I got lucky. So can you.

A few weeks ago, I got to have a sit down meeting with a gentleman I respect. He has built a robust business that straddles time zones and borders. It’s been long since we last caught up in person and we were exchanging notes about success and failure. His, that is. And when I prodded him to talk a bit more, he said, “Oh, I got lucky”!

I have been interested in this idea of luck for a while. How do people get lucky? Is it all pre-written as some of us would like to think? Or is there any scope at all to influence luck? This conversation added some energy to that question.


I chanced upon “Chase, Chance, and Creativity: The Lucky Art of Novelty” by James Austin. (First published in the 1930s and again in the 2000s. That very fact that it got to that form after so many years, told me something). He outlines four different ways of chances to emerge. From the ones that happen in any case to the ones that you can pluck out of thin air.

The other piece of work that I got lucky with is the work of Dr.Richard Wiseman. (Check out The Luck Factor). Dr.Wiseman, puts forth four essentials to get lucky. This is the result of research for more than a decade. And it sat well with me.

The Four Principles

Cutting to the chase, Dr.Wiseman identified that people who counted themselves as lucky had these four elements in elements

  1. Skill at creating and noticing chance opportunities
  2. Make lucky decisions by listening to intuition
  3. Create self fulfilling prophesies by positive expectations
  4. Adopt a resilient attitude

He says, “although lucky and unlucky people have almost no insight into the real causes of their good and bad luck, their thoughts and behaviour are responsible for much of their fortune”.

Over 400 people volunteered for the research that Dr.Wiseman conducted where he asked them to identify themselves as lucky or unlucky.

Personality tests revealed that people who were ‘unlucky’ were generally much more tense and anxious. Lucky people, on the contrary, more relaxed and thus being able to spot and weave things together from many things, rather than only what they are looking for!

Not only that, the lucky people went out of the way to add variety to their life. From changing routes to work, to alter ways to discover new people in conversations!

I Got Lucky

The other thing with most lucky people is that they count themselves as lucky! And that brings me back to where I started. The gentleman who triggered this whole thought process, by saying “I got lucky”!

I wondered how many times I have heard that statement. Upon reflection, I think I have heard it from several successful people. Perhaps, it is a way for the successful to get luckier. It is far from being a magic charm. But the prospect of getting luckier in a rational sort of a way, is magical for sure. Whatsay?

OWL Despatch
OWL Despatch

The OWL Despatch

Frankly, I didn’t think The OWL Despatch will get to edition 95. But here we are. Guess, I got lucky.

Typically, I put one edition out every fortnight, anchoring it on one piece of research and five other interesting reads that perked my

Here are five pieces for you to chew on.

  1. Can you ever imagine MS Excel combined with Tik Tok could get someone a 6 figure earning every day?
  2. Because we rarely get insight into our influence over others, we may chronically underestimate it. Now, here is your ‘I got lucky’ piece! At least, it has been for me.
  3. How many hours should you be working? Well, that’s a good question, you might say. But here is some data for you. When does productivity start dropping? What should you do?
  4. Robots by themselves can be something. But here is the case of living robots who found a way to self replicate. Well, that’s the future, right here!
  5. Our home has been filled with conversations about the contribution of women in the progress of humankind. One such piece that I got lucky with is this: 20 amazing women in science and math.

Now, as an add on, Have you heard of (or have) ‘Mouse Movers’? Well, let me know if you know someone who uses them. I find it a fascinating point in time to live in to see creative energy spring. Or move! I was reading “Workers Are Using ‘Mouse Movers’ So They Can Use the Bathroom in Peace” and shaking my head!

That’s that for this edition. Here’s wishing you peace, calm and joy as we head into holiday season. Stay well and spread the word. Stay away from the virus!

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