I accidentally listened to the same podcast twice in one week.
I was just about to switch it off the second time, when it occurred to me that maybe there was a subconscious reason I had downloaded it again. So, I let it play as I trotted across the fields – on my feet, not a horse!
The subject in discussion was luck, and being interviewed was Gay Hendricks, who authored another book I had recently read (The Big Leap). And, as the podcast was the Science of Success, it piqued my curiosity on whether there is any science in luck, or whether it is just well… luck!
There was a story told in the podcast from Gay’s childhood and it was almost a carbon copy of something that happened to me aged eleven. I attended a very regular state primary school, a wonderful place. In my final year the school offered something they had never done before – skiing lessons (dry slope!). Now, I grew up in Birmingham, in a modest way – skiing was not something anyone in my family’s circle did. But I did watch Ski Sunday with my mom – and we both just inexplicably loved it. So as soon as the announcement was made – I wanted to do it.
As it turns out – so did all the rest of the school. The number of places available were oversubscribed four-fold. A lottery draw was announced for the next assembly. I went to that assembly knowing – KNOWING – that one of those spots was mine. Shy little me even told my classmates – yep, I’m doing that, just wait and see. And out popped my name.
Manifestation is big business and I remain both sceptical and cautious when it is purported that we can think something into existence in our life, without taking any other action. And approaching this podcast (even for the second time!), I had similar feelings about luck. Do we really have any control over how lucky we are?
Well actually I think yes, we do. And no, I haven’t suddenly found my inner woo and converted to the weird side. Do I think that because I believed I would get a skiing place, that I was able to mind control my name out of the hat? Mmm no, that was likely just chance (never say never though!), but I stand by the statement we do have control over how lucky we are.
Think of someone you know who is lucky. What sort of person are they? Are they, for example, the sort of person that tries things? Are they quite relaxed people? Do they have, what I describe as a light hold on things – i.e., they don’t take things, or themselves, too seriously?
The reflection I have been pondering on, and talking to my friends about, after this podcast is that luck is very much about being open to possibility. It’s about keeping your eyes and ears open, talking about and sharing what you want and hope for, and inviting opportunities. And then crucially it’s about acknowledging and recognising those little potentials and leaning into them. Keeping that light touch, not being too attached to the outcome – just seeing where things take you. My name could not have been chosen had I not put myself forward, if I had thought, like some others, there wasn’t a point with so much interest.
You’ve got to be in it to win it. The National Lottery
If we rigidly stick to our lane, if we are too fearful to attempt something different and new, if we are too self-conscious to make our desires known, if we won’t ask for what we want – then it is unlikely that anything will change from the status quo. We must try.
Here’s a more recent example of mine. So, now I’ve listened about conscious luck twice. I said out loud (as instructed!) – I’m committed to luck. I’ve decided to lean in, I’ve decided I will design luck into my strategy. I find myself on the sofa that evening pondering, and a thought pops into my head. It’s about Hooman. Are you all up to speed on who Hooman is?
For those not in the know – I can’t believe there are any of you?! Hooman came into existence to help me tell my story and to help others on their own development journey. Here they are:
So – sofa – pondering – Hooman… I’m committed to luck. I post a message in WhatsApp to my Oxford Entrepreneur Networking group. I’m chancing my arm – pure and simple, I’m not attached to the message, and I’m not attached to getting any response. And yet - I do get a response.
Fast forward a few weeks and a different friend asks me about a new Instagram page I have started.
“What’s this about?”
They know I’m not exactly a queen in the social media space.
“Ah” I say, “that’s Hooman, they need their own account now, because they are going to be in a book”.
“Er, what now?”
“Yes, I know, mad right? I’m writing a book. Hooman is going to share their journey and how they tackled their obstacles and limiting beliefs. I’ve got an agent.”
“An agent?! Are you serious? OH MY GOD - YOU ARE SO LUCKY!!!!!”
What do you think? Am I lucky? Is it luck? How was I lucky? What makes it lucky? I asked a network of people for a contact, for an introduction. And then I stayed open to trying something new when it was offered. Even when I don't know what comes next. I decided to take a punt on an idea.
Whatever you believe – destiny, the universe delivering, God, luck, effort, experimentation – we have to be open, we have to be flexible. Not everything will come to fruition, but you will be on a different path, with different opportunities because of that original idea. That original fisrt step.
I’m concluding that your mindset has a fundamental part to play in our luck. I’ve decided to be lucky, I’m committed to it. Let’s see where I end up.
What do you want to commit to?
Will you help me and Hooman? Please follow Hooman on Instagram – publishers really do look at this sort of stuff and are influenced by it! https://www.instagram.com/life.by.hooman/
Who do I work with?
I work with individuals, teams and organisations, helping them become more self-aware so that they can appreciate choice and make decisions to change with confidence.
My one-to-one clients have a corporate career which, often, is not currently satisfying them. They often don’t know why, because it used to, or because it looks great on the surface. I help them figure out what’s getting in their way and where they want to go next.
My organisational clients are seeking support via training, coaching and mentoring with leadership development, confidence in business and wellbeing. I am currently creating a programme focussed on New Leaders.
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The Science of Success Podcast: Your Luckiest Year Ever