Deb Sofield

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How to be lucky

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I have always loved the quote, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” It has been attributed to just about everyone, but the one who is consistently listed is Samuel Goldwyn of TV and movie producer fame.

Interesting when you think that he might have said that line considering that he was–in a sense–the star-maker in Hollywood, but even he understood the long view of success or luck (as you’d like to believe). Just think back on your favorite movie star and then research how many times they had to do cheese ball commercials or TV sitcoms or print advertising before they finally made it big (whatever your definition of “big” is) and add to that the staying power to survive the ground game of the business before you age out. Very few people hit the stage late in life–they’ve been in the game forever. Without the sudden success of American Idol that found Carrie Underwood or the British version that found Susan Boyle, not a lot of folks make it and make it stay–just think about all the one-hit wonders.

I know… I know, some of you are thinking, Well, Deb, if I could just get one hit I’d be happy. And you’re probably right, but guess what, it’s going to take work for you to be lucky.

There are a lot of interesting studies on luck, if that’s what you can call it. It seems to me that most people who seem to have luck have done something to achieve it. I know, not sexy to think that you have to work for it, but it might be the most realistic option for those who are looking for the elusive lady of luck.

I mentioned a while back on a show a video by a guy named Gary Vaynerchuk; I like the guy. I don’t like his language and he swears a lot, however, he has a video that obliterates those who write to him daily and ask how to be famous or rich or successful, and he lays it on the line when he replies that it takes work and more work and more work and then it takes one more thing that no one wants to hear him say…and that is…it take patience. Patience, as they say, is a virtue–a virtue that no one seems to have or want to have anymore. Why? Because we want it now!

I have three ways for you to find your luck. There are lots of other choices, but for today let’s think about these.

  • Focus on the positive in your life.
  • Be curious about things you don’t know.
  • Knock the chip off your shoulder.

You can’t have a positive life with a negative mouth. Your mind, brain, body, soul and spirit hear everything you say to yourself about yourself.

Most of you would never allow someone to speak to you the way you speak to yourself and, friends, that has to stop if you want to be lucky in life. No one, and I mean no one, should hear the caustic things that you say under your breath about yourself–that does not lead to anything worthwhile; it just leads you down a path to darkness and despair and those traits are not on the lucky list last time I checked.

So how do you focus on the positive? My show next week is about gratitude since it is the day before Thanksgiving, but let me give you a quick outline of some things you might want to think about.

Fresh Starts. If you’ve ever been given a second, third or fourth chance–and most of us have–you know what I’m talking about. Fresh starts, new chances and big life changes happen all the time; it’s what we make of the fresh start that makes us. Remember, every day you get up is a chance for a fresh start for you to accomplish your dreams.

The Ability to Read and Write. If you can read and write, you can change the world. I know it is odd to think about, but there are many adults who don’t know how to read or write, so you should be thankful every day that you have the ability to read–anytime you choose you can read a book that takes you around the world, helps you solve a problem or teaches you something. Your ability to write in your journal or to write to your congressman is an opportunity most people in the world do not have, and I’m not just talking about freedom of speech, but also freedom of expression is a gift that you have if you choose to take advantage of it.

I firmly believe for you to be lucky, you have to be curious. I love the quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, “I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.”

But why is curiosity so important? Here are four reasons:

  • It makes your mind active instead of passive. Curious people always ask questions and search for answers in their minds. Their minds are always active. Since the mind is like a muscle, which becomes stronger through continual exercise, the mental exercise caused by curiosity makes your mind stronger and stronger.
  • It makes your mind observant of new ideas. When you are curious about something, your mind expects and anticipates new ideas related to it. When the ideas come, they will soon be recognized. Without curiosity, the ideas may pass right in front of you and yet you miss them because your mind is not prepared to recognize them. Just think, how many great ideas may have been lost due to lack of curiosity?
  • It opens up new worlds and possibilities. By being curious you will be able to see new worlds and possibilities which are normally not visible. They are hidden behind the surface of normal life, and it takes a curious mind to look beneath the surface and discover them.
  • It brings excitement into your life. The life of curious people is far from boring. It’s neither dull nor routine. There are always new things that attract their attention; there are always new ‘toys’ to play with. Instead of being bored, curious people have an adventurous life.

Curiosity is an important trait of a genius. I don’t think you can find an intellectual giant who is not a curious person.

And finally, to be lucky you need to knock the chip off your shoulder and what I mean by that is for you to be successful in all areas of life it comes down to one simple idea you’ve heard all your life and that is your attitude. 

Friend, hear me. Please stop seeing the world through a negative perspective, always focusing on the bad and ignoring the good, especially when things aren’t going your way.

Your attitude is the key to your success and your luck in life. It’s not always going to be easy, but it’s certainly easier than you’re most likely making it out to be. Remember, there is always a solution–always–you just have to do the work to find it.

No one likes the person who goes around thinking that they’re superior. Most of us know that is just an act of a ridiculously insecure person who has to put on airs to cover their lack of self-esteem, money, self worth or whatever purpose they have created and put forth to hold others at arm’s length. Good and kindhearted people don’t need a chip on their shoulder to show their heart and intentions…so take it off before someone knocks it off, and you’ll be a lot better.

John N. Mitchell said it best when he said that, “Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitude towards us.” We’ve all heard about the power of our attitude, and that it’s our attitude that determines how much we succeed in life.

If you look around you, you will see that people with a positive attitude enjoy life more and are generally happier and more successful than those who walk around grumpy and pessimistic. Our attitude is the driving force in our lives–it can either push you to do great things or pull you down to your demise.

If you say to me that you want to be lucky, I’ll tell you that the best way for Lady Luck to find you is to focus on the all the positive and good things in your amazing life, and to be curious about things you don’t know about and then set out to learn. But the most important trait of finding luck is to keep an attitude of gratitude, and why wouldn’t you? At any age, at any time, whenever you choose you can turn your life around and do amazing things. Some will say you got lucky, but you will know your luck paid off because of your hard work.

Deb Sofield

Deb Sofield is a Keynote Speaker, Author of the book, Speak without Fear – Rock Star Presentation Skills to get People to Hear What You Say and Encouragement For Your Life ~ Tough Love Memos to Help You Fight Your Battles and Change the World, Radio Talk Show Host in the Salem Network, Podcaster and President of her own Executive Speech Coaching Co., which trains women and men for success in speaking, crisis communications, presentation skills, media and message development in the U.S. and abroad.

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