Chinese red envelope and oranges

7 Steps to Being Luckier

Definition of Luck
According to Merriam-Webster the definition of luck is “a. a force that brings good fortune or adversity. b : the events or circumstances that operate for or against an individual.” Many people believe that this force, event or circumstance can only come about by randomness or chance. However, it is through experience that I have learned that good luck is something you can bring about through action or openness to chance or randomness. Good luck is really new opportunities that can come in a few varieties such as new information, ideas, people or stuff that can change our lives in small or large ways to the benefit of our lives.

Why We Need Good Luck
We need good luck in our lives to bring about success and prosperity. It is said that success is a function of both preparedness and opportunity colliding and it is in both these two functions that someone can invite in good luck that will lead to success.

Preparedness and Opportunity
Good luck doesn’t have to be random. Good luck leading to success brought about by preparedness and opportunity can be initiated by changing what we pay attention to in our daily lives. I posit the theory that good luck is everywhere in the air all around us, and we only need to pay attention to what is going on in a different way to change our luck from bad or nonexistent to good.

Selective Attention
We have all had the experience that after we had thought about buying a shiny new blue Honda, we began to see blue Hondas everywhere. Was there suddenly a rush to buy blue Hondas? No. Could everyone read our minds and steal our idea? No. We now notice the blue Hondas everywhere according to Anne Treisman due to what she defines as Attenuation Theory or selective attention.

Good Luck is Always Waiting to be Noticed
Selective attention theory explains how human beings process only a selected portion of the millions of stimuli surrounding them while completely ignoring other stimuli altogether. This is because the five senses besiege us all day long with information and our brains must prioritize what we process. So when we start thinking of blue Hondas all of a sudden, we notice blue Hondas, but they were always there. Just like “good luck” it’s always there waiting to be noticed.

Meaningful Coincindence
In our busy world it is easy to see how we can completely miss the ability to prepare, and the ability to spot opportunity. And it is in both these functions, we could use good luck to help us along. Carl Jung described luck as a meaningful coincidence. It is possible to put a jolt into randomness and chance and bring about meaningful coincidence or luck by changing your attitude, environments, people and information that you see on a normal basis. This will broaden our selective attention and invite the ability to see, hear, smell, feel and taste new stimuli that will in turn change what our brains process allowing new ideas, information, people or stuff to come into our world. This allow us to choose how we prepare and see opportunity. This is the essence of how we perceive good luck. Here are my tips to being luckier in life:

1.) Have an attitude of expectancy. Start your day everyday with the thought that something lucky will happen. No matter who you meet, no matter where you are remember luck is in the air in the form of information, ideas, people or stuff. Having the attitude that something pleasant will happen will help you to train your selective attention to tune into opportunities aka good luck.

2.) Change your routine. Walk or drive a different path. Do something you’ve never done before. Buy something unusual. Wear different clothing. Use the opposite hand for writing a wish list. Doing something in a different way will help you break out of bad luck or no luck situations by changing what stimuli your brain processes every day. This will give you the chance to see, feel, hear, taste, smell things differently and could start the path to a small new way of thinking and processing the stimuli all around us that could lead to something bigger and that’s good luck.

3.) Start preparing for something. Begin the process of doing something for a project or goal that you need good luck with in your life. For instance, if you want to buy a house go to the bank and talk to a loan officer or go to an open house. You don’t know what information, ideas, people or stuff will come across your path as you go to an information interview, start a savings plan, talk to a real estate agent or talk about loan options. Good luck may reveal itself as you begin to do. Think of it as the pre-planning process. Experiment with doing different things. Remember momentum goes where energy flows. The experience of doing will invite in the good luck by changing the habits that you have acquired over the years that may have stagnated your good luck antenna. Good luck is everywhere the theory of selective attention says you just need to pay attention.

4.) Read. Is there a How-to book you’ve got your eye on? Is there a business book you think might have useful information? Is there a blog writer that you want to follow? Have you ever picked up the alternative newspaper in your city? Have you looked through craigslist ads? Remember you don’t know what you don’t know. You might learn of a club you want to join. You might find out your city is granting microloans for small business. You might find out the neighbor down the street is giving away an armoire. You might find out there is free WordPress training at the local library. In this busy and distracted world reading is still a good way to find lucky information.

5.) Meet new people. You never know who you are meeting, and what kinds of opportunities they could offer you. You may be their perfect new Marketing manager. They may know of a great new Groupon. Networking with people of all backgrounds helps expand your world of knowledge by introducing you to different social circles. Word of Mouth is still the most common way people learn new information. And it has long been believed that the weakest ties within your circle of people may grant you more opportunities than people you normally interact with on a daily basis. This is the new stimuli at work again and the luckiest information you gather may come from that new acquaintance
6.) Take more chances. Are you reluctant to try something new? Try dipping your toe in the water with different projects in your life. Example: apply to several kinds of jobs even if you are not in the market on a weekly basis. Say yes to attending different kinds of social functions at least once of week. Say yes where you would have normally said no. Enter an art contest. Apply for a scholarship or grant. Audition for a play. Wear different colored sweaters. Go to a new restaurant on opening night. Be a leader where you would have normally been a follower. Give good luck a chance to find you. You can never win if you don’t get in and the stimuli in your environment needs a chance to reveal itself.

7.) Be good luck for other people. Visit grandma during the week by surprise. Buy an extra ticket to a concert and treat a friend. Give away a Groupon. Buy that extra bottle of wine or book that you think a friend or co-worker may want. Don’t wait for birthdays. Send handwritten notes to introduce yourself or say thank you. Be the person that people are grateful for in their life and you will find luck will be reciprocated by inviting new stimuli into yours and the people’s lives around you..

Final Thoughts
Creating new stimuli in your life so that your brain can begin to notice new opportunities all around you are the most common ways people report having good luck. You can actually begin to assist your senses to find new stimuli to process and open you up to a whole new world of information, ideas, people or stuff just waiting to find you. What steps can you take today to be luckier in your life?

Written by
Yolanda Ortega

Posted in Advice, list, luck, Organization, Small Business, Uncategorized.


  1. The collision of opportunity and preparedness is a wonderful way to think about luck; the control freak in me cannot accept that much left to chance, I must actively steer at least a part of the plan. These are good tips for heading down both roads of opportunity and preparedness, and this is a well written piece. For your next one, I’d like to hear what you’d suggest might be step #0 to identify and get through one’s roadblocks to doing those other steps.

    • Leona, Thank you for your comment. The roadblock for anyone of us is mostly fear. And it is mostly the fear of the unknown. I hope the article spells out that breaking out of back luck requires you to step out of fear and trust that taking any steps will allow the doors of opportunity to reveal themselves to us.

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