Do you consider yourself lucky? Does it seem like random good things happen to you often? Or are you chronically unlucky? Maybe it feels like you were born that way.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about luck. Why some people seem to always have good fortune, while for others, luck seems to constantly escape them. And how to create luck in your life, or at least increase the odds of luck finding you.
Having good luck doesn’t mean things will always go your way, or that you won’t have your share of disappointments or pain. And it doesn’t require you to feel lucky about something that doesn’t seem lucky to you at all. You might not feel “lucky” because your divorce went smoothly or because you figured out your marriage wasn’t working before you had kids. We’re not suggesting you should numb your feelings or pretend things are fine when they’re not.
But luck does mean consciously looking to create more opportunities for yourself and seizing on them when you see them. It also means improving your resilience in the face of bad fortune. And the good news is, no matter what stage of life you’re in today, you can do both those things.
Whether you feel lucky or unlucky at this moment,
you have more control over it than you may realize.
While you can’t control your external circumstances - whether that’s your spouse’s decision to separate or your company going through a round of layoffs, you can take action that helps you regain a little hope and optimism. According to luck experts (yes, that’s a thing!) like Dr. Richard Wiseman, author of The Luck Factor, there’s quite a bit you can do to improve your own luck.
So if you’d like to raise your luck factor, here are 4 things you can do. None of them require you to spend hours looking for four leaf clovers, or to drive around with a pair of fuzzy dice hanging from your rearview mirror.
1. Maximize Opportunities. A big part of luck is creating opportunities for yourself. Lucky people keep trying new things. If you’re looking for love, that might mean going on a lot of dates - even if 90% of them turn out to be duds. If you’re looking for a new job, it means networking with everyone you know and sending out a ton of resumes. Maximizing opportunities will take work and putting yourself out there. But research shows that more luck comes to people who are open to new experiences. Good things don’t often come to us when we’re sitting around doing nothing. So keep trying new things. If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always gotten.
Be bold and courageous. When you look back at your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do far more than those you did.
-H. Jackson Brown Jr.
2. Listen To Your Gut. According to Dr. Wiseman, lucky people make smart decisions by listening to their intuition. This is especially true if it’s in an area where you have some experience. Lucky people also do things to actively boost their intuitive abilities. The same type of stress-reducing activities that help in other ways - like meditating and journaling - can help you slow down and be able to hear what your intuition is telling you. And since better intuition leads to better luck, that’s just one more reason to get in your “ohms.”
3. Expect Good Things. This one can be hard to do if you’re not a natural born optimist, or you feel you’ve had bad luck in the past. But a little attitude shift can work wonders. Friend, how do you think you’re going to improve your luck if you walk around telling yourself the opposite? If you want to expect good things but are having a hard time getting your brain to cooperate, consider keeping a gratitude journal or brushing up on the art of manifestation. Bestselling author Gabby Bernstein has some great tips on how to do that here.
4. Turn Your Bad Luck Into Good. The idea here is to not dwell on the bad. Knowing that if you’ve gone through such a difficult event as divorce, this can be hard to do, we’ve got a variation for you: Write your own story. That includes both your divorce story and your future story too. When you talk about what’s happened, do you focus on the negative, or are you able to speak about the positive too? Whatever happened in your marriage, now it’s your turn to create something new and different for yourself. Part of your story can be to accept what has happened and start taking actions to shape your future.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to get started. Write a sentence or two and then put it away for a week or so. Revisit your answers and see if there are things you’d like to add.
Who am I now that I wasn’t before, because of my marriage? (in a positive way)
How did my relationship build my character? In what ways have I grown?
How do I envision myself at work? What is different about how I present myself there?
How do I want my home to feel?
How do I want to spend time alone?
How do I want to spend time with others?
What am I free to do now that I didn’t let myself do before?
What am I choosing for myself in this next phase of my life?
Writing down your vision for the future is a great way to encourage more luck to come your way.