s never a guarantee that any interaction or event has a hidden silver lining. However, if you’re determined enough to make the best of any given situation, and genuinely “put yourself out there,” you’re more likely to experience good luck.
The concept is simple. Putting it into practice is harder. If it were easy, we’d all be millionaires who retired at 30 alongside the love of our lives.
The ‘serendipity mindset’
Chance occurrences and accidents will always play a role in our lives—it’s why a toddler saying “uh oh” strikes fear into any parent’s heart. When you’re making your own luck, you have to get into the “serendipity mindset.”
Dr. Christian Busch explains to The Guardian, “since so much of our lives are influenced by the unplanned and the unexpected, it makes sense to capitalise on these moments…Unforeseen events, chance meetings and bizarre coincidences aren’t just minor distractions or specks of grit in our well-oiled lives. The unexpected is often the critical factor – it’s often the force that makes the greatest difference in our lives.”
Busch points out that about half of humanity’s major scientific discoveries have happened by accident, such as the discovery of penicillin. Thank goodness Alexander Fleming looked at moldy petri dishes as an opportunity, not a failure.
In short, making your own luck is an active choice. You can’t passively wait for the dream job, spouse or car to appear.
Here are some easy ways to get yourself into the serendipity mindset:
- Know what you want: Train your mind to spot opportunities by knowing exactly what you want. If you want to go back to school for an MFA in Creative Writing, your brain will automatically use the frequency illusion to spot new opportunities.
- Be more outgoing: The more you talk to people, the more likely you’ll hear about new opportunities. You never know when a simple compliment to a stranger or a conversation with a coworker will turn into an interesting new lead.
- Look for side quests: Your path to your goals might not be linear, so don’t fall victim to tunnel vision. Keeping an open mind may lead you to “side quests” that open up new opportunities for you to explore.
- Explore your own world: Whether you’re actively working toward a goal or simply want to get more out of life, make a point to get out and explore your own world. That could be visiting a part of your town you don’t see often, volunteering on holidays or taking yourself out on a date every couple of weeks. The more you go out and interact with other people, the more your social and geographical network will build.
- Don’t force it: Finally, be patient with your luck. The serendipity mindset is a matter of being open to possibilities, rather than checking a certain number of boxes in a prescribed amount of time. Let go of expectations of how it all “should” work, and be prepared to be surprised by what does happen.
You don’t need to be “born lucky” to have things go your way and fall in your favor. All you need is a little perspective and the willingness to see things in a positive light.