With a Little Bit of Blooming (Good) Luck and an Apology to Lerner and Loewe
St.Patrick’s Day is my favorite holiday full of stories, humor, spirit and LUCK. In Chicago, Mayor Daley The First turned the Chicago River green. The practice continues. My mother, who learned the Irish jig in her hometown of Toronto, taught it to me. (Although I know leave it the Riverdancers). One of the meals she cooked well was Irish corned beef and cabbage.
It’s no surprise that my penchant for St. Patrick’s and the stories I heard inspired me to write How To Create Your Own Luck!
I’ve heard so many interesting, captivating and “would you believe it” stories that had amazing (lucky) outcomes. Have you ever met someone, listened to them and thought, “That person has all the luck.” Yes, Lady Luck often gets credit for the wonderful events in our lives. However, if we carefully analyze the situation, we learn that “luck” has little to do with their successful result. What matters are the choices made and the actions taken by the lucky person; and those they wisely (you could say “luckily”) chose to avoid.
In my book, How To Create Your Own Luck I shared the stories of over 30 people from all corners of the world who turned serendipity into success and often lemons into lemonade and created their luck. Each one exhibited different combinations of these Eight Counterintuitive Traits. So can you!
Luck can be created!
Trait One: “Lucky” people talk to strangers
First revealed in How To Work A Room®, as an antidote to the warning – “Don’t talk to strangers”, this counterintuitive trait opened up a world of possibilities for most of the people. If you take a moment to think about it, you have had experiences that started with talking to someone you didn’t know.
Trait Two: They make small talk.
As I travel across the country giving presentations, I have learned that many people hold small talk in low regard. “You Never Know It Alls” are not dismissive of small talk. It can start with kids, pets, food, parents, sports, books, and yes, even the weather. and that it often leads to BIG Talk.
Trait Three: The people who create their own luck “drop” names
There is a school of thought that dropping names is a way of showing off and when we try to legitimize ourselves by mentioning the people with whom we spoke, dined, hung out or met, it is. But those who created their own luck, mention the name of someone they both may know, hence, establishing commonality.
Trait Four: They eavesdrop and listen
People who had situations arise out of coincidence and serendipity were people who not only listened and observed, but they had highly refined OVERHEARING. Keeping one’s ears open brought in luck as it’s not only a way to court information but also a way to do low cost ‘market research’.
Trait Five: They ask for/offer help
So many of us were raised with the old adage about “Making it on our own,” not asking for help but “pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps.’ The “lucky” people ask for help. They let people know what they need without applying pressure and they reciprocate.
Trait Six: The people who create their own luck will stray from their chosen paths
Some of the successful You Never Know It Alls were on paths that they had chosen but did not stay on course. When the “AHA” light bulb was lit, they allowed themselves to detour from their paths in order to pursue the new one.
There are people who were something else first: lawyers, lobbyists, teachers, engineers, accountants, doctors and volunteers. But they took the fork in the Robert Frost-like road and that ‘has made all the difference”.
Trait Seven: They exit graciously without burning bridges
Newspapers and magazines often carry stories of sports figures, entertainers and executives who leave their careers in a timely fashion. They know “when to hold ‘em, and when to fold ‘em.” And Shakespeare said it best, “All’s well that ends well.” The corollary to a gracious exit means not burning any bridges. Why? Because you just never know! In a recent interview on CNN, the much-beloved Kareem Abdul- Jabbar recommended that we “build bridges”. It makes sense…and contributes to our luck.
Trait Eight: They say YES when they want to say NO
A current trend, recommended as a time –management technique, is Just Say NO to anything that might require time and be an imposition. The subtext is that we are also saying no to any opportunities that might result if we only had said yes. If we start saying “yes” the possibilities are endless! Not every successful person exhibited all eight counter-intuitive traits, but they all implemented at least three of them. So can you!
If you’re interested in having Susan RoAne speak at your next meeting or convention, contact firstname.lastname@example.org 415 461 3915.