Who else wants to have more luck in life?
In this post I’ll show you how you can bend the odds and get more of it.
It’s got to do with Colombian magic spells, horseshoes in the right size and yellow frog’s eyes.
Well, or may be not…
In the early 60s Harrison Ford moved to Hollywood to become an actor. He had unfavorable conditions (a word I prefer over bad luck) and got many fruitless casting calls. He turned to carpentry to survive and even worked for The Doors as stagehand.
Lucky Harrison, met George Lucas who hired him to install some cabinets for his private house. Lucas invited him for audition for his next film. Ford got a role in 1973s “American Graffiti”.
After this, Ford still made few money of acting and had to stay in carpentry business. A while later with some more luck again, Ford met Francis Ford Coppola and later appeared in his movie “The Conversation”. And 1977 his career finally kicked off with his famous role as Han Solo in “Star Wars”.
This is a nice anecdote. It seems as Harrison Ford got into acting business only because he was lucky.
There are many such stories of successful and famous people. And if we look at their biography it seems they all were lucky to have great opportunities. And they were lucky to be gifted.
However, what people oversee is, that the real foundation of those people’s success is a lot of hard work.
Do you think Harrison Ford got invited ONLY because he was there at the right time?
Maybe. But do you believe he could have made the second film without being a good actor in the first one? And getting the role of “Han Solo” for sure was not by pure chance.
Harrison Ford may have occurred at the right time at some times in his career. His hard practice of acting the years before actually laid the foundation for this. Without laying the exceptional groundwork, all the occasions he got by chance would not had meant anything. Ford broadcasted his voice on the radio station of his high school. He was also a sportscaster in his senior year. And he took drama class at his senior year.
There are typical constant thoughts we have: That other people are so lucky. We think “I’m just screwing up”. But you have to be aware, this is just conceptional bias. We focus on success of others. Contrarily, when looking at ourselves we only see our effort. We focus on 99% of times when it did not work. And we were not “lucky”.
There is no luck. There is no chance to truly bend the universe to our wishes. Not even celebrities and genius people can do this. It’s mere coincidence.
Others can’t change the random occurrence of their experience. They are not the ones that throw the dice and trick mathematics. We cannot change random chance. On average over a long period of time we all have the same amount of strikes AND fails. So to make our own luck, we can do two things:
We have to do thorough groundwork, like Harrison Ford did. That means, we have to practice. Put in effort into yourself or the thing you want to build, for example a business or a relationship.
2. Multiply opportunities
Increase their number by taking action and evaluating, if you should stick to a plan or change the direction. We can build and make our own luck.
Another thing you have to do is to evaluate. You have to measure independently and don’t lie to your self. Don’t fall into wishful thinking. One of the best examples for this is, when you’re looking for a spouse and you searched for very long your desire to find someone is really huge. When you finally found anyone, you quickly believe this is the only person you can be happy with. You will be blind to his / her negative sides. Despite of lot of mismatches in your wishful thinking tells your, that you fit perfectly. You think you were very lucky to have found the other person.
On the other hand, you must be aware when luck strikes you. You have to believe that you merit luck. You are worth it. Sadly, many parents and teachers tell children, that they are incapable, worthless and ugly. Doing this once, won’t make damage. Doing this over and over again, children start to believe it. When finally faced with success or an opportunity, we tend to be very shy. Too shy to grab the luck. Or you are afraid of success.
There is an intriguing story about Grigory Perelman, a Russian mathematician.The Poincaré conjuncture had been proposed by Henry Poincaré in 1904. Simply put, it’s a very hard mathematical problem. After many mathematicians got stuck in solving it, a prize of 1 Million USD was put to the one who solves the problem.
Only in 2002, Grigori Perelman, a genius, solved the Poincare conjuncture. It needed a committee of several experts, for several days, to understand an confirm the proof of Perelman. He was offered the 1 Million USD prize. Later offers of several professorships of prestigious Universities followed. And finally, the Fields Medal of outstanding work in Mathematics.
