Make Your Own Luck

When I graduated college my best friend and I decided to throw caution to the wind and move from Boston to DC without jobs. I had $2,000, a bed, and car to my name. That was it. I had no idea how I was going to pay my rent, but I knew once I got to DC I would figure it out. Within two weeks we both had solid job offers and things were looking up. That was summer 2011, one of the worst hiring years for new graduates, but we were two of the lucky ones, right?

To this day it still annoys me when people say landing my first job was luck. Luck plus a $200,000 education, three internships, countless hours of work and a well written resume with references. The Roman philosopher Seneca once said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” I firmly believe we have the ability to make our own luck in life.

If you want something badly enough you have to be ready to hustle. You have to be good to get somewhere, luck has nothing to do with it.

Make Your Own Luck

Be Proactive
Once you graduate college the life bumpers come off. There is no direct path in life anymore, you’re free to slide all over the lane. It’s a lot to process, but it doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds. Be proactive and set yourself up for success, no one is going to do it for you, so you might as well jump in yourself.

Create a Life Blue Print
Your path won’t to be direct, it will be messy, there are wrong turns and detours, but it’s your path and only you control where you’re going. Sit down and write out a rough blue print for yourself. List your goals and create a timeline. Do you want to go back for a graduate degree one day? What city do you want to move to? What job title do you want? Work out the loose details, but don’t spend too much time on your plan right now — you can take the time to polish it later.

Set Deadlines
Put deadlines on your goals. Deadlines make progress more likely. Some goals have multiple deadlines, especially if they have prerequisites such as grad exams or certifications, application which need to be completed before the goal itself can be achieved. Give all of these steps deadlines.

Raise the Bar
Creating your own luck doesn’t mean sitting around and getting by. It means getting out there and raising the bar, pushing the envelope and all those other cliche phrases. Whatever the bar is, push it up and get it done.

Work Smart
Work smarter, not harder. Use the connections you’ve built in your life to help accomplish your goals. You don’t have to start from square one if it already exists. When you don’t have a solution, innovate. When you need help, find a partner. Expanding your network is one of the fastest ways to get where you want to be.

Seek Out New Experiences
Seek new experiences. New experiences help you gain skills, perspective and they’re a great way to meet new people. If you’re unsure of where your path leads, attending events the perfect way to feel out something without committing.

Stay Positive
Believe in yourself. Being good, starting over, making your own luck, is not easy. You won’t win every day or every week even. If you love what you do, work becomes fun. Choose happiness and joy. Seek out inspiration, learn to inspire others. You can make your own luck, you can achieve your goals. It just takes time, patience and a smile.

Luck is winning the lottery or finding $20 on the sidewalk. Being good takes preparation, dedication and perseverance. Screw finding luck, make your own luck.

Photo via garinkilpatrick.com

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