How do you make good fortune come your way?
This year, many of us may have had cause to feel unlucky already. Perhaps the Australian bushfires have given us the opportunity to shine at work – or perhaps they’ve left us feeling overwhelmed.
The coronavirus might be wreaking havoc on our supply chains. Or more personally, maybe we’ve already missed out on a job or promotion we really thought should be ours.
When we think of bad luck and its inverse, good luck, we often think about being in either the right or wrong place, at the right or wrong time. We think of it as something that just happens; an act of good or bad random chance.
But it turns out, luck isn’t as random as we’d like to believe. A number of renowned psychologists studied ‘luck’ for decades, and discovered that it’s about so much more than chance.
You can, in fact, create your own good luck. And you can do so by employing 4 basic principles that will rapidly increase the amount of good fortune that comes your way.
Here’s what the 4 principles are and how you can employ them at work.
1. Maximise chance opportunities
The first principle that psychologists found increases your luck is to maximise your chance opportunities. It makes sense, of course – the more opportunities you expose yourself to, the more likely you’ll be to succeed.
But maximising your chance opportunities isn’t just about exposing yourself to them. You also need to take advantage of them when they come your way.
A great way to do this is to be open to meeting new people and having new experiences, and then seeing the positive in everything. You simply never know what might lead to your next big break.
It’s easy to see how this principle applies at work. Is there a new project you could put your hand up for? Could you go to a not-strictly-necessary meeting and strike up a conversation with a leader you’ve never met?
The more open you are and the more chances you take, the more likely that one of these opportunities will come to fruition.
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2. Listen to your intuition
Opening yourself to more opportunities means you’ll invite both the good – and inevitably, the bad – in. In doing so, you’ll need to learn to listen to your intuition, to ensure you make better decisions about what’s right for you.
Think of your intuition as effectively a filtering system. With more opportunities, you need to take advantage of the best ones to increase your luck (success).
Intuition can be tricky to describe, but we’ve all felt it. Whether it’s a job we’ve gone for only to doubt whether we’ll like the manager, or a supplier we’re unsure of, we all sometimes feel things aren’t quite right. But we may not trust our judgement. From a luck perspective, we should.
Honing our intuition can be difficult, though. In order to do so, psychologists recommend taking time to consider our decisions, avoiding stress and meditating so we can better connect with how we’re feeling.
3. Expect good fortune
A little over a decade ago, a book by a little-known author, Rhonda Byrne, went viral. That book was called The Secret and it promised that all readers needed to do was ‘invite’ good things to happen to them, and such things would come about.
The book was soon widely rubbished by sceptics. It became the subject of countless hilarious memes. But as it turns out there was an element of truth in Byrne’s observations.
Creating good luck in your career isn’t just a matter of inviting it. But research does show the lucky people do have a positive outlook, insomuch as they expect their future to be a success.
This often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Lucky people will persist when trying to achieve their goals (even if the chance of succeeding are slim). And they’ll positively interact with others on the journey, opening up ever more opportunities.
This is another example in which it’s easy to draw parallels to the workplace. If you’ve missed out on a promotion this time, keep your manager on side, stay positive and keep trying. This will exponentially increase your chances of success.
No one is going to want to promote you if you’re bitter and negative all the time, regardless of your performance or how hard you work.
4. Turn bad luck into good luck
Are you stewing on that time when a co-worker made you look bad or stole your idea? While it’s normal to do so, lucky people have special ways of dealing with the inevitable bad fortune we all experience.
Practising their techniques can help you literally turn bad luck into good luck.
Here’s what researchers found they do:
- Lucky people often imagine how things could have been worse –this helps them see the positive in any situation.
- Ultimately, lucky people believe it will all work out in the end. Sure, your co-worker might have stolen your idea, but you’ve got plenty more to offer, right?
- Lucky people don’t dwell on bad things that have happened to them. This enables them to focus on their next big opportunity.
- Lucky people take control of situations and take constructive steps to prevent bad situations from happening again. If your co-worker has made you look bad, let them know!
Go out and get that luck
French leader Napoleon Bonaparte said: ‘ability is of little account without opportunity’. And that has never been more true, especially when it comes to your career.
So go out there and make your own luck. And when you succeed, know this – your success is the result of your effort, not chance.
How have you made your own luck? Tell us in the comments below.