How To Get Lucky: 7 steps to good fortune


For those of you that don’t know how to get lucky, you will be pleased to discover that luck is something that can be influenced. But first, let’s be clear in our use of language. For this discussion, we will make a distinction between random chance (ie a well tossed coin) and the kind of luck that is all around us in our lives. When I was in college in the Los Angeles area, there were radio commercials targeting the ‘unlucky drivers’ in need of auto insurance. Unlucky drivers? I’m of the opinion that skill and situational awareness will alter the outcome in many driving scenarios. I would agree, you can’t control what the other guy will do, but you can control what you do and it can be a game changer. Attentive and cautious drivers rarely get into any accidents. Is that simply good luck? Nope.

How To Get Lucky

As you move through life you will be impacted by forces beyond your control. Unexpected acts of others and nature will swirl about and you will be subject to them. This is where luck is partly within your control. You can drive, completely aware of where other cars are around you. You can learn to drive aware of what is ahead and behind for several cars, and that some people mindlessly run red lights so learn to watch cross traffic at intersections. The ‘unlucky driver’ campaign was simply a way to make bad drivers feel better and buy insurance from a company that really understands their misfortune.

Want to be lucky? Accept your responsibility for how you respond to random chance in life. You are not in control of everything, but you are in control of you and your luck will change drastically once you embrace random chance with smart responses.

1) Know What Luck Is

I suggest being very clear about what luck is and is not. For some, the word luck means random chance. You will either need to change that (at least as far as this article is concerned) or find another word for what I am calling luck here. Fortunate, charmed, blessed, it doesn’t matter, what does matter is recognizing that outcomes to random acts in life are largely within your control or influence. Some people like to throw up their hands like victims and claim how unlucky they are. These are losers because they choose not to play. Bad stuff is going to happen to you, some really bad. And you can choose to hold a pity party and marinate in your sadness, or make some lemonade.

How to get lucky

I lost my job 30 years ago. Poor me. So I started my own business and have been self-employed since. Yay Me! My mother died of cancer when I was 19. It was a long, slow and painful death. Life is full of hardship and sadness. Accept that. Eastern philosophy teaches ‘life is suffering’. You and everyone you know and care about will all die. That’s the deal you have been given. Don’t get mopey about it, embrace the fact that you have been given molecules that are billions of years old, one body, one mind and the opportunity to be somebody. You could have been a bug or some dirt, but you won the intergalactic lottery and were born a human in this era. Some people don’t recognize good fortune when it falls in their lap.

Dwight Eisenhower said ‘Luck Is Where Preparation Meets Opportunity’. I think we can work with that.

2) Have A Lucky Mindset:

I’ve always been very lucky. I’m pretty sure random chance has been as hard on me as the average man. I have developed two qualities that have served me well in my life. First, I expect some hardships. The world is not a controlled environment where we are protected by staff (think Disneyland). This is real life and bad stuff happens so stay alert and expect some hardship. Don’t get whiny, use street smarts and avoid trouble when you can, when it happens, accept and deal with hardship expeditiously. Misfortune can often be avoided by anticipating it. Don’t go down that dark alley. And bad stuff doesn’t have to be so bad. Some people make an art of their suffering. Don’t do that.

Second, be aware of all the good fortune in your life. Some call this a gratitude practice. Do that, it’s a good idea. In fact, get so good at it that as good fortune happens throughout the day, be mindful of it and feel the inherent goodness of life. Little things can be very satisfying. A good piece of fruit, a smile, someone saying something nice about you. Fun fact, you can help make the lives of others better; you can smile and say nice things about them. You can play an active role in the good luck of others. Be that guy.

How you look at the world and your life in it is really up to you. Your mind is an immensely powerful thing, if you don’t feel lucky and you are not happy, it’s time to change your mind about all of that.

3) Recognize Opportunity

What is an opportunity? An opportunity for what? Relationships? Money? Fun?

What is important to you? What do you want from life? Make a list. Money? OK, cool, we’re getting somewhere. People? Yes! Are you writing this down? You can put it in your journal. If you aren’t crystal clear about what you want, getting it will be random chance. As you figure out what you value in life and the specific things that align with those values, write it all down. Once what matters to you is clear, you are empowered to recognize opportunities that support what you value. If you decide you want a few kindhearted people in your life that care about others, you can recognize them when you see them. You should smile and say hi. If you want a new job because you don’t like the job you have, figure out why so you can recognize opportunities. What does the dream job look like?

Want more fun and adventure? What does an opportunity that supports that look like? Perhaps recognizing adventurous people is a start. Do you like playing sports, watching sports, online fantasy leagues, gaming with your buddies. You get to want whatever you want. But, learn what an opportunity looks like, so you will know it when it when it is standing in front of you.

Now, recognize that choosing an opportunity has an opportunity cost. Time, money & energy are limited resources, so if you choose online gaming, it means precluding other opportunities with that time, money and energy. You get to spend limited resources only once. If you spend all your time on easy things, you will be precluding other, possibly better things. These are choices you get to make, but recognize that you are making that choice.

