The famous writer, E. B. White, once said, "Luck is not a subject you can mention in the presence of self made men."
When you think about it, it's true. Many accomplished people bristle at the thought that chance played a role in their success. Instead, they are more likely to attribute their success to knowledge, experience, talent, perseverance and/or a brilliant strategy.
But when Lars Sørensen of Novo Nordisk was asked what forces propelled him to the top of HBR’s 2015 ranking of the best-performing CEOs in the world, he cited something very different: luck.
Indeed, even in the most competitive arenas, research by both psychologists and economists say it is almost impossible to make it to the top without having also enjoyed at least a bit of good fortune along the way. And as luck would have it, acknowledging that simple fact may actually make us more likely to succeed.
But even if we all aren't CEO's of big companies, are there ways that can help us all be a little luckier in life, despite whatever situations we face?
Good news. Here are a few tips.
1. The more experiences you expose yourself to, the luckier you are likely to be.
Just how much luck do you think you can look forward to if you stay locked up in your house like a hermit? Get out and pursue life. Set goals. Dream big. Life is a gift, not a charity.
2. Envision being successful.
At the expense of dragging out the obvious platitudes about the power of positive thinking, it's true. Are you more likely to be successful in what you attempt if you imagine the reasons you will succeed, or bombard yourself with every possible thing that might go wrong? The best athletes see themselves winning a game long before it starts. The best actors imagine an audience exploding with applause long before they take the stage. No matter what you are doing, you must first see success happen before you can make it happen. As General Douglas MacArthur once said, "The best luck is the luck you make for yourself."
3. Trust your hunches more.
In a rewarding book called "The Luck Factor" by Max Gunther, he writes, "A hunch is a conclusion that is based on perfectly real data-on objective facts that have been accurately observed, efficiently stored, logically processed in your mind. The facts on which the hunch is based, however, are facts you don't consciously know. They are stored and processed on some level of awareness just below or behind the conscious level. This is why a hunch comes with that peculiar feeling of almost-but-not-quite-knowing. It is something that you think you know, but you don't know how you know it."
Lucky people, as a group, tend to plumb the depths of their hunches more than others.
Not that they're always right. But sometimes it's better to trust your gut and let intuition guide you. Of course, you could drive yourself crazy on every deliberation in life, but what guarantee do you have that all that mind-wrenching will lead to an increased likelihood of success either?
4. Try looking at things from a different angle.
As the Dalai Lama XIV once mused, "Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck."
Just because a plan failed doesn't necessarily mean that it was a bad idea. It just might be your execution of it needs to be looked at from a different perspective. That translates to, the more you learn and grow, the more lucky and successful you are likely to be.
5. Stress and negative thinking don't help.
The poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox once wrote, "Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Weep, and you weep alone. For the sad old Earth must borrow, but has trouble enough of its own."
Remember that time you beat yourself up over something that wasn't in your control in the first place? Didn't work out that well did it?
The truth is, most of us are walking, talking balls of stress. And if you're under stress, open doors of opportunity will be missed. Luck is out there, just waiting for any of us to seize it. But that door closes pretty quickly when stress takes over.
6. Live in the now.
It's easy to let life pass you by. The world's minutiae represent an army of distracting things that get in the way of enjoying the moment. If you develop the ability to live in the present moment, it will help you notice opportunities that would otherwise breeze past without notice.
7. Be curious about everything.
Sometimes, it helps to pretend you're a young child looking at the world anew, eager to absorb. By developing your curiosity, you help yourself open doors that were previously closed. Being curious helps give you a fresh perspective on things, allowing you to find solutions that others might miss. The more creative and innovative you are, the more luck you can create for yourself.
8. What McDonald's can teach us.
Not the food, but the founder. Ray Kroc said, "Luck is the dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get."
So, as you walk confidently into the year 2017, a smile on your face and a spring in your step, we wish you, "Good Luck!"
Luck is out there for us all. It can happen to you anytime, anywhere, as long as you are open to it.
We wanted to create messaging that reminded people that luck is just waiting for them and inevitably, will come, just as surely as the sun rises each morning.
This is what the latest branding campaign for the DC Lottery is all about.