»view all testimonials

How Lucky Are You?

By Ken and Lee Estridge

Have you ever met a person who totally changed your life? Have you ever found yourself in the right place at the right time? How much of your choice of career or significant other had to do with luck? How much of your success in life do you credit to good luck and how many of your failures do you ascribe to bad luck?

Humility and Conviction

In his book, Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck, Tony Tjan writes that luck can be improved through the cultivation of a lucky attitude; one that balances humility with conviction. If you have the intellectual curiosity to explore new things and optimism that enables you to suspend disbelief, then you are more likely to have a lucky attitude and "let luck in." Tjan suggests an exercise to help you suspend disbelief. When someone suggests a new idea to you, wait 24 seconds before allowing a negative thought about the idea to enter your mind. After you've mastered this, wait 24 minutes before thinking about what's wrong with the new idea. Lastly, wait 24 hours and focus on why the idea might work, rather than why it won't.

Preparedness Meets Opportunity

In his book, Great by Choice, Jim Collins writes about the role of luck in companies that dramatically outperform their competition. Namely, Collins reminds us that luck is uncertain, uncontrollable, and consequential, and that everyone gets both good and bad luck. Successful companies don't have more good luck over time, but they do get a better return on luck because they know how to manage it. Those companies manage their luck by:

  1. Cultivating an ability to zoom out and recognize luck when it happens.
  2. Developing the wisdom to see when, and when not, to let luck disrupt their plans.
  3. Being sufficiently well prepared to endure a spate of bad luck (think about how much cash companies like Apple and Microsoft keep on their balance sheets so that they can seize opportunities and ward off threats).
  4. Maintaining their discipline when blessed with good luck, and avoiding wallowing in despair when bad luck hits.

You can't control when good or bad luck strikes, but you can control your attitude and increase the likelihood that you will get a greater return on good luck and avoid getting derailed by bad luck.

Best regards from a lucky couple. We met at a dance and have been dancing together ever since.

Ken and Lee

Photo: JCImagedesign