How to Create Your Own Good Luck

When I was about 7 or 8 years old, I broke a handheld mirror. There was nothing special about it. It was just a crummy old mirror. And it was just an accident. But that didn’t matter. Nowhere in the rule book does it exempt accidents. And so, just as the superstition goes, the next 7 years of my life were to be riddled with bad luck. That was the rule.

And as a kid I believed it.

I remember figuring out exactly how old I would be when my bad luck would run out. And being overwhelmed at the thought of what I was going to have to endure over the next 7 years. An eternity to a kid.

But I also remember the moment when I stopped feeling sorry for myself. When I made the conscious decision that I was not going to spend my life unlucky. That if I was going to have any good luck, like it or not, I was going to have to create it.

And so a belief was born. My belief that in order for me to be lucky, I have to create luck.

So I did. And I still do. Even as an adult.

I created the luck that put me in the right place at the right time with the right skills and was rewarded with the opportunity to play bass in the Broadway Show RENT and record an album with R. Kelly (before he started peeing on girls). I created the luck that introduced me to my wife who at the time was camped out where most of my friends now reside. A place I never would have thought to look if I wasn’t looking.

It wasn’t because I crossed my fingers. It wasn’t because I hoped and prayed for it. It wasn’t because I had a lucky charm. And it wasn’t because of some birth right.

It was because I was lucky. On purpose. I created my own good luck.

It didn’t require breaking a mirror or spending my childhood believing in superstitions. Although that did help. It just took four little shifts in my belief system.

Shift 1: Don’t Leave it Up to Chance

Spoiler alert. Crossing your fingers does not work. Neither does a good luck charm. So, don’t leave it up to chance. Take matters into your own hands. Be proactive.

If there is even the slightest possibility that you might slip and fall into something good you will likely sit back and wait for that moment to come. But if you were to completely remove that chance as a viable option you become forced to create it. And you will, provided you…

Shift 2: Know Your Outcome and Become Obsessed With It

Goals are great. You should have goals. Lot’s of them. But this is different. If you want to engineer good luck, it starts with knowing what you want your outcome to be and then becoming obsessed with it. That is not something that can be written down or acted upon consciously. That is not something that can be turned into an acton step or item for your todo list.

Being obsessed means not being able to sleep at night because it’s all you think about. It means starting sentences with I am instead of I want or I hope because in your head, it’s who you are. Being obsessed means that it flows through your veins. That there is no other possibility.

When you are obsessed with the outcome then the outcome is inevitable. It’s only a matter of time as long as you…

Shift 3: Take a Creative Approach

If you keep doing what you have always done, you will keep getting what you’ve always gotten. Good luck rarely comes to those unwilling to stretch themselves or think differently.

Try something different. If you want to meet someone new, go somewhere you have never been before. Do something you have never done before. Try something that you have never tried before.

If it gives you that uneasy feeling in your stomach than you are likely on the right path. Just keep going and of course…

Shift 4: Never Give Up

If you have made the shift in the first three, then giving up is impossible. You won’t be able to give up on something that you took control over versus leaving it up to chance. You won’t be able to give up on something that you can feel down to your bones and are obsessed with. You won’t be able to give up on something that has forced you to grow by doing something different than you have ever done before.

Even so, it’s worth mentioning. Don’t give up. Ever.

When You Create Good Luck, Great Things Happen

There is no magic here. No secret. In fact, you have likely created some luck of your own already. Now you are more conscious of it. So throw away your rabbits foot and stop wearing your lucky pair of underwear and start doing something about it.

Featured image courtesy of netsnake licensed via Creative Commons.

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  • Joe Boyle

    The first shift reminds me of a rant I went on a few weeks ago about those who play the lottery. I’m not talking about the every now-and-again lottery players, either. I’m talking about the ones who will dip $100 every week into it in hopes of hitting the million dollar jackpot (I know a few of these people – not great people).

    Isn’t it interesting how they’re so willing to spend all of that money on something that is a chance? Instead of taking that $400 a month and investing it into something worth their while that will guarantee success in the longrun, they go for the success in the shortrun. Pretty weird, right?

    Great post, Marc. Launch went live today – you should check it out 😉

    • Marc Ensign

      The lottery is this false “take the easy way out” way to solve your problems. You’re right, if people just stopped crossing their fingers and putting their eggs in that basket, they might actually have a shot at solving their problems and being successful.

      Checked out the new site…looks great, keep it up!

      • Joe Boyle

        Thanks, Marc. I am really overwhelmed by the response I got from it. I knew that the people who already saw it really like it, but just knowing that everyone else did, too. I was a bit teary-eyed ;).

        I did take an approach that reminded me of you. I was sure to go on Twitter and ask for people to do things. I generally ask people to do a lot of things, but I remember your post about just asking. I sent out a few tweets that were just “I’m pretty great. You should check out the great new design.” I suppose I was just a bit more aggressive about it. It worked.

