“Luck is not solely the result of chance. It is the result of deliberate, planful action.” -Dr. Phillip M. Randall
About three months ago Carmela joined a networking group to improve her associations and to grow her network of professionals. Once a month, after work, the group would meet at different restaurants and bars for a couple hours to meet new people and exchange contact information over a beer or a glass of wine. Groups like these are very popular all over the country, and Carmela was thoroughly enjoying the experience.
The day before what would be her fourth group meetup, Carmela was laid off from her job as a Human Resources Manager. It came as a bit of a shock as she had been with the company for almost nine years, so needless to say she was devastated. The next day, Carmela wasn’t feeling at her best because of the layoff, of course. She was contemplating whether she should attend the networking event this evening, or just skip the meetings all together until she was back on her feet. She mustered up the courage and decided to go.
It was a bit uncomfortable at first having to repeatedly answer the most popular question asked at events such as this: “So, where do you work?” But it didn’t take long for Carmela to answer with a smile and a handshake, “Well, I’m actually open to opportunities as of yesterday.”
Believe it or not, the evening would turn out to be a great success. Carmela was about to leave after her first glass of wine, but at the last moment she decided to stay for one more. “Why not” she thought to herself, “I don’t have to be at work tomorrow.” When she went to the bar to refill her glass of wine, she met the CEO of a popular local bank who was refilling his drink and also a part of the networking group. Of course, the standard pleasantries were exchanged, and before she could finish her 2nd glass of wine, Carmela had an interview set with the CEO that very next morning. As luck would have it, she got the job. But was it really luck?
Dr. Phillip M. Randall said it best when he said, “Luck is not solely the result of chance. It is the result of deliberate, planful action.” Oscar Wilde once wrote that luck is “the residual of design and desire.” We always talk about luck, both good luck and bad luck. In fact, as humans we sometimes go out of our way to give LUCK most, if not all the credit in certain situations. “Wow, he was so lucky to land that job!” “She has had a string of bad luck lately.” so on, and so on. But, let me ask this question again; Is it really luck?
At first glance you might think Carmela got lucky when she literally found her new job within 48 hours of losing her last one. Well, I beg to differ. There were several choices, or should I say actions Carmela took, that led specifically to landing her next job. Think about it. The fact that she decided to join that networking group three months ago, was action number one. Not joining the group surely would have changed the outcome in this situation. Showing up to the meetups consistently, month after month, so she became a familiar face is action number two, that could also have some bearing on the outcome. The fact that while she wasn’t feeling her best after the layoff, she decided to go to the 4th meetup anyway; action number three. Then finally, almost ready to leave, Carmela decided to stay a bit longer, and she meets her future employer at the bar; action number four.
So, YES, you can ‘create your own luck’. From the outside looking in, not knowing the details of Carmela’s story, most would view the outcome as pure luck. But now you know that’s not entirely true, is it? The purposeful actions we take, and the decisions we make, are key ingredients to manufacturing what society calls luck.
I actually spoke with Dr Randall on this subject and asked him if he would give me his thoughts on the manufacturing of one’s own luck. By the way, Dr. Randall is one of the great teachers I admire, and I consider him an invaluable mentor. Here’s what he said:
“The widely held definition of luck is ‘success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one's own actions’ (Merriam-webster.com). Another definition however, that served me well over the years that is endowed with positivity and hope, and it positions the locus of control firmly within one’s own sphere of action. I believe Luck is indeed, as Oscar Wilde once stated, ‘a residual of design and desire.’ This description of luck argues that each one of us have skin in the game, an action to initiate. Luck is not solely the result of chance as so many would wish for you to believe. It is the result of deliberate, planful action initiated and performed by you. For example, in the popular domain of everyday life there exist an unbelievable, low chance of one winning the lottery. The actual prospects of winning, are usually millions to one against doing so. However, one cannot win if they do not have a ticket; their chances are absolutely zero. That said, to win the lottery, one must take the action of purchasing a ticket, thus allowing for luck to manifest. One cannot hit or win the lottery, as it were, without taking the action of purchasing a ticket. I opine, that this is an act of manufacturing luck. So, in the scheme of life, let’s go out and make some luck!”
There is so much truth to what Dr. Randall is saying. Just take for a moment the title of Professional Gambler. Would there even be such a vocation if luck was simply happenstance? My first book in the Arena Trilogy, ‘The Executive Arena’, in large part has a lot to do with manufacturing one’s own luck, particularly the sections about Perceptional Messaging™ and Corporate Politics. When you dress for success, act as if, change your associations, decide to join a networking group, or introduce yourself to a perfect stranger at a professional gathering, you are setting the wheels in motion to allow for “luck” to manifest.
So, is luck merely pure happenstance, of which we have no control, or is it an artform one can actually master? Well, I believe Luck is both a small bit of chance, and a whole lot of planful action. And, if you seriously study the lessons herein, and faithfully implement them into your life, you may even remove that “bit of chance” from the equation.