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Luck is a controversial topic, often discussed in many speeches and decisively opt out by others. How should you react to the word luck? The more I go through life and grow in my career, the more I wonder if there is actual luck.
If you look for the hashtag #Luck on Instagram, you will get a long list of images and quotes. There is one that really grabbed my attention: ‘The harder you work, the luckier you get’. So I asked myself whether luck is really needed to be successful and if we do attract luck towards us. We might fall under the impression that successful people are always lucky, and we often confuse between luck and hard work.
I remember few moments where I considered myself lucky, for example, when I was able to find and buy the last ticket left to my favorite musical theatre Notre Dame De Paris, or when I met the talent and communications partner at Deloitte in the Middle East region during an event organized by the Worldwide Alumni Association of the American University of Beirut (WAAAUB) and I had the opportunity to discuss career matters with her. I also learned from her experience, and ended up doing my internship at the firm, then joining it as a full time employee, where I still am six years later. Yes, it is partially luck when it gets to meeting a successful or a key person in an unexpected place, but it is also about how much effort you put. In this particular instance with the partner, I had consciously placed effort to break the ice, approach her and introduce myself. In other words, I seized the opportunity!
Personally, I believe luck might cross your way but you have to turn it to your advantage by grabbing the right opportunities and focusing on these three key elements:
1- Working hard and smart
During a discussion with the partner in our office, she mentioned that ‘Luck lies in the deck of cards we receive when we are born’. She explained that the cards could represent the family you belong to, the society you live in or the educational opportunities you get, all working together to provide you with a base. However, what matters most is what you do with the deck of cards at hand. How you deal with it is completely up to you, and that is how you work smartly for luck. What you do with it could provide better opportunities and hence more success. Thus, to be lucky and to achieve your goals, always be ready, prepare and give it everything you have. So yes, you can be lucky. How? By studying, working hard, grasping opportunities and continuously developing yourself through persistence, practice and dedication. It is crucial to differentiate and brand yourself to stand out.
2- Taking risks
In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell mentions that “it is not the brightest who succeed, nor is success simply the sum of the decisions and efforts we make on our own behalf. It is, rather, a gift. Outliers are those who have been given opportunities — and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.” I agree with the statement made by the author. Just take the right decisions at the right times, push yourself to think differently and get out of your comfort zone, take risks and most importantly trust your gut. It is not only about taking risks, but also about the right timing to take action. Your reaction to luck is all what matters.
3- Keeping a positive attitude
Within your circle of acquaintances, you definitely know someone who overachieves at anything they do without even putting much effort. However, there is a low chance to perfect a task for the first time, and as Gladwell says, it requires 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert in something, so praise yourself for trying hard and putting efforts, not only when you see actual results. An exit strategy should not be an option following a failure, instead it should be a motive to push further and learn from failure and experience. Convert failure into learning because more often than not, without failure there is no success. And don’t forget to keep a positive attitude!
Set stretch goals, plan, work hard, network, grasp chances along your way and form your own luck along with your own successes. As Harvey Specter says in the series ‘Suits: “I do not get lucky, I make my own luck”. Good luck working on your own luck!
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