How to Make Your Own Luck

Luck is an essential ingredient to success! But by its nature, you can't plan for it ... or can you?

Stever Robbins
4-minute read
Episode #465

Luck: some have it, some don’t. It plays a huge role in how successful someone is. Just look at Aladdin. One minute, street urchin. Then he finds one old, dinged-up brass lamp, and the next thing you know, royalty.

Not everyone is willing to admit the role of luck. Many of those who have had the most luck also have the biggest ego investment in denying its existence. A multibillionaire with bad hair recently said that you shouldn’t pay attention to where a rich person started, but where they ended up. This particular multibillionaire started with an eight-figure inheritance.

Who you talk to matters!

Probably the biggest role luck has played in your life is the country, family, and socioeconomic class you were born into. You didn’t control these things, you did nothing to deserve them, yet they determined your launching pad in life.

And for those of us not born at the top of the heap, let’s all take a moment to mourn. (pause) Now, since we’re clearly in a position to listen to a podcast, let’s all take a moment to celebrate. Because there are a few billion people on the planet who were born into way, way worse circumstances than us.

Ok. Now that that’s over, it turns out that once birth is out of the way, some people are lucky and some aren’t. This isn’t, well, luck. There are things you can do that make you more likely to find opportunity. 

Luck isn’t supernatural

First the bad news: luck doesn’t seem to have to do with spirit guides, angels, or crystals. That kind of makes sense, if you think about it. If you were an angel and could make luck happen on demand, would you share it? Of course not! You’d use it to luckily find an entire oreo ice cream cake in your freezer every morning, and luckily wouldn’t gain weight from eating the whole thing. And we never see Oreo ice cream cake in paintings of angels, therefore, sadly, it’s proof positive that angels won’t be handing out luck any time soon.

But you can make your own luck.

Green Growing Things plant store has a new intern, Xris (pronounced “kris”). Xris was a 2nd lieutenant in the US Army, and just returned from a tour of duty in Iraq. We are deeply appreciative of the people who are willing to serve our country, and Xris had the good fortune to find us for an internship to help the transition into civilian life.

Be on the lookout for Luck

Only Xris made their own luck. One of the things scientists found is that lucky people are more observant. They look around. Scientists invited people to lunch, and first “accidentally” dropped money on the sidewalk outside the cafe. People who described themselves as lucky noticed the money and picked it up. People who thought themselves “unlucky” didn’t notice.

To start becoming more lucky, scan your environment more. Simply notice what’s going on around you. When opportunity does knock, you’ll notice, and be able to jump on it.

Xris spotted an issue of Carnivorous Plants Quarterly when raiding a terrorist training camp and picked it up. After the mission, they took the time to read the issue back in the barracks. That sparked the idea of buying a Venus Fly Trap to help keep the barracks free of flying insects. Xris began making luck by being observant. 


About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.