Oftentimes when seeing some type of positive outcome, people tell someone “You are so lucky,” when in fact the outcome had nothing to do with luck. I’ll be honest. When someone says it to me, it really bugs me, especially since most of the things I have accomplished in my life were earned through hard work, perseverance, perspiration, drive, and passion. None of my achievements and successes were “given” to me through luck.
Leading with generosity is another great way to source “luck.” In other words, giving something to someone else and not expecting anything in return will inevitably create great future outcomes for the giver.
Some of my favorite quotes center on the true source of what is called luck, such as:
“Luck is the point at which opportunity meets preparation.”
“The harder I work, the luckier I get.”
The latter quote is a phrased used in Japan figuratively as “Good luck,” but the literal translation means “Persevere.” How awesome is that? The reality is that if we work hard and never give up, “luck” will come our way. I’ve seen this happen time and time again in my life and the lives of others.
One of the best examples of this comes from one of my favorite books of all time, Man’s Search For Meaning, written by Victor Frankl, a survivor of four different Holocaust concentration camps:
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the
human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of
circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
Then there is real luck. Several months ago, I went to the post-office to mail a letter to my nephew. I only needed one stamp and as such, received a quarter and two dimes as my change. When I got back to my apartment, I noticed that the quarter was rather dark and looked old. It turns out that it was a quarter made in 1977. I immediately thought it might be a collector’s item and valuable and as such, looked up its value on the internet. It turns out that this quarter was indeed a collector’s item as a rare and limited addition “Spitting Eagle” Quarter and worth $50,000! My jaw dropped when I saw that!
So was I lucky? Probably. But I also made my own luck by taking the time and initiative to look up the coin’s value on the internet. Many people would not take the time to do so. I made my own luck.
META: So are you waiting to get lucky or are you going to make your own luck?
Kevin Sheridan is an internationally-recognized Keynote Speaker, a New York Times Best Selling Author, and one of the most sought-after voices in the world on the topic of Employee Engagement. For five years running, he has been honored on Inc. Magazine’s top 101 Leadership Speakers in the world, as well as Inc.’s top 101 experts on Employee Engagement. He was also honored to be named to The Employee Engagement Award’s Top 100 Global Influencers on Employee Engagement for three consecutive years, as well as being designated as a Senior Fellow at The Conference Board.
Having spent thirty years as a high-level Human Capital Management consultant, Kevin has helped some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER®, has been consistently recognized as a long-overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of Employee Engagement. His first book, Building a Magnetic Culture, made six of the best seller lists including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. He is also the author of The Virtual Manager, which explores how to most effectively manage remote workers.
Kevin received a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in 1988, concentrating his degree in Strategy, Human Resources Management, and Organizational Behavior. He is also a serial entrepreneur, having founded and sold three different companies.
Web site: www.kevinsheridanllc.com