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Luck has no place in heroes

7 simple ways to increase your luck

In a recent blog I published, I was talking about being someone's hero, and talking about luck not having any place in heroes. I was discussing the point that heroes don't rely on luck to get things done; instead they plot the path from start to end to get to where they need to be.

In this article, I am going to discuss a little bit more about luck, uncovering the different types of luck and how we can prepare ourselves to be more lucky.

Types of luck

According to author Dr James Austin in his book Chase, Chance and Creativity: The Lucky Art of Novelty, there are four types of luck: (1) those that are completely out of this world, non-personal; (2) happy accidents created when you bring, sometimes unrelated, things together; (3) overlooked opportunity seen only by one person, simply because of his personal bent; (4) those that are developed over time due to one's passion and instincts.

Hence, those in (1) are those who win the lottery; nothing much here that can be replicated. Those in (2) are those who formulate hypotheses and work the combinations to success. This can be replicated. Those in (3) are the result of the person's background, the person's knowledge, the person's attention to detail. This cannot be replicated because the opportunity presents itself only once, and hence, requires that unique combination of personal factors to make happen. Then comes (4) which, to Austin, is the rarest form of luck simply because it takes a long time to come together, is extremely unpredictable, and requires an inordinate amount of persistence. This is the form of luck that many people celebrate.

Make your luck

As you can see, there are only two forms of luck that can be replicated, (2) and (4), and I shall share 7 ways to increase your luck, to make your luck, so that it comes to you more often.

1. Keep your mind sharp

You must know what you want, and what that looks like, in order to find it. Knowledge, experience, the person's whole repertoire, contribute to being lucky. An experienced architect simply knows where to site the foundations of a house overhanging the cliffs simply because he has his collective wisdom to call upon. That may seem lucky, but its really a sharp mind.

2. Open your eyes

If you go through life with your eyes closed, you will never get to see the opportunities opening up for you. You need to look at things closely, to stop and contemplate, to form new ideas, if you want to be lucky. Open your eyes, that's very crucial. And I'm not being literal here - it is all in your mind!

3. Embrace serendipity

If life is a set of rules for you, leading from point A to point Z, then it is highly unlikely that you will be lucky. I am not saying that you should go through life in laissez-faire manner, but I am saying that you need to loosen up so that you embrace the serendipitous nature of luck. In some way, luck is synonymous with serendipity.

4. Take some risks

Someone once said, "I don't gamble, but I do take risks". No one is talking about gambling. That belongs to (1) above and is not replicable. But taking risks increases your chances in the other forms of luck because you need to walk off the beaten track, you need to lay down some skin, you need to accept that you don't know what you don't know, and then go and find that out. If you cannot do that, chances are, you won't be lucky.

5. Learn from mistakes

Taking risks means that we might be wrong; and that's okay! Treat it like how Edison reacted when he was once asked by the reporter, "You have failed 10,000 times to make the lightbulb," to which Edison replied, "No, I have not failed. I have found 10,000 ways how NOT to make a lightbulb!" Brilliant, isn't it? While each of these "failures" gives us lessons in how not to do it, they must also lead us to try new ways of doing it. That is what mistakes are for - they give us another chance at being lucky!

6. Never give up

It goes without saying that the more mistakes you make, the higher your chances of being lucky. So don't be so quick to throw in the towel. After all, the ones who give up are the unlucky ones!

7. Think lucky

I had wanted to start with this but decided perhaps to end with it. Think lucky is really priming your brain to be lucky. Tell yourself things like, "Today, I shall complete the research on intermolecular cell energy transfer so that I can spend time with my pooch in the evening!" If you keep the energy up in your mind, you will soon see it happen. Interestingly, no one who ever got lucky didn't think lucky.

So luck has no place for heroes, because they make their own luck. Now you too know how to do it. Good luck!

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