We all know that person. The man or woman with the seemingly perfect life, all in control, with everything seeming to always break his or her way. “They’re just so lucky,” is a familiar refrain. And so it would seem. I would argue, though, that luck has little to do with good fortune.
It is a paradox that I refer to as the fortune-cookie myth. Luck, like happiness, is a moment in time we attempt to reclaim. Luck is, essentially, uncontrollable; it is fleeting, like that little scrap of paper drawn from the cookie: unpredictable, ineffable, and fallible. While it is impossible to predict that moment of luck, the key is learning to create and sustain a momentum of good fortune in a far easier and more predictable manner.
When we learn to apply four simple skills, we find the good things we expect from life come more consistently, and life’s inevitable hiccups can often be turned to our advantage. Embarking on this path to good fortune is as simple as learning to See, Sow, Grow, and Share opportunities.
See with Circular Vision. Broaden your observation to see beyond the obvious details in front of you, thus enlarging your field of opportunity.
Sow Entrepreneurial Seeds. When good vision is met with consistent, hand-dirtying execution every day, the result is a stable, growing fortune.
Grow Seeds of Greatest Potential. Learn how to recognize the most promising opportunities and give them the right amount of attention; don’t let the best opportunities wilt and don’t waste energy on opportunities with limited potential.
Share the Harvest. Focus on meeting others’ needs to improve personal good fortune; make generosity part of your purpose. Sharing the harvest is one’s ability to lead with kindness.
I have found it an interesting truth, as I’ve addressed audiences and mentored individuals from coast to coast–women tend to adopt and apply these skills more readily than men.
The strong and natural networking skills that women possess, coupled with their eagerness to see and seize the opportunities that lay before them make them easy masters of seeing and sowing. Women, in my experience, also seem to inherently apply analytical skills to their personal and professional relationships, which gives them an advantage in growing their seeds of greatest potential. And that most women seem to be instinctive givers means that sharing the harvest is almost second nature.
In the end, learning to earn serendipity means learning to approach our everyday encounters and activities with an entrepreneurial mind-set. It means learning to live our lives as if we own them. I don’t believe for one moment that anyone’s life is actually perfect, but with work and the proper focus, good fortune is yours for the making.
By Glenn Llopis, a speaker, trainer, and president and chief executive officer of Glenn Llopis Group, LLC. He is president of the E2E Mentor Program at the University of California-Irvine’s executive MBA program and lectures at Vanguard University. Llopis is the author of Earning Serendipity: Four Skills for Creating and Sustaining Good Fortune in Your Work, (Greenleaf Book Group Press, 2009).
Originally published in Skin Deep, September/October 2009. Copyright 2009. Associated Skin Care Professionals. All right reserved.