“I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity.” – Oprah Winfrey
We’ve all heard those urban myths of amazing lucky breaks… the budding actor who gets a lucky break when a film director spots him handing out sandwiches on set and gives him the opportunity to try out for a part; the wannabe model who gets a lucky break when an agency scout spots her serving skinny lattes in a coffee shop; or how about the unknown musician who gets a lucky break when a known musician hears him play and asks him to join his up-and-coming band? Was it really luck that led to these people being in the right place and the right time?
Let’s step back and consider whether luck was the only factor:
- Was the budding actor working as a sandwich server on a film set purely by chance? No. There was a reason for him being there. If it was his ambition to be a sandwich server, it wouldn’t matter where he was working, right? He was working there because he saw it as a positive step towards breaking into an acting career. He was in an environment where he could learn from the experience and discover for himself what it would take to break into an acting career. It wasn’t luck that led to him being spotted by a film director, it was putting himself in a place where he could see and be seen by film directors that led to his “lucky break”.
- Was the wannabe model serving coffees in any old café? No. She was working in a café in an area frequented by models and model agency scouts. Once again, if it was her ambition to be a waitress, it wouldn’t matter where she was working. There was a reason for working in that particular location, and she knew it would give her access to people she needed to help her realise her modelling dream.
- Was the unknown musician lucky to be heard by a known musician? No. If he’d been sitting at home by himself then yes, that would have been pretty miraculous, but he was out there playing in public. He was intentionally playing his music where it could be heard by others, and by choosing to play in venues where lots of other musicians play, he was increasing his chances of being heard by someone who could help him take the next step towards achieving his musical ambitions.
You have the power to effectively make your own luck by knowing where it is you want to be and creating opportunities to get there. Luck isn’t something that just happens – you need to get out there and make it happen.
Don MacNaughton is a High-Performance Coach and has worked tirelessly to help clients achieve success in the world of sport and business over the past 15 years. The next, highly popular, NLP Diploma and Life Coaching Certificate course starts in September 2019. Click here for more information or to sign up.