"I wish to win the lottery... $300 million is enough... that's all I ask for"
"I found twenty bucks in my bag today... didn't know I had cash"
"I want that dream job... if only that job was listed right now..."
I hear it all the time. Wouldn't life be easier if we were luckier? Some people consider themselves very lucky, some people don't. I have always considered myself part of the first bucket but never really understood why... was it because I am really blessed? A greater power is really paving the way for me?
Then the other day I was crawling through the depths of Youtube and I came through a video that changed my outlook on "luck". Basically the TLDR is - the concept of luck can be difficult to define and measure, but one thing is certain: it can be cultivated through certain strategies. So instead of watching the 12 minute video, here is a 12 minute read (but with personal anecdotes!).
One of the key strategies for becoming luckier is to increase your chances of being in the right place at the right time. This can be accomplished by expanding your social network and engaging in activities that bring you into contact with a diverse group of people. According to a study published in the journal Social Networks, people who have a wide range of social connections are more likely to have luck in finding a job or a romantic partner. So, if you want to increase your chances of luck, start networking, join clubs and attend events. You never know who you might meet or what opportunities might come your way. For me, I would have never landed in consulting if I didn't catch up with my friend Annie who told about her experiences in the Global Consulting Group.
Another strategy for becoming luckier is to be open to new experiences and opportunities. Research has shown that people who are more open to new experiences tend to be more fortunate in their lives. A study published in the Journal of Research in Personality found that people who score high on a measure of openness to experience are more likely to have good luck in their lives. This means that if you want to increase your luck, try something new. Take a class, try a new hobby, or even travel to a new place.
While hiking in New Zealand, I had the opportunity to meet some fellow hikers on my trail. Little did I know that striking up a conversation with them would end up saving me $70 in transportation costs! They kindly offered me a ride back from Te Anau to Queenstown. As it turned out, this was a stroke of luck because New Zealand was experiencing record floods during the three days I was on my hike. The original mode of transport I had planned to use was cut off, so if it weren't for my new friends, I would have been stuck in Te Anau for a few extra days. On top of the mountains it was a rather wet hike, but I never expected it to be flooded (see below)! The more open you are to new experiences, the more opportunities that will come your way.
It's also important to have a positive attitude and optimism. Studies have found that people who have a positive outlook on life tend to be more fortunate than those who have a negative outlook, and further, people who score high on a measure of optimism are more likely to have good luck in their lives. So, if you want to increase your luck, make a conscious effort to stay positive, practice gratitude and engage in positive self-talk. If you know me... you'd know im always positive... most of the time... maybe half the time...maybe never at all (just joking!).
Finally, it's important to take action towards your goals. Research has shown that people who are proactive and take action towards their goals are more likely to be fortunate in life. A study published in the Journal of Research in Personality found that people who score high on a measure of proactive personality are more likely to have good luck in their lives. So, if you want to increase your luck, set clear goals, make a plan to achieve them and take consistent action towards them. Change your outlook in life... And that would change your life.
Becoming luckier is not just a matter of chance but it can be cultivated through certain strategies. By expanding your social network, being open to new experiences and opportunities, having a positive attitude, and taking action towards your goals, you can increase your chances of being in the right place at the right time and ultimately become luckier in your life.
Remember, luck is not a matter of chance, it's a matter of choice.