The Seven Simple Secrets of Naturally Lucky People

We've all seen people who are just naturally lucky.

They're the ones who manage to sail through life with more unexplainable "lucky breaks" and fewer disappointments than most people get. Success just seems to come easier for them.

Where most folks have to struggle just to get ahead, lucky people regularly have opportunities just plop down in their laps. Of course, they work hard, but that doesn't fully explain the special treatment that life seems to reserve for them.

It almost appears that they were born with the proverbial silver spoon in their mouths. Or born under a luckier star than most mere mortals.

Well, cheer up; neither stars nor spoons are at work here. All they have is seven simple secrets.

These secrets are easy little things that you can begin applying in your own life. And when you do, things will start to change for you. Your career will begin to blossom in unexpected ways. And one day you'll realize that now everyone has started calling you naturally lucky, too.

Ready to command more luck in your life? Here are the seven simple secrets of naturally lucky people.

Secret #1. Lucky people don't believe in luck.

I recently interviewed ten unusually successful business people for a book I was writing about the role luck plays in the lives of successes.

Nearly every one of them stated plainly they don't believe in luck.

In the next breath, however, they told about unending streams of "serendipitous" or "synchronistic" events that routinely happen in their daily lives.

I believe they don't like the word "luck" because it implies there's no way to control it. They've learned that there is.

If you prefer to call it serendipity or synchronicity rather than lucky, that's okay. The message here is not which term to use. It's about what you can do to get these kinds of things happening for you. When they do happen, you can call them anything you want.

I've chosen to use the word "luck" because when I say it, people have a fair idea of what I mean.

I try to avoid radical new terms when we've already got a perfectly good word.

If someone walked up to you and said, "I help people learn to cause pleasant improbabilities to occur more frequently," you'd probably look around for the exit.

On the other hand, when I use the word "luck," you and I are in the same ball park, concept-wise.

It's okay if our definitions differ slightly. This happens to us all the time anyway. Ever seen a husband and a wife agree on what "shopping" means? Or "one hour"?

Most of the time, even though there are differences, we're close enough for useful communication.

And that's what we're doing here. As you read, you'll gradually find that my definition of luck includes a steering wheel and an accelerator pedal.

Secret #2. "Bad" stuff happens to them too.

There are several ways to have good luck.

The most common (and the most useful) is to find opportunities in problems.

A friend of mine says: "There's always a miracle in a mess."

Let's say you and I are neighbors, and our whole city has a common problem. Maybe it's infestation with insects. Or it could be a serious pollution problem from a nearby plant.

While almost everyone is griping and complaining about the problem, you might decide: "Hey, if I can solve this problem, it will help my neighbors, and it can also make a profit for me."

Your neighbors only saw the problem, but you looked deeper and found an opportunity.

All great fortunes have been built upon solving great problems. From the huge railroad empires of the 19th century, to the communications networks of the 20th, and now the software giants of the 21st, they have all solved problems for people.

Was Andrew Carnegie "lucky" that he foresaw a huge need for steel in the 1800s? Some say he was.

But I say he simply knew how to recognize a widespread need and turn it into a giant opportunity.

The same is true of Bill Gates. Many people criticize Gates for his business practices, but whatever else you believe (either way) about the man, you have to admit, he saw an opportunity before most others did, and he acted.

That's probably the most common and the most controllable way to generate your own luck.

Secret #3. More people quit than lose.

If you knew ahead of time without a doubt that your success was guaranteed, how much would you go out and do?

Would it make any difference in the kind of things you would attempt? How much higher would you direct your aim?

Well, a funny thing happened to me a few years back. I was sitting and feeling sorry for myself one day because of all the failures that I had been through.

Then it suddenly occurred to me that one particular case hadn't been a real failure. I admitted to myself (reluctantly) that I had simply quit too soon. I had quit before I'd really had a chance to fail.

Then I thought of another non-failure.

Then another.

And before long, I was buried under an avalanche of similar cases. In fact, I couldn't think of a single time when I had actually kept on trying long enough to fail. In other words, I had never experienced failure in my entire lifetime.

Only quitting.

A realization like that will realign your reality.

After that, it's hard to consider yourself a failure because you've never failed. Who knows what you might really be, down inside?

I began to wonder: what would have happened if I had stuck with even a few of those situations just a little longer? What if I hadn't been quite so ready to quit? More to the point, what about today and tomorrow? What if I stopped being so ready to throw in the towel and surrender too soon? Would I start seeing the number of clear successes in my life begin to grow?

The more I played with that idea, the better it sounded.

I'd like to report to you that my life instantly and dramatically changed that day, but it didn't.

Oh, it did BEGIN changing, but it wasn't the dramatic turnabout that you read of in books or see in movies.

Instead, each time I'd find myself in a discouraging situation, I'd start thinking of all those times I had just simply quit trying too soon. And gradually, over time, I began developing a new mental toughness that didn't take temporary setbacks quite so seriously.

I started finding a new resourcefulness within myself. My "keeping-on" average began to go up, and my "failure" average started declining.

I count that one realization among the most important in my life. Not because it solved a problem, but because it identified one.

Once I could see that the problem wasn't even what I thought it was, I was then able to work on doing something else instead.

And you know what? My luck began improving.

Secret #4. Betting on losing hands makes losers.

Successful poker players don't play every hand they're dealt.

If you keep count, the hands they fold far outnumber the hands they hold.

That's because a good card player knows the odds for every possible card combination. They know whether a flush beats a full house and which is more likely to occur.

And they only bet their money on likelihoods.

