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10 Proven Ways to Make Your Own Luck

Entrepreneur’s New Year’s Guide

Sometimes it seems like Lady Luck picks only a few people upon which to smile. Fate always seems to work in their favor, and they always land on their feet.

How do they do it? Are they really just that lucky? And is there a way of persuading the universe to favor you with the same opportunities?

There are proven ways through which you can create your own luck. These lucky people, whether they realize it or not, have probably found ways to crack the code. They have learned to put themselves in the right situations, take advantage of the right opportunities and accomplish their goals through a lot of hard work.

If you’re looking to harness fate, here are 10 proven ways to make your own luck.

1. Be social and improve your odds.

Talk to new people at a party. Broaden your social circle, and build your professional network. Introduce old friends to new acquaintances. One of the fastest and best ways to garner more luck is to put yourself out there and meet more people, because people bring connections and connections bring opportunity.

However, don’t forget about your old friends either. Keep in touch with the people with whom you’ve built strong bonds — the ones you know you can count on. Make sure you tend to those relationships, because they are powerful over the long haul.

2. Imagine the stepping stones to success.

Visualizing good fortune helps you get there. For instance, the best athletes envision winning a game before it starts. If you are preparing for a job interview or a big presentation, imagine your calm demeanor and your thoughtful responses while you get ready.

If you have a goal in mind, visualize your path to success and figure out where you want to be in a month or a year from now. What does your success look like? Now work backward to where you are now. What are the steps you have to take along the way? Seeing each detail in high resolution is key.

3. Help others and find out how lucky you are.

What goes around comes around. Lucky people don’t hog their prosperity, but give freely of their time and resources. They help others because it’s the right thing to do.

However, as a bonus, giving reminds us of how lucky we already are. And those good deeds will very often come back to us in unexpected ways.

4. Leave room for randomness.

Don’t let yourself get stuck in a rut. If you shy away from experiencing new things, you are bound to feel bored and stifled. Be open to new things. Be curious about the world around you.

This will give you the opportunity to explore and gain new insights; to see things from a different perspective or meet someone you wouldn’t normally meet. When we put ourselves out there, we welcome chance into our lives.

5. Be on the lookout for luck.

Luck isn’t always something that you stumble upon, or that randomly happens to you. Sometimes luck is something you can spot, if you allow yourself to look for it. But more often than not, luck is about learning where to find an opportunity.

You can thus create your own luck by being aware of your circumstances and surroundings. By simply noticing and acting on opportunities or listening to your hunches, you allow more luck into your life.

6. Take a chance.

If you don’t push yourself out of your comfort zone, you’ll never know the true extent of your abilities. Take advantage of favorable circumstances and see where they take you. Allow yourself to be versatile and wear different hats.

And, most important, act when an opportunity presents itself. Too often businesses fail or we lose our shot simply because of inaction. As hockey great Wayne Gretzky once said, “You will miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”

7. Create your own luck through hard work.

Psychologist Richard Wiseman has studied luck and its presence in people’s lives. He found that if you think you’ll be lucky, chances are you’ll experience more good fortune than someone who thinks they are unlucky.

About 82 percent of lucky people are prepared to work hard and create their good luck. They also have a positive attitude and are resilient when bad things happen.

Unlucky people tend to be fatalistic and believe that no matter how hard they work, they will be unlucky. As Wiseman notes, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

8. See the positive side.

Instead of seeing the grass as being greener on the other side, take a closer look at all the positive things happening on your side of the fence. After all, if you only see downers in your life, then you will exude only negative energy.

Besides, all that hypothetical green grass you so admire may in reality be a huge task to keep up. The bottom line is: focus on the positives. Look for the silver linings even in what seems like a bad situation.

9. Accept that setbacks happen.

No one is lucky all of the time. Failure happens. It’s part of life. Accept that there will be moments when you’ll feel down in the dumps. Realize that there will be times when you’ll want to throw in the towel.

Don’t let negativity set in, and don’t give up. Brush the dust off, and look for a new angle to approach your problem.

10. Stay in the present.

There are some things you can change and some you can’t. Instead of getting fixated on things beyond your control, stay in the present.

Staying in the present allows you to see all the little things that you have become oblivious to. And when it truly comes down to it, luck happens in the moment. If you are too focused on your own mind and thoughts, you will never see the opportunities right in front of you.

The less you leave to chance the luckier you're likely to be.

Six Things Lucky People Do That Others Don’t

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“I’m a great believer in luck. I’ve found that the harder I work, the more I have of it.” Thomas Jefferson.

None of us are lucky all of the time, but there’s not doubt that some people tend to be luckier than others. You might say, it’s not fair. Or you might take a look at how they look at life and ask yourself whether it’s the way they see the world that is helping them get luckier in it. The truth is that lucky people aren’t lucky by sheer accident. They’re lucky because of the mindset they bring to life. A mindset that accepts bad luck as inevitable but good luck as something we create by sheer hard work, bravery and optimism.

As Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology once wrote, “Optimists endure the same storms in life as pessimists. But they weather them better and emerge from them better off.” And so it is with luck. You may not be able to control the economy, the weather, the stock market or the universe, but research shows that you can create your own good fortune. It’s a long game but with a strong pay off. Lucky people weather the storms of life by seeing hidden opportunities, trusting themselves and taking bold action. When troubles arise, they are buoyed by help from supportive friends. You can change your luck this spring with the same strategies. Here’s how.

1. They Trust Their Intuition

Too often we lean too heavily on left brain logic alone. So if you’ve made a few unlucky decisions think about where you could be tuning in more to your intuition and asking yourself “Does this feel right?” Of course it’s not about throwing out the logic-baby with the bathwater, but it’s about tuning into that ‘sixth’ sense rather than ignoring it. As research shows, when it comes to the really big decisions in life, over analyzing things can actually lower your odds of making the best decision. Studies have found that your brain discerns subtle, complex patterns that go beyond conscious understanding.

Those indecipherable insights can help you make better decisions. As I wrote in my latest book Brave, it takes guts to trust your gut and the more often you do, the better it can guide you. Don’t ignore a hunch or silence your internal alarms just because you can’t explain them. Lucky people act on these instincts.

2. They Take Risks

The lucky breaks people have nearly always stem from brave action; from taking a risk . They aren’t luck at all. They’re the result of courageous action; rising above our innate aversion to risk that’s wired into our DNA. That is, we’re programmed to focus more on what we have to lose than on what we have to gain. Acting in concert with this is our inability to accurately predict the cost of inaction. It explains why so many people stick with situations that leave them miserable rather than leaving the security of the known for the unfamiliarity of a better unknown.

Of course there are many valid risks in life and we need to be mindful of them but dwelling on risks can keep us from seeing opportunity. As I wrote in my first book Find Your Courage, “Push yourself outside your comfort zone and lay your vulnerability on the line for something more important than your pride and short term safety.” Nothing worthwhile is ever created without a risk. The key – don’t wait to feel brave before you start acting as though you were!

3. They Expect Good Things To Happen

People who expect good things to happen to them attract more good things. Call it woo woo positive thinking fluff, but there is a lot of science behind the ‘law of attraction.’ The truth is that what you put out you get back. not instantly, not every time, but over time when you expect good things to happen you’ll find they generally do.

I recall the time that I was held up in an armed robbery when I was 19 weeks pregnant with my first child – then ten days later finding out that my unborn baby had died. My world turned on its axis for a while because I just thought bad unlucky things like that didn’t happen to me. Yet, alas, they clearly did. However, I vividly recall in the months that followed making a very conscious decision not to buy into a sense of victimhood. Sure, I’d had two pretty unlucky things happen back to back, but I was determined they would neither define me nor define my future.

That decision ultimately served me very well teaching me that life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy. What you expect to happen often does – for better or worse. Your beliefs about the future have a way of making it happen.

4. They See The Glass Half Full

A setback for one person can be a wonderful opportunity for another. It’s not about what happens, but how you interpret it and the opportunity you find in it. As Napoleon Hill once wrote, “In every adversity is the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” When you choose to look for opportunity in your adversities, you are guaranteed to find them If you can’t, look harder.

You’ll never find good fortune in things if you are only looking at what’s wrong and what you don’t have. As I wrote in Stop Playing Safe, “By being optimistic we can find opportunity in adversity and take actions that our pessimistic friends wouldn’t bother to take. In turn we create new opportunities for ourselves.”

5. They Embrace Failure As Inevitable

No one – I repeat no one – is lucky all the time. We all have setbacks. We all have disappointments. We all have our plans rained on from time to time. SUCH. IS. LIFE. But the people we often think of as lucky don’t let bad luck stop them from trying to create more good luck. “Lucky people’s high expectations motivate them to persist,” even when they don’t succeed, says psychologist Richard Wiseman, Ph.D., author of The Luck Factor.

6. They Hang Out With Other Lucky People

Let’s face it, the people we hang out with impact our outlook on life. So if you’re hanging out with a lot of whining, complaining people who are down on their luck, then chances are you’ll soon be down on yours. Emotions are contagious. Optimism. Pessimism. Fear. Confidence. Ambition. Resignation. Be intentional about spending more time with people who have a positive outlook on life and less time with people who don’t. It may well be the singular most critical factors to your future luck.

Hand in hand with hanging out with like-minded lucky thinking people, it’s also vital to heed Gandhi’s words and be the change you want to see in others. Look on the lighter brighter side of things. Be cheerful. Share an encouraging word. Offer a helping hand to make someone else feel lucky. Turn those lemons into lemonade. Stand tall, put a smile on your face and step into the rest of your day with a look on your face that tells people you expect to have a good one. regardless of what’s happening around you!

Good luck! Not that you need it. just go make it.

The truth is that lucky people aren’t lucky by sheer accident. They’re lucky because of the mindset they bring to life. A mindset that accepts bad luck as inevitable but good luck as something we create by sheer hard work, bravery and optimism.