Luck Is a Skill and You Can Become Good at It

I heard a funny story about Bill Gates

David O.
David O.
Feb 17 · 8 min read
Photo by BBH Singapore on Unsplash

Life is just like a movie. And you are the lead character in your own movie. But sadly, most people are spectators in their own movie. They are the lead characters but they only look around and get tossed around.

Life is about taking charge and taking control. But many people don’t want that. They might pretend to want it because it sounds good. But when the responsibility shows up, they act lazy.

Everybody feels lazy. But if you have a hot pursuit in life, it gets you working even in those conditions.

I bet you know some lucky people. Maybe you even count yourself as lucky. But you want to know more about this subject. How do people get so lucky?

Luck is not a mysterious thing. And it is something that can be learned. Think about this:

Haven’t you observed that it is people who think they are lucky that get lucky?

Meanwhile, when lucky people meet with bad luck, they often maintain their positivity. Luck is like a spirit animal. Those who embrace it get more, and those who keep questioning it get the little they find jinxed.

The more you think (and believe) you are a lucky person, the more luck will find you

Bill Gates' Funny Story

I heard a funny story about Bill Gates. I don’t know how true it is. Maybe it isn’t at all. But it passed across a message that is so strong.

It was said that Bill Gates was being interviewed by a young journalist. Off the record, the young journalist asked Bill Gates what his main secret of success is.

Bill Gates, acting like he was tired of answering that question, tore up a check for the journalist for $25M to ignore the question and move on. The journalist persisted.

Bill went on to draw another check for $25M making $50M in total for the young journalist. He asked the journalist to take the checks and just forget about the question or what his answer might be.

The journalist refused. He insisted on an answer.

Then Bill tore up the checks, looked at the journalist in the face and said:

You have passed up two great opportunities. My secret is that I never pass up any opportunity.

Take Every Ounce of Opportunity

One of the secrets of luck is taking opportunities. It is to never look at a chance and say, ‘I probably won’t get it’. Why would you not get it? It is because you think you can’t.

This reminds me of the famous quote:

If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you can’t

You seem qualified for the position, did you apply or it? The volunteer program seems like something that can boost your credibility and increase your professional circle, did you volunteer? They are looking for someone that will get the job done, did you express interest?

A fundamental aspect of luck is positivity. And positivity attracts opportunities. Lucky people take every ounce of chance. Especially chances they seem not to be qualified for.

There are entrepreneurs who hire based on positivity. They rank positivity above skills. Skills can always be learned but a positive soul brings good vibes and beautiful energy to the workplace. Positive people believe that they are lucky.

This is not the thinking that everything will come easy. Instead, it is the thinking makes the hard work look easy. This is because lucky people actually believe in their ability to get the desired result. With the result in sight, the work is less burdensome.

Want to be lucky? Program yourself to believe you are lucky. Then take every ounce of opportunity.

Luck is When Preparation Meets Opportunity

All luck is not equal. Some are greater than others. But there is no negligible one. People who celebrate the luck they have become luckier. Those who look down on their good fortune become less fortunate.

Most business leaders define luck as the point where preparation meets opportunity. This is often because of their experience. And it is very true. Think about it: preparation meeting opportunity.

Preparation takes a lot of time. It takes months and years. If you start preparing when you see the opportunity on the horizon, you have started late. Preparation begins when there is no trace of the opportunity yet.

But you prepare and prepare. You prepare because you don’t know when the opportunity is going to come. Sometimes, you have 5 seconds to give the right response when the opportunity shows up. But if you haven’t had 5 years of training and preparation, you will blow it.

There are some 5 seconds that will take you beyond the point that usually takes 5 years. Many people miss moments like this in their lives because they didn’t even notice it was their moment.

Opportunities do not come clinging to your feet and begging. Sometimes it acts like it wasn’t there for you. Only those who have been preparing will recognize it and seize it.

Whatever your dream is, start preparing for it. If you want to be a great public speaker start making those great speeches alone in your room in the night time. Project your mind into the situation. Act like you are already there.

Prepare because the opportunity will one day show up. And when you seize it, everybody will assume you are lucky.

