We’ve all had times when we feel we’ve hit a stroke of luck, and unfortunately times when we felt pretty unlucky. With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, I started wondering about luck—when we most wish we were feeling lucky and maybe ways to get a little more luck on our side.
Luck and the Lottery
Of course, the most obvious time to wish that luck is on your side is when you buy a lottery ticket! It’s almost too obvious to mention, but it gives this conversation an upper limit for perspective. When you’re hoping to win millions and beat astronomical odds, you’ll want/need some luck too. This is the time to pull out your rabbit’s foot, four-leaf clover, troll doll, or other token of choice. The bigger the prize, the more luck it may take.
Luck on the Job
But let’s talk about the less-obvious times that we’d like to have a little luck on our side. How about when we’re working on a big project and we hope that all of the pieces come together as they’re supposed to? Maybe we hope someone isn’t late with their piece. Maybe we hope we conveyed what we needed well enough that we actually receive what we think we requested. Maybe we just hope that someone listens to our input and takes up our suggestion. These are the kinds of situations where we can build in a little of our own luck.
So how do we make ourselves some luck? Here are some suggestions:
- Be honest: When you’re dealing with someone, tell the truth. I’ve known plenty of folks who try to manipulate a situation, thinking that holding back information will allow them to steer the outcome in their favor. Not only is that messy and complicated, it can really backfire! Lies are difficult to sustain, missing info creates holes in the cover story, and usually the truth comes out eventually. Avoid the hassle and deception—stick to reality and the odds will be better that things unfold in a luckier way (or at least a less unlucky way).
- Communicate clearly: By this, I’m not talking about lying but merely being too vague, or rushed, or dismissive to really explain a situation, your expectations, and your goals. When you’re working with other people, you need to be clear—they can’t read your mind. Some people worry that they’ll over-explain, but I think we can agree that too much information is usually preferred over too little. Your need to cross your fingers and hope for the best will be less necessary if you’re doing your best to keep everyone informed and on target.
- Have a positive outlook: Honestly, I think this is the most difficult of these three suggestions. When you’re busy and stressed, it’s very difficult to see the bright side of things. Ironically, that’s when you need to the most. You don’t have to be unrealistic, but you can try looking at what’s going right before obsessing about what’s going wrong. If you can line up some (or just a tiny amount of) things going well, then you may start to feel like the luck on your side is growing a little stronger.
Hopefully, these suggestions help bring you a little more luck!