bullseyeHow often have you said oh it is alright for x they are just really lucky or something similar?  Groundbreaking research by Professor Richard Wiseman and others show that we actually make our own luck.  Let me explore with you what I mean.

I was very lucky to spend a few hours in a delightful place yesterday.  The owners bought the property over 30 years ago and it was derelict.  They spent a huge amount of time doing it up and then converting the barn into a games room and indoor swimming pool.  There is also a wonderful mature garden, which could hold 100 people easily.  They live less than 10 minutes from me and until that moment I did not know they were there.  Yet I live in a small village and have lived here for 7 years.  Weird or what?  Not really in that I believe there is no such thing as coincidence, just synchronicity.

I felt very lucky, blessed even to be in that space and to be connecting with some really fascinating people who have made very interesting life choices as social entrepreneurs.  I do not know where this connection will lead and yet I am excited by it and the opportunity it presents.  I am now waiting patiently for that part of the story to unfold.

We live in a paradigm where one of the main beliefs is that something can only be true if we can explain it logically or through science.  Don’t get me wrong; we have made some great leaps in our understanding about the world thanks to science.  That said I would argue that society’s propensity to look to science for answers has robbed us of some of the mysteries of life.  Glorification of the mind in some ways has led to analysis paralysis.  Many of my clients are stressed to the eyeballs and can suffer from anxiety attacks because of their over-reliance on the grey matter.

Conversely as Louis Pasteur said fortune/ chance/ luck favours the prepared mind.  We work on something for a long time, discovering loads of dead ends and then have a eureka moment.  You recognise the break through because of all the work you have done up until that moment.  If we go  bit deeper, I would say that underpinning that preparation is trust and faith in the overarching vision.  For leaders and business owners today, the ability to keep plugging away despite others’ scepticism is vital.  I remember someone saying to me when my business was new and I had no idea what I was doing oh you just live in an area where there is very little need for a coach.  They were being helpful and supportive and yet their view was that it was the environment and not my newbie status that was the issue.  I am the only one responsible for what I achieve

So what has this got to do with luck you may be asking?  Well Professor Wiseman’s research and experiments showed that there was no such thing as luck.  Everyone receives opportunities but depending on how your brain is wired, is what will determine whether you notice the opportunity and then whether you act on it.  He goes one further and says those that seem the luckiest are actually creating their own luck.  If you think about those that you consider to be successful entrepreneurs, did they hit the big time with their first idea?  I doubt it…there were probably many set backs on the way.  The difference is that they did not hold onto the failures, they saw them as learning opportunities and asked themselves things like what’s next.  It really does come down to your attitude and the extent to which you are prepared to bring your whole self to whatever challenge you face.  Do you see a setback as a huge obstacle to overcome or part of the learning process on the journey?  How resilient are you when things don’t go your way?  How long do you hold onto disappointment?  How much do you see life and your work as a game?

In adversity what you need is flexibility.  If you keep on doing what you have always done you will just get the same results.  It is why there has been so much written about the importance on reflecting on the impact after you have done something, reviewing your actions and tweaking them if necessary so that you can fine tune the whole process next time round the loop.

Lucky people tend to be really open to new ideas and seeing the potential in whatever shows up so have huge capacity for versatility.  This flexibility helps them to build their resilience.  They are less likely to flag up the problems and much more likely to celebrate the successes.  In short each one of us has some challenges to face – the vicissitudes of life impact on everyone.  The difference is how you respond to the betrayal, the hurt and the pain.  As my husband says it is all in the recovery.

So next time you feel down on your luck, stop.  Remind yourself gently that you are the co-creator of your own reality and you can decide what kind of day, week, year, life you are going to have.  If that sounds far-fetched, get in touch as I love to help people rediscover their bounce.

What’s luck got to do with it?