Luck marches with those who give it their very best – – H. Jackson Brown Jr.
What is luck? We know it is good and some people are blessed with it but the big question is how do we get more of it?
First of all, let’s find out exactly what luck is.
According to the dictionary, luck is “success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions.”
While this is a good definition, there do seem to be people who are more prone to “lucky breaks” than others.
You have probably heard on occasion that you make your own luck. This is true and I can show you how to make more of it for yourself.
Luck can appear to be magical and there are some seemingly magic elements involved. However, if you really understand how life works, you can easily see how to make your life luckier.
First you have to understand what each of us as individuals are trying to do in life. We are trying to survive and to help others to survive better. We are connected as families, towns, countries, races and ultimately as the human race. What affects one of us affects the rest of us whether we know it or admit it or not.
When you look at luck, you cannot just look at luck for yourself but luck as it affects everyone involved in any given situation.
A thief who finds someone’s door unlocked may feel lucky, but the loss of property for the one being robbed and the subsequent self degradation of the thief makes us realize that his discovery of the open door was in fact, extremely unlucky.
When one commits harmful or criminal acts, he also creates his own bad luck. Call it Karma or give it another name. It doesn’t really matter, it is a fact of this universe.Advertising
This brings me to my first point that must be observed when making your own luck
1. Observe the Golden Rule.
You remember this one: “Do unto others as you would have done unto you”
In a nutshell, don’t do anything to someone else that you would not want someone else to do to you. This is a simple and effective rule of thumb in life. It is easy to remember and it is the first step on the road to luck.
The bottom line is that you allow yourself luck or deny yourself luck. If you have degraded yourself by being a person who is unworthy of trust, you wil not allow yourself luck. Take this one step in life and see how that affects your luck factor.
2. Be the Rising Tide.
This takes step 1 a bit farther.
Whenever I undertake an action that not only benefits me, but benefits others as well, I pull in TONS of luck! There is a saying that I live by and it is :”A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats”.
And this is true. As a species, we inherently try to help each other. We realize that there is an interdependence, one upon another, that must be cherished and nurtured for us to be successful. Being the Rising Tide provides nourishment to our native spiritual desires.
3. Really decide what you want to do.
Nothing can get you to your goal if you have not clearly outlined that goal and made the decision that you are going to reach it NO MATTER WHAT. That “No Matter What” part is the most important thing. If you have that mindset, you will succeed.
Anyone can make a vague decision about something, but if you change course every time something throws you off, you will never be “lucky” enough to get what you want. Those who get what they want, never stop going after it.
4. Purge negative people from your life.
Speaking of being thrown off, nothing throws you off more than other peoples’ negativity. No matter what worthy goal you choose for yourself, there is guaranteed to be someone who disapproves, doesn’t like it, and thinks you should do something else or better yet, do nothing at all.
You cannot and should not have as a goal, “to make everyone happy”. There are people who use their unhappiness to manipulate others. Those who feel that they must make everyone happy are slaves to such people.Advertising
People who make their own luck have decided to be masters of their own souls. Ignore negative comments, better yet, severely limit your contact with such people. They are too much work to deal with and you have better things to do with your time than try to reason with nasty, negative, naysayers.
5. Outline the steps to take to achieve your goal.
Every goal you can ever think of has a series of exact steps that will get you there. The tricky part is finding out what these steps are. How do you know what are necessary steps, what are desirable steps, and what are time wasters?
Here is a tip: Find someone who is successful at what you want to do and find out what he/she did to get there. Then create your own set of steps that mirror theirs.
If you are doing something totally new, find someone who has done something close to what you want to do. Hang out with those who have successfully achieved their goals and learn from them.
6. Don’t shy away from education.
Every goal you make comes with some training requirement. Luck comes from being prepared when opportunity knocks. Hanging out with successful people in your field will give you an idea of what you need to study.
If you purchase a how-to course, buy it from someone who is wildly successful in doing what they are going to be teaching you and not from someone who is simply good at marketing a course.
7. Make the Devil look like a slacker
You have heard that phrase, “Work like the Devil”. Don’t work like the Devil! Work harder! Work Smarter! Get more done in a day than anyone you know and make your actions count!
I love those talent shows on TV. They try to make you think that these humble people one day woke up and decided to sing opera. They stumble into the auditorium, try out for this competition and blow everyone away.
This is not how it works. Talent is not a God given gift, it is a hard won skill. Talent is nothing more than the burning desire to do something until it is perfect and to never give up.