They love to play with amateurs because amateurs play for "the juice," the emotional charge they get from throwing money out on the table, whether they win or lose.

Good players don't bet on risk, they bet on probability.

Lucky people are very similar. They know longshots when they see them, and they may bet, but it's a calculated bet.

Lucky people are some of the most tenacious people on earth when it's appropriate.

But they're also some of the quickest quitters when the odds don't favor them. In fact, they'll usually opt out of most situations before they even begin because they have learned to recognize and rank opportunities.

What makes a good opportunity? First, does it solve a WIDESPREAD problem? Second, do the people with the problem have enough money to pay for solving that problem? Third, is it easy to reach the people with the problem? Fourth, is the solution a really good one?

If they don't find all four factors, a lucky person will walk away because they know it's a losing hand, no matter how much they personally love the idea.

So if a lucky person sees he's holding a losing hand, he quits quickly and cuts his losses.

Secret #5. Most good luck comes through other people.

Good luck almost never happens in a vacuum.

Several years back I read a book by Max Gunther titled "The Luck Factor."

Most of the details in that book have dimmed, but I've never forgotten the core idea: Most lucky breaks are brought to you by other people.

Few people find significant amounts of money on the street or buried in the backyard. Perhaps even fewer win lotteries.

Instead, luck comes more often in the form of opportunities.

You're with a group of ladies (or guys) who are sitting around complaining about how it's hard to find respectable men (women) to date. Everybody is really getting into the problem.

The person next to you leans over and whispers, "Don't you wish everyone would just quit whining?"

But instead of complaining about all those complaints, a little lightbulb clicks on in your head. You realize a good computerized screening service for romantic introductions would fill a real need here.

You don't say anything, but weeks later, when you announce the new service, and you're flooded with calls from singles all over the city wanting safer introductions, all your friends whisper, "She's so lucky. Where did she get that great idea?"

You know where the idea came from, but you're not telling.

A great deal of "good luck" is manually created out of discomfort often someone else's.

Secret #6. Good luck favors those who have prepared.

Let's say you're appearing in an amateur play in a little theater in your neighborhood.

A big-name producer from Hollywood is visiting a sick relative, hears about the play, and for a bit of distraction decides to attend.

She sees a spark of something special in your performance, asks to meet you, and offers you a screen test.

Okay, freeze the frame for a second.

Are you prepared for this big break?

Have you done all the study and the practice and the foundation work it takes to be a professional? Will you have the technique and the skills necessary to do the job?

Or are you going to try and fake your way through it?

If you're prepared, you're likely to do well. This means a giant step toward your dreams.

And if you're not prepared... well, good luck with your day job.

Secret #7. You can attract good things, too.

All this talk about finding opportunities in "bad" events and developing your skills is important, but there's a more sunny side to luck as well.

Internet entrepreneur Joe Vitale terms it his "Magic Escalator through Life," and award-winning author John Harricharan has titled it "The Power Pause."

I interviewed both of these men recently, as well as eight other fascinating people, about how they manage to stay so consistently successful.

Every single one of them has techniques for keeping their mind tuned to the things they want. And they attend to this "mind tuning" every day. They're not casual about this. Oh no, they put regular effort into it. Their successes and their luck are not accidents.

If you're tempted to greet this with a dismissive, "Oh yeah, I've read those positive thinking books," then you need to think again.

Yanik Silver, an up-and-coming star on the Internet tells how he starts every single morning with a 15-minute session in which he goes over his "values and goals."

Every morning - no exceptions.

Stacey Hall and Jan Brogniez go even further. They teach their clients to attract what they've labeled "Your Perfect Customers."

In every case, they start with their thinking. What they put into their mind has a direct one-to-one relationship to what appears in their life.

Secret #7- Taking responsibility for the bad stuff in your life.

If you've got uncomfortable situations right now, you'll never have the power to change them until you accept the fact that you created that mess... exactly as it is right now.

Admit to yourself that you created your own problems, down to the last tiny detail, and only then will you take command of the power to change those problems.

Fortunately, it's not as impossible as it sounds at first.

Your mind is like a bucket. If the bucket is filled with muddy water, all you have to do is start a steady flow of clear, fresh water into the bucket.

Soon, the bucket (or your mind) is filled with clear, fresh contents.

Steady daily input of clear, fresh thoughts will change the things that appear in your life, without the need for major renovation. It just happens. You work on the inside, and the outside takes care of itself.

This means you don't fight the old thoughts. You give them minimum energy. You don't resist, you don't struggle. Instead, you put your attention as much as possible on the good things you want to appear in your life.

The lucky things you spend your time thinking about just start happening for you, and one day you wake up and realize, "Hey, I'm a pretty lucky person now. When did that happen?"

Does this mean you won't ever have to make any hard decisions, or deal with any stressful people?

No, but you'll find yourself handling difficult decisions and fussy people more easily because you'll have a clearer vision of what lies on the other side, after you've gotten past them. They just won't loom so large in your path any more.

So these are the seven secrets that naturally lucky people use to keep their life moving forward:

They don't believe in (or wait around for) random luck. They take charge of generating their own luck.

They look for the opportunity that's always embedded in life's inconveniences.

They don't quit when they're holding a potentially winning hand.

They drop a losing hand as quickly as possible. And they know the difference.

They polish their people skills constantly because most opportunities are brought to us by others.

They develop a wide range of professional skills so they're prepared for any opportunity to knock.

They fill their mind with thoughts of what they want, because they know they get what they fill their mind with, whatever that is.

Other than these seven simple things, however, naturally lucky people don't do anything special at all.

--Author-Charles Burke

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