5 Tips for Creating Your Own Luck in 2021
At a virtual conference I attended this year, two phenomenally successful authors declared their good fortune came down to three factors — one of which was luck.
In case you’re wondering, the other two factors were persistence and talent. Of those three, they claimed persistence was the only one within our control.
However, I found myself disagreeing.
For starters, I believe that while we all have different innate talents, it is possible to develop talent through practice.
Also, having recently learned of some theories about luck from a friend, I decided to try my hand at creating more luck in my life.
Here’s what I learned …
Can You Really Create Luck?
Of course, sometimes bad luck can’t be avoided. After some of the crazy things that have happened in 2020, I’m sure you’ll agree.
However, there is power in creating your own best life no matter what happens, rather than waiting for your luck to turn.
This goes beyond just having a positive outlook, though …
In fact, scientific studies have helped to distinguish what makes some folks “luckier” than others.
Take this example from Professor Richard Wiseman, author of the book The Luck Factor …
The author conducted experiments in a “Luck Lab,” where he compared the behavior of people who considered themselves lucky (those who lived a charmed life) versus those who considered themselves unlucky.
In one experiment, he asked participants to count the number of photographs inside a newspaper.
The average unlucky person took two minutes, whereas most lucky people took just a few seconds.
Why the difference?
A couple of pages in, the experimenter had placed a panel with two-inch high letters that read “Stop counting — There are 43 photographs in this newspaper.”
Participants in the lucky category were far more likely to notice this giant block of text, whereas self-proclaimed unlucky folks missed it.
Professor Wiseman speculates this discrepancy occurred because unlucky participants had tunnel vision. They were so focused on one specific outcome that they weren’t open to new and unexpected opportunities.
In other words, they couldn’t imagine another outcome for themselves — therefore, they missed out on a better alternative.
This also included skipping over a second block of text a few more pages in — one that read “Stop counting, tell the experimenter you have seen this and win $250.”
So this tunnel vision led to wasted time and a missed opportunity to earn cash.
Lucky participants, on the other hand, were more open to chance encounters and opportunities — so they saw something unexpected.
Both groups of participants had the same opportunity — but only those with a certain mindset were able to truly see it. This is just one of several ways lucky people create their own fortunes.
To put this principle into action, here are five tips for creating more luck …
1. Expect Good Things to Happen.
This rewires your brain. It programs you to find good things.
In many cases, those good things were already there, just waiting to be discovered — just like the unexpected newspaper messages in the example above.
But mental programming is strong. It makes us overlook “treasures” that are right in front of our noses.
The brain has to process a ton of input every day — and not everything we see makes its way to our conscious mind.
So, we have to choose what to focus on …
Fortunately, by focusing your conscious attention on the good rather than the bad, you can “train” your mind to find things that contribute positively to your life.
Things you may have otherwise overlooked.
2. Be Grateful.
When you start looking for things to be thankful for, you’re likely to find more and more reasons to feel grateful.
And really, gratitude is just another word for feeling lucky.
In my experience, gratitude leads to more energy and motivation. As such, it’s much easier to create positive changes in life when you have a firm foundation of gratitude.
A daily gratitude journal (which can be as simple as writing down one thing you’re grateful for) is a great place to start.
3. Be Generous.
What goes around comes around. You never know if someone you help may find their way to success, or how that favor might be returned to you in an unexpected way.
That doesn’t mean you should do nice things with the intent of someone owing you a favor, though. Instead, developing genuine relationships is key.
It also doesn’t mean you should overextend yourself, trying to help everyone to the point where you’re exhausted. Instead, it’s about finding balance.
That balance will look a little different for everyone, depending on your life and obligations.
But even when life is busy, you’re likely to find occasions now and again when you feel inspired and capable of giving someone else a helping hand.
4. Try New Things.
If what you’re currently doing hasn’t gotten you closer to where you want to be, then it’s time to take 2021 by the horns.
Several life coaches I know argue that by changing up your routine, you open yourself to new possibilities.
There are both emotional and practical factors at play here …
On the practical side, trying something new will introduce you to new people, places, and ideas. Any of these things could lead to a totally unexpected opportunity in your professional or personal life.
On the emotional side, consider this: Often, we get stuck in our routines. Even if we think we’re open to change, it’s hard to get out of our comfort zone and change our habits. (And yes, I’m guilty of this myself.)
By changing our routine, we mentally open up to positive changes and look at challenges from new angles.
To start, this change can be as big or as small as you’d like.
For example, is it time to change your job?
Or is it time to start small, with taking a new route home from work, reading in the evening instead of watching the news, or signing up for that art class you’ve been considering?
If you’re not sure where to begin, I’d recommend a small change to your daily schedule (like a short morning walk) or picking up a new hobby just for fun.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Fail.
Think of luck as a numbers game.
Sometimes you only see the success of people you consider to be “lucky.” You don’t see all the times they tried and failed and all the steps they took along the way.
If you really look into it, it’s easy to find that many successful people tried and failed plenty of times before they finally got their “big break.”
By trying so many times, without giving up, they put the odds in their favor. They statistically increased their odds of success just by trying again and again.
You can do the same thing for yourself. This is where persistence pays off.
You’ve probably noticed that none of these tips are quick fixes or recipes for overnight success …
There’s no magic formula that will suddenly make you lucky enough to go out and buy a winning lottery ticket.
Instead, luck is a series of mental and behavioral changes that allow us to create the sort of life we want over time.
It takes determination and practice, but the data indicates the results are worth it.
After a year where many have felt powerless or overwhelmed, I hope you find these tips useful for writing a new story for yourself in 2021.
If you have any other tips, please share them in the comments below — and let’s all make the New Year a year for new and exciting opportunities.
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