While it is true that some of the most amazing artists and businessmen believe that they are nothing special, they have developed a work ethic that makes the Devil look like a gold bricking, good-for-nothing, goof-off.
It is work to achieve a goal. Lots and lots of work.Advertising
8. Do what you love.
How can you force yourself to work if you hate your job? You cannot do it for any sustained period. You may be able to force interest for awhile but ultimately you will quit in disgust.
On the other hand, if you are doing something that you love, something that you would do whether or not you were paid for it, you will succeed.
Lucky people who manage to work hard are generally doing something that they feel is worthwhile. They have a burning desire and nothing can stop them.
what you love and find out how to turn it into a career.
9. Stop the negative thoughts.
We all have them. We pour our hearts and souls into an activity and then some set back occurs. We stop for a moment and start to think that we should have listened to Uncle Joe when he told us we were completely insane to have started out on this ridiculous path.
Well, Uncle Joe is still full of it. Just because you had a set back does not mean he was right, ever!
Everyone has set backs. When those negative, naggy thoughts pop up, tell them to take a hike and figure out how to correct the set back. Then move forward again on your path.
10. Create positive thoughts.
Positive thoughts do not just happen. They need to be created and created often and with great clarity.
Let’s use the example of a new car. If you want a new car you usually can picture that car in your mind. It has to be a certain make and model, a certain color and have all the features you want. You even know what it will smell like.You have a very clear picture of exactly what you are looking for.
Create a positive a picture of your goal and the steps it takes to get you there.
Vagueness breeds confusion via uncertainty. Get certain about what you want and how you are going to get it.Advertising
11. Repeat after me “I get EVERYTHING I want!”
Repeat this often and believe it. I have taken this on as my mantra and it works! There is no reason you shouldn’t get everything you want.
12. Stop believing that there is something wrong or evil about having everything.
Life is a game and the things in life that make us happy are the rewards of playing well. I have no clue why some people think and say that people who are successful are evil, greedy thieves who have made their riches off the backs of someone else. Aside from some politicians, I don’t know anyone who is successful that hasn’t worked his or her butt off to get there.
If you get educated, work for the good of mankind, and work hard, you deserve everything in life.
Also know that you having everything does not stop anyone else from having everything. Life is not a zero sum game. Everything in it has to be created but there is no limit to the amount of creation. And you deserve the fruits of your creations.
13. Focus on what is important in life.
I think many of us have reached a point in our culture and education, where we see that money is not the ultimate reward of the game of life. Money is simply a symbol for the amount of work someone has done. Each dollar bill stands for a certain amount of work of some kind. That is all it is.
Money is not love, family, community, help or any of the things that make life worth while. If you think that it is, take a dollar bill out of your pocket and let it make you happy. I guess you could make a paper airplane out of it but after that, the bill is pretty much a spent force as far as entertainment and quality of life are concerned.
Now go find a friend or loved family member, or your dog. Which one makes you happier?
14. Count your blessings
And when I say “blessings” I mean the rewards in life that you have made come true. Sometimes we focus so much on the future goal that we forget what we have accomplished.
Every so often, go back and look at all you have done for yourself, your family, your community and mankind. You will be surprised how much you have gotten done.
15. Give yourself the love that you would reserve for the person you most love in your life.
Then crank it up a notch. Love is what makes your life worthwhile. Your idea of your own self worth is what makes you lucky. The amount of love you have for yourself is the amount of love you can give others. Our love for each other is what drives us in life. Look in the mirror and find some things to like about yourself. Do this A LOT!
Then start finding things you like about others as a daily exercise. Your luck will improve.
Last Updated on May 22, 2020
What Makes a Good Leader: 9 Critical Leadership Qualities
The word “leader” makes you think of people in charge, high-ranking people: your boss, politicians, presidents, CEOs…
But leadership really isn’t about a particular position or a person’s seniority. Just because someone has worked for many years doesn’t mean s/he has gained the qualities and skills to lead a team.
Getting promoted to a managerial position doesn’t automatically turn you into a leader either. CEOs and other high-ranking officials don’t always have great leadership skills.
So what makes a good leader? What are the characteristics of a leader?
Good leadership is about acquiring and honing specific skills. Leadership skills enable you to be a role model for a team in any environment. With great leadership qualities, successful leaders come in all shapes and sizes: in the home, at school, or in the workplace.
The following are some of the many characteristics great leaders exhibit.
1. A Positive Attitude
Great leaders know that they won’t have a happy and motivated team unless they themselves exhibit a positive attitude. This can be done by remaining positive when things go wrong and by creating a relaxed and happy atmosphere in the workplace.