You won’t believe what happened!
Perelman declined all of it. The financial freedom he could have… The fame and prestige! One possible explanation for this is, that Perelman had Asperger’s syndrome. Another part of the reason may be his aversion to socializing, especially when it results in public attention.
Putting a long story short. Gregori Perelman was not prepared for success. He could not and did not want to handle it.
What does it mean for you?
You have to be prepared for success. You have to accept it when it comes. It can happen to everyone. You have to believe this.
Another way to build your luck, is to change directions. And to know when and how to do it. If you have a plan A and it does not work, choose plan B. Be aware the alphabet has over 20 more letters for a plan. Let go of plan A. No mourning for the great idea you had.
There is a typical feeling you may know. If not, better get aware of it. Because it will make you stick to a failing plan. And never become successful, because there was huge time and effort you put into plan A. For sentimentality, or whatever it is, you have a hard time to leave this sinking ship. Many people rather stick to a failing or bad working plan just because it felt so logical in the first place. So much emotion sticks to it.
This is also a sign of the fear, if at all you could find an alternative plan.
It’s also the avoidance of stress when admitting that plan A just sucks. It may feel like admitting that you just suck. But it’s not you, it was just the idea. It’s hard to throw it over-board. I’ve been there several times before ;-(
Imagine yourself on your own deathbed. Actually a great motivation technique. What do you think, will you wish to have stuck to a failing plan for your entire life? Or will you rather wish to had taken risk and effort to get things right eventually. To become successful.
You have to get aware, there are always new ways to your goals. You won’t run out of ideas and opportunities. Ideas and solutions may come to you when you least expect them. But when you don’t watch out for them because you cling to old ideas, you are assured to miss them.
Cindy Lauper is known for the famous pop song “Girls just want to have fun“. After some success as singer, she had to file for bankruptcy in 1981 because her record contract with Blue Angel music failed. She had to work in retail to make a living.
However, she did not throw in the towel and kept following her singing career. She just repeated throwing dice or coins to get lucky eventually. Finally, success proved her right. She came back with the 2 big albums “She’s So Unusual” and “True Colors”.
What I want to convince you of this:
- lucky people have different mind sets and behavior
- you are lucky as well, because
- you can learn and train these behavior and mind sets to make your own luck
Another important trait to become lucky is to be social.
Get in contact with many people, especially people who are new to you.
Unlucky people always talk to the ones they know, that are often similar to themselves
don’t only stick to your old pals and environment.
In worst case, this is the same as clinging to plan A that does not work for years.
Listen to what others people do, get inspired about their job and spare time activities
Opportunities that you find when socializing can be for example
- a good offer for a service around your house
- meeting someone who is willing to buy your old car that you just would have given away for a knocked-down price
- meet someone who knows the boss of the company you always dreamed to work for
- or simply meeting friends who resonate more with your personality
- finally find a boy-friend or girl-friend
- find a “plan B sweetheart” when “plan A sweetheart” just sucked, or left you
Connecting to new people could even mean to finally step out of detrimental environment. To leave gloomy, uninspiring circumstances and forming a habit of new activities. Also, turn to people outside your comfort zone. Chance is much higher to get exceptional opportunities or solutions, just a step afar from what’s usually comfortable to you.
Here is a metaphor to crumble old believe:
Do you feel like not having received the lucky dice?
You threw the dice and only see a 1 or 2?
Then, is the solution to give up the game, game over for your life?
Of course not!
Just throw the dice as often as you wish.
Mathematics tells us,
The more often we throw the dice
the higher are the chances to get a six.
Don’t throw in the towel – throw the dice instead!
Or when throwing a coin, did you bet on head and the number showed up?
Just throw again.
Last but not least..
And life is not always fair. But life is not a game with fixed rules either. You can change an unfair coin in your life. Be creative and fin…our plan B, C, D, … or simply invent an
Overall New Game.