Dr. Darlene Treese
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How To Improve Your Luck - Lesson 3

Lucky people move through life with an attitude that is different than most. Luck isn't a question of how the world sees fit to treat each person. Instead, it has more to do with how each person sees the world. Lucky people prepare for breaks and develop habits that capitalize on good fortune when it comes along.

Here are some things lucky people do:

  • Lucky people take calculated risks. They know the difference between risky and rash, the difference between an informed hunch and wishful hope. Lucky people take a risk that seems daring, but it is based on informed hunches and they have a pretty good idea of the probability of success. When Charles Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic, people called him "Lucky Lindy." But Lindbergh was an experienced pilot and mechanic and had supervised every detail of his plane's construction and calculated every aspect of the trip. Even though no one had done it before, he felt such a flight could be made. In contrast, people who act on desperate hopes without research and preparation are not likely to succeed - and then may say it was just bad luck!
  • Lucky people turn problems into opportunities. You've heard "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade." Lucky people take a second look at something that seems at first glance to be a disaster. The screenplay for The Rain Man was turned down several times because it was thought to be too much of a downer to focus on a middle age autistic man and his brother. But Director Barry Levinson saw it differently. He thought that by adding humor to the relationship between the two brothers he could create a captivating and heartwarming tale. The result was four academy awards (best actor, best screenplay, best film, and best director) and a huge profit. Was Barry Levinson lucky or did he see a grim story as something different?
  • Lucky people know when to back off. They have a knack for getting out when it's most profitable and fortunate and to change direction when they see a better opportunity. They aren't afraid to change their mind. Unlucky people are often stubborn and set on only one course. They don't know when to cut their losses. The worse things get, the more determined they are to stick with the losing proposition.
  • Lucky people reach out to others. They are never loners or isolated recluses or standoffish snobs. Instead, lucky people are never too busy to meet new people or keep up with old friends. They chat with people on planes or in elevators; they join clubs and professional organizations. They return phone calls. They talk and they network on behalf of others as well.
  • Lucky people are persistent. They are not pointlessly stubborn but do know when to be persistent. If they run into a brick wall, they look for loose stones, concealed doors or places that are low enough to jump over.
  • Lucky people work hard. They know that luck is only one ingredient of success and that luck helps you make something of all of the other gifts and talents that you have. Tony Bennett says that he found his success in discipline and consistency in taking something that is difficult to sing and make it sound as if it were effortless. When you hear him sing you may think that you are listening to a man who was lucky to be born with a great voice. But what you are hearing is luck plus determination and focus.

Next Week: How To Improve Your Luck - Lesson 4