When many of us are experiencing uncertainty or heightened anxiety, it’s good to recall a feeling of possibility and magic. But is luck a supernatural force or is it something we can create? How much of success is due to hard work and skill and how much is up to chance? And how much does privilege play in the role?
NPR’s TED Radio Hour dives into all aspects of Fortune, Chance and Luck, and speaker Tina Seelig defined these phenomena in her talk; “Fortune is things that are out of your control. I'm fortunate to be born in this place in time. I'm fortunate to be healthy. Chance is something - you have to do something. You have to roll the dice, or you have to buy a lottery ticket, or you have to apply for a job.”
And luck? Seelig continues; “Luck is defined as success or failure apparently caused by chance. Apparently - that's the operative word. It looks like it's chance because we rarely see all the levers that come into play to make people lucky.”
The way we see it, you make your own luck and there are steps you can take to create the best environment for it…
Number one, notice the small things.
Gratitude is having a moment, and whether it’s finding that miracle parking spot or uncovering a thrift-store treasure, recognizing our good luck increases our good fortune. To keep track of these small moments, experts again and again (including Oprah!) recommend keeping a gratitude journal. Noticing your good luck causes repeat good luck, and practicing gratitude has been shown to increase happiness. A win-win.
Number two, keep calm.
According to Seelig, luck is also increased by taking small risks and getting out of your comfort zone. You can’t do that when you’re in a constant state of stress or feeling physically and mentally tense. Seelig says everyday attempts to learn something new leave you more open and ready for fortunate situations. “Stretching yourself in different directions, clearly, that process sets you up for seeing and seizing those opportunities.”
The key here is to stay calm, balanced and stay open. When you’re relaxed, you’re open to the abundant world of flow and synchronicity. We created baseline to help people get back to this true inner essence – the person that exists beneath the layers of stress we take on in modern life. Ground Control is the daily supplement to support you staying calm and collected. It naturally rounds out the rough edges.
Number three, give credit where credit is due.
Luck is almost always a factor in success, but often the most fortunate overlook the role that it can play. Acknowledging the presence of luck can have a big impact in a surprising way; a 2016 Atlantic article claimed that people who credit their success to luck in addition to hard work are more likely to donate and share their wealth with others. “Wealthy people overwhelmingly attribute their own success to hard work rather than to factors like luck or being in the right place at the right time. That’s troubling, because a growing body of evidence suggests that seeing ourselves as self-made—rather than as talented, hardworking, and lucky—leads us to be less generous and public-spirited.”
Practice self-care in order to destress. Align yourself with opportunities for luck by taking small risks and continuing to learn. Practice gratitude and don’t be surprised when spontaneous magic occurs in your life – you just might be benefiting the whole planet.
A lot of things feel different this week amidst the news of Coronavirus, including St Patrick’s Day. The holiday has evolved over hundreds of years to become a celebration of Ireland and Irish culture that reaches far beyond the Emerald Isle and usually involves parades and lots of green beer. But this year, with parades canceled and bars closed, it’s also a perfect time to explore the role of luck in our lives.