Prepare in Secret, Perform in the Open

A lot of people actually like to track their results to their efforts. They think it is a bad thing to be associated with luck. They assume lucky people are lazy.

This is the reason a lot of people are quick to refute claims of being lucky and state all their hard work. That is not so good. Luck is like a spirit animal. The more you start justifying your results through hard work, the harder the work will become.

When people accuse you of being lucky, just smile and admit it. Say; Yes, I am indeed lucky! Not that luck happened to you, but that you are a lucky person. Don’t try to over-explain anything. Just answer the question. Don’t lie about what you do. But always embrace luck.

When people think you are lucky, affirm it. As said earlier, luck is positivity. Once everybody associates you with positive energy, many more opportunities will flow your way. Most people are superstitious. If you create the energy of good luck around yourself, everyone will want to do business with you.

Another way to make the concept of luck stronger is to prepare in secret. Have you ever seen people who want to lose weight go to the gym the first day and then flood their social media accounts with gym pictures? Those ones never lose anything.

There are lots of benefits that come with private preparation. I believe so much in privacy. It is always better when people don’t see you when you prepare. You need concentration and people don’t like to see that anyway.

I heard a top female entrepreneur say she practices a sales presentation privately about 50 times before going on stage. You would see such a person on stage and exclaim; ‘Oh, she is such a natural!’ No, she is not. You only never saw the bloopers.

It pays to prepare privately. But when you perform, make sure it is in the open. Don’t perform in private. You need the world to see what you can do. It is when they see the product of 6 years of secret practice in 5 minutes of open demonstration, that they say:

Wow, you are so lucky to get all these results

Learn Parallel Skills or Subjects

To be distinct and different, you need to add some spice to what you do. Most people go to learn about what they are doing in school. Personally, I am not a big fan of school but I love learning. But going to school sometimes has its place.

If you have already found your path in life and you want to go to school more, I suggest you go study something that interests you but unrelated to your skill or area of practice.

If you are a sportsperson, go take a course in leadership. If you are a chef, take a course in human psychology. If you are an engineer, take a course in communication and public speaking. If you are a TV personality, take a course in marketing.

Notice how divergent those combinations are. They are not totally divergent and they aren’t closely related either. Using thoughts from another field of study to apply in your field is actually a great way to stand out.

When you appeal to two different kinds of professionals at the same time, those on both sides will call you lucky for getting along with the other side.

Hide the Difficult Part

Unless someone asks you what the actual hard work entails, don’t talk about it. Those who act like they really want to know won’t like it in the end anyway.

As much as possible, hide the difficult part. Make it look easy from an outside perspective. It releases very positive energy from you. It is an energy that draws opportunities in your direction.

Imagine your workplace came down with a challenge. And they need an answer the next morning. And you spend all night to resolve the situation. Don’t shove it in everybody’s face that you were on the issue all night. People like to do this because it makes them feel good and they want to draw empathy from others. Don’t.

Act like getting the solution was no big deal. Then ask for boss privately for some time to go rest. If the boss asks why, then you can explain. But don’t tell the others unless they really pester you. They don’t care anyway.

Hiding the hard work makes you look lucky. And people are not really interested in it, so why show it? Once people think you are lucky, they will expect you to continue to be lucky.

Never Share all Your Secrets

It is good to share your secrets. Especially to an audience that deserves the information. However, you must never share all there is to it.

First, there are some of your secrets that are personalized. They will only work for you. They will not work for someone else. If you tell someone else, they will try it, it won’t work for them and they will blame you. In fact, such people can even make you start doubting yourself.

The second reason is that you keep your secrets from being watered down. People can only attack you when you say it. If you don’t say it, nobody will attack you for what you don’t say.

Do not try to help someone or bring someone up at your own detriment

Having some secrets you keep to yourself actually raises the value of the ones you share. When people have to use their imagination to express the factors responsible for your success, you can be sure that the positive energy of luck will be included.

Luck is a skill. And you can become good at it. Now you have the blueprints.

Of course, this is not everything I know.


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David O.

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David O.

I make people smarter about money → Rich Mindset. Marketing Strategies. Financial Education || Connect →

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