#1 Be open and flexible, seize serendipity:
Deliberately add variety to your life, be approachable, stay open to chance opportunities. Unlucky people restrict their thinking and often fixate on narrowly defined outcomes, frequently over looking over incredible opportunities simply because they do not fit their tight criteria.
#2 Adapt a positive explanatory style; cultivate an attitude of gratitude and a habit of happiness:
Positive, optimistic people are lucky people. Perhaps it is because they try more often, try longer or try harder. Perhaps it is because others are attracted to them. Whatever the reason, luck and positivity feed off each other in a self-reinforcing loop.
#3 Be ready:
It has been said that luck is simply the intersection of hard work and opportunity. Lots of people getting “lucky breaks,” significantly fewer end up taking advantage to them. Call it earning a “return on luck.” Author Jim Collins (Good to Great) illustrates the principle: “Thousands of people could have done the same thing that Mr. Gates did, at the same time. But they didn’t…How many of them changed their life plans—and cut their sleep to near zero, essentially inhaling food so as not to let eating interfere with work—to throw themselves into writing Basic for the Altair? How many defied their parents, dropped out of college and moved to Albuquerque to work with the Altair? That’s not luck—that’s “return on luck.”
The “be ready” concept works for something as simple as racquetball. Even when I’ve hit a bad shot, a shot that sets up the other player, I always re-position myself on the court, never conceding the point. Every now and then, the other player mis-hits the shot as well or hits a getable ball leaving me in position to return the shot. Luck? Or simply always being ready to take advantage of a break should it come my way. Optimism factors in as well; the pessimist would tend to concede the point. A small subtle advantage perhaps but when players are any where evenly matched, it can make the difference between victory and defeat.
#4 Work hard, Prepare diligently:
Luck has a peculiar habit of favoring those who don’t depend on it. As the saying goes, the harder I work, the more luckier I get. Or as Ben Franklin said “Diligence is the mother of good luck.”
“Unlucky people miss chance opportunities because they are too focused on looking for something else. They go to parties intent on finding their perfect partner, and so miss opportunities to make good friends. They look through the newspaper determined to find certain job advertisements and, as a result, miss other types of jobs. Lucky people are more relaxed and open, and therefore see what is there, rather than just what they are looking for.” – University of Hertfordshire Professor Richard Wiseman; 1966–, author of “The Luck Factor”
“Luck is not chance, it’s toil; fortune’s expensive smile is earned.” — Emily Dickinson; 1830-1886
“I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often.” — Brian Tracy; 1944–