How to Make Your Own Luck

How to make your own luck“Luck is not something you can mention in the presence of self-made men.” (E.B. White)

TODAY, over coffee with a friend at an alfresco cafe in Sydney, our conversation turned, as if by chance, to consider the nature of luck.

As an Australian, I have always considered myself lucky. After all, if you grow up in a country with good food, great beaches, and free health care and education, then dwelling on small misfortunes would seem to suggest a slight lack of perspective (although some people will always find a way).

And while some people do get a better start in life than others, we discussed instead a slightly different and more interesting breed of luck – the kind you can make for yourself.

Some people seem to get all the lucky breaks and to be always in the right place at the right time. Why does this happen? And what do the lucky people do differently from the rest of us?

It occurred to us, while sipping our decaf skim soy lattes, that the formula for creating good luck is, like most deep wisdom, fairly simple to explain but hard to implement. And it appears to consist of just 3 elements: (i) setting great expectations, (ii) preparing yourself and having persistence, and (iii) embracing opportunities as they arise.

Please find below, dear reader, a list of quotes that may shine additional light on what is required from you to create good luck in your work and your life.

1. Setting Great Expectations 

“You are what you settle for.”
~ Janis Joplin

“Million-to-one chances…crop up nine times out of ten.”
~ Terry Pratchett

2(a) Preparing Yourself

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
~ Seneca

“Opportunities are everywhere, you just have to be ready for them.”
Peter Baculak

2(b) Having Persistence

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”
~ Thomas Jefferson

“Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get.”
~ Ray Kroc

“Diligence is the mother of good luck.”
~ Benjamin Franklin

“The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work.”
~ Harry Golden

3. Embracing Opportunity

“Luck affects everything, let your hook always be cast; In the stream where you least expect it, there will be a fish.” ~ Ovid

“Learn to recognize good luck when it’s waving at you, hoping to get your attention.”
~ Sally Koslow

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
~ Thomas Edison

“I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.”
~ Mark Twain

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