Are You #Lucky?

January 25, 2020

© Carole Kanchier, PhD

When we meet successful individuals, we may be tempted to envy them for their “luck.” This luck is often the result of being prepared when the opportunity presents itself. It also is the result of creating opportunities to make things happen.

While waiting in line for the shuttle to take me to my book signing at an International Book Fair in Chicago, I initiated a conversation with two men standing behind me; one was the Editor-in-Chief of a large Japanese publishing house. Armed with work samples and feeling confident and adventurous, I suggested that Japan might be ready for the ideas presented in my book, Dare to Change Your Job and Life.

After the event, I was again waiting in the shuttle line to return to the hotel when I noticed the Japanese men were directly behind me — reading my book. We all laughed. Tenshoku-ryoku, was launched in Japan nine months later. Was this luck? Coincidence? Destiny? Other? What does luck mean to you?

Luck is often referred to as coincidence, timing, serendipity, synchronicity, or good fortune as a result of chance. It’s an unexpected reconfiguration of events, or things that happen in surprising ways. Louis Pasteur said, “Chance favors the prepared mind.” A myriad of opportunities won’t help unless you’re prepared to use them. Luck occurs when preparation meets opportunity. I was in the right place at the right time. But I also created my luck. I seized the opportunity when it was presented.

Although we can’t control luck, we can all influence luck by having positive attitudes, working hard, and taking advantage of good fortune. Welcome the unplanned, unexpected, and be flexible, open to new experiences. Don’t procrastinate. The window of opportunity may not last long.

Questers, described in Questers Dare to Change. have been risking for centuries. Publius Vergilius (Virgil), a classical Roman poet wrote, “Fortune sides with him who dares.” And Homer noted, “And what he greatly thought, he nobly dared.”

Growth is about taking risks. We willingly take chances every day. Whether we drive, walk, or take public transportation to work, we risk getting into an accident. Every new venture has an element of risk. You can’t grow and succeed without stretching, risking, and making mistakes.

What separates Questers from others is their willingness to take optional as well as necessary risks. For example, if you have an okay job and are suddenly offered another job with more responsibility and a significant salary increase would you take it?

There are many risks to moving on. Will you like the new company, supervisors, and colleagues? What if you can’t handle the responsibility? And if you lose the job, could you find another. Is this risk worth taking for you? .

Security can never depend on outside things and circumstances. It comes from within. Is there security in staying with your present job? Could you lose it due to corporate downsizing? Could a new regional executive come in and change policies and procedures? Would you like these changes?

Luck is No Accident

The greatest risk is doing nothing. Change is the only certainty today. Taking advantage of new possibilities requires risk.

Why are people afraid to risk? It’s normal to fear risk. Some fear is good. It’s important to our survival, tells us when to proceed with caution.

Fear is a reassuring signal we’re about to stretch. But excessive fear stunts growth. Various personal fears and societal barriers impede change.

Personal blocks include fear of losing a secure income, fear that change will interfere with relationships, fear of failure, fear of what others will think, fear of losing control of people or power, fear of success, and uncertainty about what to do next.

Societal barriers to change include old notions of career, outdated retirement policies, the myth of security, blocks imposed by educational institutions, unions and professional associations, family ties, and organizational and government policies.

The intensity of the risk is in the eyes of the beholder. Adults weigh the odds and costs of risking differently. Their confidence levels, perceived probabilities of success, needs, values, and willingness to sacrifice and work hard, all play a part in determining how much they’re willing to risk.

 If you are used to taking risks, you will have developed an inner strength, a resiliency, an ability to cope in tough circumstances. People can’t grow without risk and change. Turtles can’t move forward without sticking out their necks. Humans can’t either.

By following the examples of purposeful, resilient Questers, you can develop courage to risk. Start by taking small risks daily. Questers offers risk taking tips, and shows how to minimize risky decisions.

Award winning Questers Dare to Change redefines career growth and shows how to take lifelong risks..

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Author Bio: Carole Kanchier, PhD, is an internationally recognized newspaper/digital columnist, registered psychologist, coach and author of award winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life.  Kanchier has taught at University of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz, University of Alberta, and other institutions of higher learning. Dr. Kanchier is known for her pioneering, interdisciplinary approach to human potential.