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What “ Luck ” Got to
do with it?

July 10, 2021

I recently had a long conversation with someone I was just getting to know. As is often the case when you are first meeting someone, you tend to hit the high points. My narrative or “official” story led this person to say, "Wow, Michelle, you have been very lucky in your life”. This statement struck me as I didn’t see luck having anything to do with it. I feel like tenacity, resilience, and grit had more to do with it than anything, but because I had summarized my life by only hitting the high points, it sure sounded like I was lucky. In reality, our life is not so planned and easily summarized. The actual experience is much less linear. Similar to the diagram below:

After this conversation, I began to think about how only mentioning the high points left so much out of my story. I also began to research the idea of good luck and whether or not one can create it. I found a book that accurately described what I had been doing my entire life. The book is The Serendipity Mindset, the Art and Science of Creating Good Luck by Dr. Christian Busch. While I didn’t consider myself “lucky”, I had been cultivating good luck my entire life. Cultivating good luck by creating serendipitous moments. We have all experienced serendipity and when we do it feels like a guardian angel has put someone in our path.

 What makes one person more optimistic and able to create opportunities while others wait for those that never come? I am a graduate of Auburn University and there we have what we call our Auburn Creed. One phrase from the creed that stands out in my life is, “A spirit that is not afraid.” That statement carried me through some of the biggest challenges of my life. I am always making sure that I check and make sure that mine REMAINS a spirit that is not afraid. To live life with a spirit that is not afraid is a powerful idea. However, it's very hard to live by because life is frightening. We're all afraid of change. We're afraid of what might be around the corner. We're afraid if we move this way or that, what would be the consequences? Fear is a very natural emotion and a healthy one. Fear from its very origin is what has protected us from predators or from things that could harm us. We have also lived through one of the most fearful times in our lives with the global pandemic and that fear and caution kept us alive. 

However, while fear protects us and is sometimes necessary, it also can be paralyzing and keep you in a rut. Looking back over my professional and personal life, I have often put myself in situations I might catapult or crash. High-risk decisions. And even in times when I crashed, I found a way to turn it around. When you are curious and put yourself in the mindset and place where serendipitous moments can happen, you cultivate good luck. While I have had my share of bad luck, I can honestly say there are so many more moments of, "Wow, if I hadn't have done this, I wouldn't have met them. If I hadn't gone here, I would not have seen this."

Taking Risks with a spirit that is not afraid WILL EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS AND CULTIVATE GOOD LUCK. Today, think about something you have always wanted to try and ask yourself why you haven’t tried it. Then find someone who can cheer you on and step out of your comfort zone to create that serendipitous moment.  

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I recently had a long conversation with someone I was just getting to know. As is often the case when you are first meeting someone, you tend to hit the high points. My narrative or “official” story led this person to say, "Wow, Michelle, you have been very lucky in your life”. This statement struck me as I didn’t see luck having anything to do with it. I feel like tenacity, resilience, and grit had more to do with it than anything, but because I had summarized my life by only hitting the high points, it sure sounded like I was lucky. In reality, our life is not so planned and easily summarized. The actual experience is much less linear. Similar to the diagram below:

After this conversation, I began to think about how only mentioning the high points left so much out of my story. I also began to research the idea of good luck and whether or not one can create it. I found a book that accurately described what I had been doing my entire life. The book is The Serendipity Mindset, the Art and Science of Creating Good Luck by Dr. Christian Busch. While I didn’t consider myself “lucky”, I had been cultivating good luck my entire life. Cultivating good luck by creating serendipitous moments. We have all experienced serendipity and when we do it feels like a guardian angel has put someone in our path.

 What makes one person more optimistic and able to create opportunities while others wait for those that never come? I am a graduate of Auburn University and there we have what we call our Auburn Creed. One phrase from the creed that stands out in my life is,  “A spirit that is not afraid.” That statement carried me through some of the biggest challenges of my life. I am always making sure that I check and make sure that mine REMAINS a spirit that is not afraid. To live life with a spirit that is not afraid is a powerful idea. However, it's very hard to live by because life is frightening. We're all afraid of change. We're afraid of what might be around the corner. We're afraid if we move this way or that, what would be the consequences? Fear is a very natural emotion and a healthy one. Fear from its very origin is what has protected us from predators or from things that could harm us. We have also lived through one of the most fearful times in our lives with the global pandemic and that fear and caution kept us alive. 

However, while fear protects us and is sometimes necessary, it also can be paralyzing and keep you in a rut. Looking back over my professional and personal life, I have often put myself in situations I might catapult or crash. High-risk decisions. And even in times when I crashed, I found a way to turn it around. When you are curious and put yourself in the mindset and place where serendipitous moments can happen, you cultivate good luck. While I have had my share of bad luck, I can honestly say there are so many more moments of, "Wow, if I hadn't have done this, I wouldn't have met them. If I hadn't gone here, I would not have seen this."

Taking Risks with a spirit that is not afraid WILL EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS AND CULTIVATE GOOD LUCK. Today, think about something you have always wanted to try and ask yourself why you haven’t tried it. Then find someone who can cheer you on and step out of your comfort zone to create that serendipitous moment.