  • Jason Ebbing

    Agree 100% Marc. Bothers me when people think that success (professional or personal) is because of luck. In most cases success and failure doesn’t happen by chance.

    • Marc Ensign

      It’s like that story…I forgot who it was and will likely butcher it, but here it goes. After a big recital, someone in the audience came up to one of the musicians and said “you were amazing! I wish I could play piano like you” to which the pianist responded “no you don’t. If you did you would have practiced 8 hours a day!”

  • foodsho

    I have only recently discovered this blog and although I am a high-energy never stop focused eye on the goal kind of guy I have to admit that I am gleaning something from this each time I stop by. I learned a concept long ago that I refer to as “pinpoint objective” which is simply being so clear about your objective that it would fit on the head of a pin, “Shift 2” reminds of that principle. Thanks for sharing.

    • Marc Ensign

      Better late than never, right? That means a lot to hear that you are getting something each time you come by! Thank you for sharing that with me!

      I like your concept of “pinpoint objective”! I have a few things I’m working on that I thought I was pretty clear on until I put it up against that, I guess I have a bit more work to do…

  • Doe Gasque

    Good to know that my obsessions can be a good thing sometimes. I tell my partners that we have to focus on finding solutions to each of the roadblocks that get in our way to opening the clinic. We decided at the start of this venture that we would not give up. Look forward to your blogs.

    • Marc Ensign

      thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! What kind of venture are you working on?

  • aleishagore

    Great tips. You have a typo on step #4, second to the last line. “different that you” should say “different than you.”

    • Marc Ensign

      Thanks for the heads up on the type-o!! Good thing this post wasn’t called “how to be perfect” huh?

  • Penny Sadler

    Marc, Really like your blog and topics. Great stuff.

    • Marc Ensign

      Thank you so much Penny!! Happy to have you here!

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  • Rebekah Radice

    I absolutely 100% agree Marc! Luck or ‘fate’ only happens to those actively seeking it out and passionately creating it in their lives. It’s not an every once in a while occurrence either. As you said, if you want something, you must obsess day and night to make that dream/goal/desire materialize.

    • Marc Ensign

      Well hello Rebekah! Thanks for stopping by! And thanks for the comment. So tell me…what are you doing to create your own good luck?

  • celestial factory

    Great post Marc! I believe terms like luck and chance are thrown around loosely by most people. I agree with you that one creates his or her own “luck”. But instead of luck I would use the term path or direction instead. Luck is an event defined as something beyond one’s control (definition source- Wikipedia). Most people including myself blame self inflicted failures on “bad luck” whereas they have occurred from “bad strategies” . in my opinion matters related to wealth, fame, fortune, education any material gain have absolutely nothing to do with luck or God’s help, they are solely a result of your own strategies.

    I do however consider myself “lucky” enough to have this misconception cleared at the age of 22.

    I would like to share a personal realisation with you and the readers. Back in 2010 I enrolled for electronics engineering at the University of Nottingham. Totally messed it up, my parents resented me for a while as it was a huge loss of investment for them. I felt so guilty and cursed the heavens for that unfortunate event whereas it was completely self inflicted. Anyhow, I went on searching for “goodluck” I guess its natural human behavior to wish for a miracle after shit hits the fan.

    In those moments of despair I stumbled upon the production factory of “luck” which is the lottery system or any other gaming industry that makes you believe that today may just be your lucky day. I truly am amazed by how much people rely on luck to hit it big. But, after days of pondering and researching on how these systems work, I came to conclusion on how strategic and well planned and non dependent on luck every successful system is .

    This concept got me interested in computer sciences and yes “luckily” I got my family’s support.

    I remember going upto the dean of the computer science school and telling him why I want to change courses is because I think “luck” can be calculated. I got extremely interested in the idea of random number generators.

    I still remember his words which gave me a whole new perception on life, he told me that the problem with calculating outcomes occurs when the randomness of a system increases, he gave me the example of powerball lottery and how its not just the numbers we are taking in considerations but also factors such as the weights of the ball, the air pressure etc, which increases the randomness of the system where it becomes extremely tedious to calculate outcomes. He also added how its not impossible.

    The point of this sharing this story was the two realisations that struck me that day and since then every decision I have made has always been dominated by those epiphanies

    1. If you want to create have big wins in life , they wont come from wishing for it or hoping for a miracle. As 99.9 % of the times you will just end up getting disappointed. So, just using the lottery as an example if you want to win that 60million lottery , relying on solid strategies which would involve years of research , creation of insanely long algorithms would give you a better chance rather than relying on luck. This can of course apply to anything not just lottery.

    2. ANYTHING that we experience in our lives can be gained or prevented , which the right strategies . In fact, the only thing we should thank goodluck for is our existence. Because if tiny air fluctuations can shift the entire dynamic of numbers , then considering the randomness flowing throw this universe most of it we are probably not even aware of , the only thing left to luck should be nothing more than ones own existence in this reality.

    Sorry for the long post!

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