How to make your own luck

13th Aug 2018

By Maxine Erasmus

Luck has been defined as ‘success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one's own actions.’

It is a mysterious thing ‘luck’. It’s that thing that (apparently) only happens to a few of us. Some cast themselves out of the running by profusely announcing that they are just unlucky. Envious people will often surmise that when it does happen, that it’s undeserved, and others will take the belief that it was a long-awaited gift for a person who had seen much struggle. But less than often we recognise the significance of that person’s action in the happening of that ‘luck’. So, what if this mysterious force we know as luck, wasn’t down to chance, what if we redefined it…

If good things happen because of hard work, after setting your sights on a goal and achieving it, then that is not chance. There’s that famous saying ‘you have to be in it to win it’. So, if we turn the idea of luck on its head and realise that we have a lot more control over it than we first thought, we could bring more ‘luck’ into our lives.

My ‘luck’ began 5 years ago. I lacked confidence and I was scared to try new things. I didn’t know how to make luck, and I didn’t understand what it truly meant to make things happen. Then, I took a step into the unknown. I handed in my notice to take a 3-month trip with my boyfriend to travel through some of North, South and Central America, and it would soon become the best thing I ever did, and it would be the beginning of my apparent lucky streak. 3 months turned into 2 years and 3 months and consisted of adventures to the Amazon Jungle, living and working in Australia, hiking to Everest Base Camp and kayaking down the Mekong River. Our trip gave me confidence in my ability to make anything happen and it inspired me to do more.

After our new-found ‘luck’ took hold, we started to see even more opportunities in our life and envisioned whole new adventures in other places and in other forms. So, we set our sights on a hiking through 14 States of America, because we had a different mindset; we knew that if we clearly set out to do something, and worked hard and saved the money to do it, that we could make it happen, and in October 2017 we officially completed our ‘Thru-Hike’ and all 2,189 miles of the Appalachian Trail.

Luck can also take the form of opportunity. The more goals you reach the more you can see that you have the power to ‘make things happen’ and the more doors it seems to open.

Whilst we hiked the Appalachian Trail we discussed our life and made wild plans to open our own business and for me to become a freelancer to give us more flexibility and time together. It turns out, our plans weren’t so wild. We set to it, made goals and 8 months after our return from the A.T we have successfully opened our own company and I am a self-employed Freelance Copywriter. (I should mention that these things didn’t miraculously come into our lives without stress, long hours and hard work. But I can assure you that it is was not luck. We made these things happen.)

Master of inspiration, Richard Branson said: “Success from hard work is not ‘luck'” and I couldn’t agree more. We cannot wait for things to happen to us, because they won’t, instead we must act because, to act is power and even the smallest actions can build up to become the most wonderful successes.

Quite often in our lives it can be easy to forget that we have the control to make things happen. The Dalai Lama said: “Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions.”

So, the question is, what would you like to ‘make happen’ in your life? Make a list of ten things you would like to make happen or accomplish in your life in the next 5 years.

  • Career change?
  • Move to a new house?
  • Enjoy more holidays?
  • Always wanted to learn to ski?

Then, write down how can you make those things happen?

Career change

  • Online study.
  • An evening course to gain an extra qualification
  • Speak to an employment agency for advice
  • Make connections on LinkedIn with people in that industry and ask for advice
  • Update your CV.
  • Volunteer and gain more experience to help you on your way to that new career or job.

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Move house

  • Research the area you want to move to.
  • Decorate your existing home to make ready for sale.
  • Renovate parts of your home to add value to sell – not sure how? Read some books on DIY or watch online tutorials and see what you can do yourself to save money.
  • Set a timescale and start decluttering your home.
  • Organise car boot sales, sell things on eBay, or at an auction to clear your home ready to move.

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More holidays

  • Swap your daily lunchtime coffees for ones at the office and put the money in a holiday fund.
  • Plan less dinners out and more experimenting with new recipes at home.
  • Instead of that weekly take-away, make curry or home-made pizza and eat in with friends.
  • Sell your unused items on eBay or gumtree and put the money in the holiday tin.

Learn to ski

  • Find my nearest dry ski slope and book lessons – take a friend along and make it fun!
  • Plan a long weekend near to a dry slope and do an intense course.
  • Book a ski holiday and some lessons.
  • Ask a friend who can ski to teach you
  • Watch online videos so you can become familiar with the basics.

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So, you have your list of things you want to do and how you can do it. Now all that is left is to give yourself a competitive but reasonable timescale to do it in. Break the aspects of that task into small chunks and put those goals into your calendar.

Now, you know what you want, how you can do it and when you’d like to (and can) do it by. What’s stopping you?

When we write things down and rationally consider how we can accomplish them, they seem a lot less impossible. In fact, they seem rather achievable. So, what are you waiting for?  Start writing that list, because life is too short not to make it as lucky as possible.


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