What is the relationship between being lucky and being successful? What are your beliefs in this regard, and do those beliefs make it more or less likely that you will get to your most desirable future?

I spend a lot of time in casinos (due to my speaking schedule), and yet I don’t gamble. I dislike the feeling of putting money at risk without real control of what happens next. For me, gambling seems stressful and unnecessary. Just a glance at the opulent resorts and destinations makes it obvious that the house (eventually) always wins.gambling-experience

And yet many people love gambling and feel that testing their luck in a casino is fun. If that’s your jam, and you approach gambling as recreation, with money you can afford to lose, then enjoy it!

But many people also feel that luck is necessary in order to win in life. You hear expressions such as, “Knowing my luck, this just won’t work out.” Or, “Some people have all the luck.” We speak of “dumb luck,” or “beginner’s luck.” We hope “just a little luck” will carry the day, and yet negative outcomes prove that, “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.”

Down on “Luck”

Unless you are a country music singer, such beliefs are self-defeating. Here’s why: The longing for luck precludes lasting change, absolving you of effort and responsibility. And the real downside is that the quest for luck robs you of two significant, valuable gifts: gratitude for what you have and pride in what you’ve accomplished.

Changing the Odds

“Luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparation.”

Many have echoed these words and the overarching idea, but this statement is initially attributed to the Roman philosopher, Seneca. Those who adopt this belief have an instant advantage over those who rely on luck. They understand at once that they are not the sucker spinning the wheel or hoping to catch a lucky card. They are the dealers, stacking their own deck for success by what they do to prepare and improve.

There’s nothing worse than arriving at an opportunity realizing that you could have, but didn’t, do what was necessary to prepare for the moment. I’ve been there, and I know that sinking feeling that I am about to miss the moment. If you’ve experienced this as well, you know that you weren’t unlucky. You were “unready.”

Your “Sure Thing.”

Start with gratitude. Be grateful for what you have versus separated from what you “need.”  Then your odds of “winning” increase dramatically! You already have what you need. The question is, “Are you using it?”

Bet on yourself, then get to work to improve your odds with effort and determination. Do the work on you. Put in the time. Meet the people who will help and support you. Build skills and relationships to stack the deck in your favor. The “sure thing” is that you are the most important factor in determining your success, right now and for the rest of your life. So, are you in?

About Dan Thurmon

Dan Thurmon isn’t just a world-renowned Hall of Fame keynote speaker. He’s also an author, workplace performance expert, juggler, acrobat, unicyclist (even on mountains – yes, really), drummer, and is (in his late forties) learning flying trapeze!

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