‘Don’t push your luck’ is what you will most often get as advice the moment you decide to take action and change your future. And without doubt, pushing the odds towards a successful outcome has everything to do with exhausting all available means as you pursue that goal. If we accept as true that luck is nothing more than ‘opportunity meeting preparation’, then creating reasons for opportunities to manifest themselves, could be the key. And it will not happen without massive amounts of preparation in creating the necessary conditions for your good luck.
What can you do to increase the odds? It would seem an easy simplification to name the necessary steps in their positive outfit, like ‘be positive’, or ‘agree to meet everyone’. It might work on audiences that rush to buy the latest super-positive best-seller or attend a conference full of on-stage jumping and off-stage cheering but hard-core professionals don’t doubt for a moment how harsh and unforgiving success can be. Therefore, we will address the necessary steps with our usual blunt and honest manner, since those who have higher chances of succeeding are individuals of mental and psychological strength, with no fear of the truth.
1) Stop meeting with the same old folks and colleagues: being a social butterfly and crushing on a different party or conference every night can do nothing if your preparation is sloppy, your attitude wrong, or your mentality weak. Being influenced by those same relatives, friends, and colleagues of the last 25 years is the only thing that could be worse.
2) Stop being rigid: Flexibility is a highly valuable trait in the evolution of any species, in any ecosystem. Prohibiting or postponing ‘change’ feels psychologically safe, but it will prove detrimental.
3) Start things: If you are only Re-acting in the game of life, your strategy (no matter how successful) owes the larger part of its existence to the initiatives of others. Even if you win a few times, in a way you play by their rules, and they will always appreciate that advantage. I do know very well that switching chairs on the chessboard and taking over the white pawns requires determination, courage, and a few other major skills. You should also know that only then you really stand a chance.
4) Bad luck is good luck in disguise: Apart from the usual hyper-positive metaphysical hyperbole, success stories can always trace the advantageous elements even in the most unfortunate scenarios. If you can’t, you are not a realist but a pessimist, as others will notice opportunities in places where you only saw a black cat.
5) Stop saying ‘no’. Some elitists advocate that the most important word is ‘no’. Actually, something that can be said and done easily, surely cannot be of value. And saying ‘no’ is the easiest, most instinctive response anyone will give when confronted with a new or unlikely proposition. It is usually those propositions that can take us somewhere…
6) Give a thought to others: ‘I do not need more success or money or power’, ‘I have no intention of complicating my life further’, and ‘ I really don’t want to know’, are some of the usual responses sounding so unselfish and idealistic, yet masquerading nothing else than a self-centered character. How can anyone say things like that when there is so much good left to be done in the world? And it cannot be done without power, resources, and connections. If you are not interested in those, chances are you are only interested in yourself!
7) Press delete: Clearing up your life from all the unnecessary concepts, people, and practices, will prove essential to your success. Probably my rule no.1 altogether, but had to relegate it to No.7 because if you cannot do the first 6, you probably keep pressing ‘rewind’ and ‘repeat’. Slow-motion and a fragmented life will be the result.
8) Choose good people: In fact, the standards have to be stratospheric. Only then one can make the necessary compromises and choose good people…
9) Manage your energy: There is no discussion about Anything with Anyone that needs to last more than 20 minutes. If you need more than that, you either have your facts wrong, or you shouldn’t be talking to that person in the first place. Go back to rule No. 7 and propose a fix.
10) Increase the numbers: You can become selective once you become knowledgeable and experienced. And you will, once you have accumulated a few triumphs and millions of mistakes in your personal history. Low numbers offer nothing other than shaping your criteria and tastes incorrectly. Doing a lot, with the right frame of mind, is the greatest kind of schooling.