4) Foster Opportunities To Get Lucky

Potential friends and romantic interests are everywhere, in fact, they are hard to get away from. Are you looking for it? If you want more social engagement, you would be wise to create the opportunity for opportunity. Opportunity is out there, so you need to leave your home and go out there. Are you even getting out there?

What do opportunities to achieve that look like. Lots of guys want a woman in their life, but don’t leave the apartment and regularly turn down social opportunities. That is not poor luck, that is deliberate self sabotage.

Let’s say you want a job you like better than your current job, what might that be? ‘Video editing is fun’ you say. OK, start a YouTube channel and get a free copy of Davinci Resolve and start creating and uploading videos. They will be awful and no one will watch them. For crying out loud, what did you expect. So do it again and improve a little. Then join some online groups and meet some people and keep doing it. What would you like to talk about? What do you enjoy that others would be interested in? You foster opportunity with attitude and action.

Most people want all kinds of things, but won’t do anything about it. They eat potato chips and watch Netflix and whine about being overweight and not having any real friends. They lament ‘nothing good ever happens to me’ as they click Next Episode.

5) Be Prepared To Get Lucky?

So you know you want a new job doing something more interesting and exciting. Get qualified to do it. Take some classes, or learn from online resources. I’m a huge fan of YouTube. Just about everything you might want to learn something about can be found online and on YouTube. Learn how to do it. Do it for free by apprenticing for someone that does it. Offering to work partime for free is an easy sell. You don’t want to do anything for free? Then you don’t want it badly enough. Find something you like so much you would be willing to pay an expert to teach you some things by exchanging some effort for some experience.

Would you like to meet new people? My social system is simple. Make eye contact, smile and say hi. Not just beautiful women either, men make this mistake all the time. There are very few things as awkward and creepy as a man who hasn’t smiled and said hi to anyone in six months trying to smile and say hi to a beautiful woman he has spontaneous intentions about. It’s bad, don’t do that. Get into the simple habit of saying hi to people without any intention. Most will smile and say hi and go on about their day, while a handful of others also looking to make friends will appreciate the gentle invitation to connect.

When you see an opportunity, gently engage with it. Try not to scare it away, but learn to speak up and express an interest.

6) Become Aware Of Interest, Opportunity & Action

I’m a big fan of journaling and documenting important moments. This is where you capture what you value in life and clarify what opportunities look like. You can also brainstorm on how to put yourself on track to be exposed to more opportunities as well as how you did when you engaged with an opportunity. You will blow more opportunities than you will seize, but if you work at it you can up those numbers by an order of magnitude.

But, you have to be paying attention. I can’t tell you how many times I have learned the same lesson. Documenting your learning is the process of organizing the mind to identify what happened and what you did well and poorly. That’s how you learn.

7) Accept Total Responsibility For Your Own Luck

That’s it. Accept responsibility. Unlucky drivers are bad drivers who refuse to accept responsibility for their poor driving skills. And I can assure you the insurance company only used that ad because it worked, not because they would offer low rates because of the unluckiness of these drivers. It was expensive insurance with poor coverage for bad drivers.

You don’t control random chance, but you should be prepared for, influence and control everything that you can.

Getting Lucking With Women

I have some opinions about this. When I was a young man, the idea of a romantic encounter with a woman was referred to as ‘Getting Lucky’. Hey, maybe I’ll get lucky tonight. Oh brother, where to start?

First, I think it suggests that men are less discerning of partners in physical encounters than women who are more likely to be selective. I think this is probably true. This may be changing as some double standards that have existed for a long time are getting challenged. Discernment is a skill men would be wise to develop early.

Second, I believe there is a negative impact on men who come to believe that women are in charge of physical intimacy in relationships, both casual and long term. That’s a lot of power to give women, and I’m not sure they all want it.

Hot/Crazy Matrix

Finally, some of the least lucky periods in my life started with a seemingly lucky night. Be careful who you invite into your world. The Hot/Crazy Matrix helps to illustrate this point. While funny, it may not be entirely fair to some very lovely and stable women. That said, I’m not sure that it’s really making fun of women at all. I think it’s really about men and how foolish we become around women we find to be ‘hot’ or otherwise attractive. A smart man can meet a beautiful woman and suddenly he’s stupid. All she needs to do is love bomb him for a few months, and he’s hooked. He’ll swear he’s found a unicorn.

Do you know what covert narcissism is? I do. She was beautiful and sweet and sexy and funny and everything I could ever want, finally! When suddenly, about three months in, that girl left and in her place was some kind of evil monster in a cute girl package and I no longer understood up from down. Crazy/hot is technically possible. Trust me, you don’t want any part of it.

Take your time, gentlemen. Get to know what a woman is made of before you invite her into your life. I’m telling you seriously, slow your roll.


Random chance is out of your control, but you can learn how to get lucky. I suggest calling it luck and taking responsibility and action to become lucky. To be where luck happens and prepared for it when it does. When unfortunate events occur, explore how you could have known and prepared for it and what you might do differently next time.

You know some people got no choice and they can never find a voice, to talk with that they could even call their own. So the first thing that they see that allows them the right to be, why they follow it, you know it’s called bad luck.

Lou Reed

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