Even some simple things like providing snacks or organizing a team Happy Hour can make a world of difference. An added perk is that team members are likely to work harder and do overtime when needed if they’re happy and appreciated.
Even in the worst situations, such as experiencing low team morale or team members having made a big mistake at work, a great leader stays positive and figures out ways to keep the team motivated to solve the problems.
Walt Disney had his share of hardships and challenges, and like any great leader, he managed to stay positive and find new opportunities. In 1928, Disney found that his film producer, Charles Mintz, wanted to reduce his payments for the Oswald series. Mintz threatened to cut ties entirely if Disney didn’t accept his terms, and Disney chose to part ways. But in leaving Oswald, Disney decided to create something new: the iconic Mickey Mouse.
The key is to break down huge challenges into smaller ones and find ways to tackle them one by one.
Think about the lessons you can learn from the mistake and jot them down because sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn.
All great leaders have to exhibit an air of confidence if they’re going to succeed. Please don’t confuse this with self-satisfaction and arrogance. You want people to look up to you for inspiration, not so they can punch you in the face.
Confidence is important because people will be looking to you on how to behave, particularly if things aren’t going 100% right. If you remain calm and poised, team members are far more likely to as well. As a result, morale and productivity will remain high, and the problem will be solved more quickly.
If you panic and give up, they will know immediately and things will simply go downhill from there.
Elon Musk is a great example of a leader with confidence. He truly believes that Tesla will be successful, which he has shown many times through his actions. He converted 532,000 stock options at $6.63 each, their value on Dec. 4, 2009, before Tesla went public. It was a hefty bargain considering Tesla’s stock price stood at around $195 per share at that time. He doesn’t apologize for his beliefs and has drawn fire from just about everyone for his political actions.
You can’t instantly become a very confident person, but all the small things you do every day will gradually make you more confident:
- List 5 things you like about yourself every day (something different every day), and you’ll appreciate yourself more.
- Work on your strengths and do your best to enhance them.
3. A Sense of Humor
It’s imperative for any kind of leader to have a sense of humor, particularly when things go wrong. And they will.
Your team members are going to be looking to you for how to react in a seemingly dire situation. It would probably be best if you weren’t stringing up a noose for yourself in the corner. You need to be able to laugh things off because if staff morale goes down, so will productivity.
Establish this environment prior to any kind of meltdown by encouraging humor and personal discussions in the workplace.
As a president, Barack Obama exuded confidence and calm during stressful situations. But he was also known for his “dad jokes,” his genuinely funny speeches at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and appearing on Zack Galifianakis’s Between Two Ferns. Obama’s sense of humor made him grounded, realistic, and honest, which no doubt helped during some tense moments in the White House!
Learn to laugh at yourself. Confident people laugh about their own silly mistakes, and when you do this, others will also trust you more because you’re willing to share your experiences.
Be observant and learn from the jokes others make. You can also get a lot of inspiration from the internet.
4. Ability to Embrace Failure
No matter how hard you try to avoid it, failures will happen; that’s okay. You just need to know how to deal with them.
Great leaders take them in strides. They remain calm and logically think through the situation and utilize their resources. What they don’t do is fall apart and reveal to their team how worried they are, which leads to negative morale, fear, and binge-drinking under desks.
Great leaders do, in fact, lead, even when they’re faced with setbacks.
Henry Ford experienced a major setback after designing and improving the Ford Quadricycle. He founded the Detroit Automobile Company in 1899, but the resulting cars they produced did not live up to his standards and were too expensive. The company dissolved in 1901. Ford took this in stride and formed the Henry Ford Company. The sales were slow and the company had financial problems; it wasn’t until 1903 that the Ford Motor Company was successful and put the Ford on the map.
Get to the root cause of any problem so you can prevent it from happening again and learn from the mistake.
By asking “why” 5 times (or more) on why something happened, you can find out the key factor that caused the problem and can find the best solution to tackle the problem.
You’ll also learn how to prevent this from happening again in the future after finding out a problem’s root cause.
5. Careful Listening and Feedback
This is far more complex than it actually sounds. Good communication skills are essential for a great leader. You may very well understand the cave of crazy that is your brain, but that doesn’t mean that you can adequately take the ideas out of it and explain them to someone else.
The best leaders need to be able to communicate clearly with the people around them. They also need to be able to interpret other people properly and not take what they say personally.
