How To Create Your Own Luck And Keep It, Too!

WITH the Chinese New Year just a few weeks away, people are sure to be checking how their signs will fare in the coming Year of the Rooster. Will your sign give you a measure of fame and fortune this year? Or will your sign lead you to a year filled with obstacles and dangers you need to avoid? Yes, many people believe in signs to determine whether they will get lucky or not this year.

According to Susan RoAne, people don’t have to wait for the proper alignment of the planets and stars for good luck to fall on their heads. In her book, “How to Create Your Own Luck” (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New Jersey, U.S.A., 2004), RoAne prescribes “a ‘you never know’ approach to networking, taking chances and opening yourself to opportunity” that can bring good luck into your lives.

Her premise is that, people who are lucky, most often than not, create their own luck rather than wait for luck to come to their door. These are the people who not only sees opportunities but seizes them and “parlays it into something positive, which has a measure of success.

According to RoAne, people who create their own luck have some of the following eight traits.

1. Lucky people talk to strangers. “Never talk to strangers” was an admonition drilled into the heads of many children. It is no wonder then that even as adults, many people follow this dictum. While it is wise, as a general rule, for one not to talk to strangers since many scam artists may “hypnotize” you into parting with your treasures, there are situations where talking to strangers may in fact be a good thing. In social events, for example, it will not do you any good if you just mingle with the people you know. The whole point of attending these events is for you to know people you don’t know thereby expanding your network of contacts. Plane trips (especially the long routes) are also good venues to make new acquaintances who may or may not be helpful to you in the future. Oftentimes, strangers turn out to be good sources of information or contacts that you need in your work or business.

2. Lucky people make small talk. When people try to chat with you, do you sometimes mentally brush them off as nuisances and barely make an effort to listen to them or keep the conversation going? If this is a habit for you, you may be missing out on a lode of valuable information. Small talk can lead to big things that can help you solve a problem at work or link you up with a person who can help you in your business.

3. Lucky people drop names. Have you ever encountered someone who as soon as she meets a person is able to mention friends or friends of friends who are somehow connected to the person she is talking to? Within minutes, she establishes a friendly relationship with her new found acquaintance. This phenomena is related to the “it’s a small world” paradigm. RoAne writes that “dropping the names of people, places and events that you might have in common with a stranger creates connections that open the door to opportunity.”

4. Lucky people eavesdrop and listen. Since the infamous Watergate, electronic eavesdropping has been elevated to a national security crime. But of course, this is not what RoAne espouses. What she means is that while it is important to listen fully to the people you are conversing with, it helps that you are also aware of the other conversations or “noises” going on around you. She calls this “overhearing.” For all you know, the information you pick up from your surroundings may be something you can use in the future.

5. Lucky people ask for or offer help. “Ask and you shall receive.” This Biblical passage really works. It is but logical that when you ask, there is a higher probability that you will get what you are asking for. On the other hand, offering help also works. There is an oft-repeated saying that when one gives, one is blessed a thousand fold in return.

6. Lucky people stray from their chosen paths. There are many stories of successful people who strayed from the paths laid out for them. A famous radio personality was once a plodding accountant. A founder of a successful food chain was once an insurance agent. A millionaire many times over was once a stevedore. If these people did not consider another path, they may not have achieved their present level of success.

7. Lucky people exit graciously without burning bridges. Ironically, the best time to exit is when you are at your best. Then, you leave people with the best of memories and abundance of goodwill which you can draw upon in future endeavors. The worst way to exit is when you leave behind negative experiences and emotions. This way detracts from your resources rather than adds to it.

8. Lucky people say yes when they want to say no. It is hard to say yes when saying yes means a sacrifice on your end. But people who are lucky make the sacrifice and say yes. By saying yes, they are opening themselves up to new opportunities that may not have otherwise been there if they had said no.

RoAne believes that these eight traits are what set the lucky ones apart from the rest who rely on the stars for their luck. Thus, what many would consider serendipity or merely accidental become regular occurrences for people who create their luck rather than letting luck (good or bad) create their future. So, if you want to be lucky in the Year of the Rooster, no matter what your sign is, try developing these traits and see how it works.

Author: Regina Galang Reyes. First published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer January 23, 2005.

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Founding Editor, People at Work, Business, Phiippine Daily Inquirer

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