Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity
You have probably heard the famous quote by the Roman philosopher Seneca – “
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”.
What does that mean in our everyday life, how would that work and how can we manage our own luck?
Luck by default is something external, something that we cannot control and that happens to us – good or bad – and affects our life.
So does it make sense to focus on it and think how we can get lucky or avoid bad luck?
We often think that the famous, the rich, the successful are lucky. We usually forget that a gold medallist has spent years of training missing holidays and vacations while giving his best to perform better; that a successful businessman has worked hard ten or more hours a day and has developed and put all of his energy in the ideas that previously seemed risky and reckless; that beautiful, rich and smiling Hollywood actors might once have been poor and rather miserable before having the chance to develop their skills and talent.
The truth is, you cannot know when you will have the best opportunity but you would rather be well prepared for that so that you can make your dreams come true. If you are only waiting for the right moment to come, the good chance, you may find yourself in a situation when you believe that nothing is up to you and it is all pure luck, faith, a predestination that we cannot control. Such thoughts could lead to anxiety and mistrust in our own capabilities.
Instead, we could focus on obtaining new skills or improving our competencies and learn to be adaptive and flexible in using them. How can we do that?
Usually the first step is the hardest and requires a lot of efforts but after some time we begin to enjoy the activity itself and to feel satisfied when mastering our skills .
To learn a new skill usually requires both theoretical and practical knowledge. It is found that most people need around 50 hours of practice to develop a new skill.
- Learn from the best
The ability to imitate others is inherent to people – you may observe it in small children. If you know that somebody is a master in his/her area, you may start using specific techniques and practices from their skill set.
- Be curious
Curiosity leads to learning new things. Research and be prepared with information but do not forget to be critical to what will be useful to you.
What else can we do to manage our luck?
- See life as full of new opportunities;
- Be ready to accept that we cannot prevent some negative events or avoid “bad luck” – they might happen;
- Do something different from what you are used to – sometimes that may seem risky but taking a step towards it, you will feel optimistic and energised;
- Focus on different aspects of a topic and put your energy in a variety of possibilities that you encounter.
Last but not least, let us not forget that every surprising event depends on our personal perspective and point of view. And the way we will see it is totally in our control.