The Dalai Lama, as a symbol of the unification of the state of Tibet, represents and practices Buddhist values. The Dalai Lama’s leadership is benevolent and aims toward truth and understanding, alongside the other Buddhist precepts. This is a great example for all leaders: if you want to give good directions to others, you have to get feedback from others to understand the situation properly.
Encourage communication between team members and establish an open door policy.
Practice not interrupting team members when they’re talking. Instead, summarize what they say and ask for feedback after you have talked about your ideas.
6. Knowing How and When to Delegate
No matter how much you might want to, you can’t actually do everything yourself. Even if you could, in a team environment that would be a terrible idea anyway.
Good leaders recognize that delegation does more than simply alleviate their own stress levels (although that’s obviously a nice perk). Delegating to others shows that you have confidence in their abilities, which subsequently results in higher morale in the workplace, as well as loyalty from your staff. They want to feel appreciated and trusted.
Although Steve Jobs was known for focusing in on the smallest of details, he knew how to delegate. By finding, cultivating, and trusting capable team members, Jobs was able to make Apple run smoothly, even when he had to be absent for extended periods of time.
To know when and how to delegate work to team members, you have to be very familiar with each of them:
- List out all of their strengths, weaknesses, and personalities.
- Talk with your team members more to know about their passion and interests.
Take a look at this guide and learn more about delegation: How to Delegate Work Effectively (The Definitive Guide for Leaders)
7. Growth Mindset
Any good leader knows how important it is to develop the skills of those around them. The best can recognize those skills early on. Not only will development make work easier as they improve and grow, it will also foster morale. In addition, they may develop some skills that you don’t possess that will be beneficial to the workplace.
Great leaders share their knowledge with the team and give them the opportunity to achieve. This is how leaders gain their respect and loyalty.
Pope Francis has been unusually popular with many Catholics and many non-Catholics. His position isn’t totally traditional, which is part of his appeal, but he also has admirable leadership skills. Pope Francis’s TED talk drew attention because he encouraged leaders to be humble and to demonstrate solidarity with others. This inclusive, kind, and respectful style of leadership is incredibly important for any situation.
It’s important to spend time talking with other team members individually to understand them.
Find out team members’ current challenges and try to give feedback and encouragement so they will grow and do better.
Great leaders know that when it comes to their company, work place or whatever situation they’re in, they need to take personal responsibility for failure. How can they expect employees to hold themselves accountable if they themselves don’t?
The best leaders don’t make excuses; they take the blame and then work out how to fix the problem as soon as possible. This proves that they’re trustworthy and possess integrity.
Howard Gillman is the chancellor of UC Irvine. You might have heard of how the university rescinded a bunch of acceptances, and then changed its mind, This past spring, an unusually high number of accepted students decided to matriculate; the school initially responded by rescinding offers over things like missed deadlines. But the college realized this was a mistake and reversed its decision. Gillman and the university accepted responsibility and decided to move past their earlier bad decision.
Always ask yourself what you can do better or what you should change. Take responsibility and think about what you can do better to prevent this from happening next time.
9. A Desire to Learn
It’s safe to say that all great leaders will have to enter unchartered waters at some point during their career. Because of this, they have to be able to trust their intuition and draw on past experiences to guide them.
Great leaders know that there’s always something to learn from everything they have experienced before. They are able to connect the present challenges with the lessons learned in the past to make decisions and take actions promptly.
You can either recall what you’ve learned from your memories or search your notes (ideally, a software that you can access anywhere with things well-organized).
Warren Buffett, one of the richest people in the world, has mostly made the right calls. But in dealing with huge amounts of money, Buffett has also made several multi-million (and sometimes multi-billion) dollar mistakes. He has stated that buying the company Berkshire Hathaway was his biggest mistake. From that poor choice, he realized that it was unwise to pursue “improvements” and “expansions” in the existing textile industry. Despite mistakes like this, Buffett has invested wisely, and it shows.
To effectively learn from the past, write down lessons you’ve learned from any mistakes you’ve made. Have all the lessons well organized, and when similar things happen again in future, take these lessons as references.
The Bottom Line
Leadership traits are learnable. If you practice consistently, you can be a great leader, too.
Make small changes to your habits when you work with your team, wherever that may be. Most of us aren’t presidents or CEOs, but we all work with other people, and our actions always impact others. This gives every person the chance to develop leadership skills and to stand out from the crowd.
More Tips on Leadership
- Leadership vs Management: Is One Better Than the Other?
- Why Leadership and Management Are Two Sides of a Coin
- 15 Best Leadership Books Every Leader Must Read To Achieve Success
Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com
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