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Did you ever look at someone and think, “He is so lucky. He has money, he’s in a great relationship and wow – what a great career being able to travel like that?”

I’ve done it too. And as my mind entertained this thought, I would find myself in an often depressing place overthinking about reasons why I wasn’t as successful as “that guy”.

I wasn’t so lucky. I wasn’t lucky to be born with good looks or into the right family. I wasn’t lucky enough to have the right education or lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time.

But as I grew in my career and in my life and by meeting lots of people from all over the world in so many walks of life, I made this profound realization:

Tweetable: Luck, chance and randomness are often consequences of action. The more you do – the luckier you get.

Sure we can be born into it and fall into it. But so many successful people I met – from couples in blissful long term relationships to successful career women to billionaires to profoundly happy people who have very little – became “lucky” because they think differently and take certain actions.

As I thought about my own journey of learning to deal with uncertainty these days, I realized that in the absence of luck being granted to us by the lottery of birth, we all can get a chance to get lucky.

Here are 21 reasons why some people get lucky in life:

Lucky people…

1. Work hard…quietly. They don’t boast, toast or celebrate. They do. Toiling away at their craft day in and day out. They don’t announce it on Facebook or tweet about it on Twitter. Lucky people get busy working.

2. Surround themselves with positive people who build them up not tear them down. Life is hard enough as it is without having to worry about negative people slowing you down.

3. Put positive seeds into their mind every single day. All of us wake up with sometimes random thoughts that can debilitate. By proactively choosing the right words and actions, some people overcome those morning limitations set by the mind. They have certain rituals. A morning run, meditation, prayer or their morning cup of coffee while walking the dog.

4. Fight the overthinking mind each day. You are not alone. We all overthink choices that lie ahead. It can be a daily battle. Is it in their DNA? Maybe. But increasingly I’ve learned that some people – especially happier people make a choice to limit their overthinking mind.

5. Have a clear purpose. Lucky people have a crystal clear objective. Either to provide for their children more than they had growing up or to successfully launch their business. Whatever their cause, lucky people have a magnet attracting them to their goals.

6. Accept imperfection. They don’t say, “It’s not a good time right now”. But they do say, “It’s always a good time right here and right now.” They know the right time will never come to them. They have to go out and make it the right time.

7. They don’t gossip or pay attention to the critics. Lucky people don’t get distracted by the naysayers, doubters or haters. They don’t allow the negativity to enter their mind. Shrugging off a desire to gossip or respond to critics, lucky people smile and keep walking forward.

8. They feel more than they think. They are often driven by emotion and passion about their endeavor. Thinking is important but often we let our minds direct us forward. And when we face difficult circumstance, we are conflicted between what we think and what we feel. Lucky people seem to lead from the heart not the head.

9. They focus on the goal, not the plan. Plans can change. Chaos can interrupt the best laid plans. But goals don’t. Happy marriage, talented kids, meaningful work and a successful career – these usually remain constant but how we get there can change over time.

10. They take lots of action. Lucky people have a bias for trying things, even if they may fail. They create certainty by moving forward rather than sitting still. Momentum goes when your energy flows.

11. They are open to meeting anyone, anytime. Talking openly to anyone who’ll listen to their ideas, lucky people smile and engage – opening up their minds to chance meetings with strangers where one thing can lead to another.

12. Remain in the day to day. Letting go of the past and focusing on the present moments, lucky people direct their effort at what they can control right here and right now. Not worrying as much about yesterday or tomorrow.

13. They get hurt by the setbacks and the failures as much as anyone but they keep going because they know that they’ll come out of it. They have this powerful belief that tough times pass and that if they persevere long enough, they’ll get through the failures.

14. They believe in themselves. They’re not arrogant. Lucky people feel that all of us have this inner strength…this resiliency of the human mind that can achieve great things.

15. They’re always curious, asking questions of the simplest things to everyone they know. They want to understand how things work. They are explorers wanting to get to the bottom of things. They welcome new ideas, thoughts or observations.

16. They know that getting to success is never a straight line but a path full of curves and side roads. Lucky people zig zagged their way through life often in uncharted waters.

17. Are grateful. Recognizing that life is not a right but a gift, lucky people act with great humility.

18. Admit that they’re not that smart. Lucky people become smart and learn by trying. They read. They toil. Admit their faults. Apologize quickly and move on. Recognizing that happiness and success in life comes from constant learning.

19. They serve others. From launching a new business to sustaining a happy marriage requires serving someone else than yourself. Lucky people give generously to others through their effort in their jobs, careers, business and their personal lives. Their effort is found on ensuring others have what they need before their own needs are met.

20. Know that they’re not born lucky. They become lucky by studying, working and refining their craft. They are not born smart but become smart by reading, developing, cultivating and growing. Lucky people don’t count on luck. They make a choice to think differently and to take action.

21. They’re hungry. They want it badly. They believe they have something of value to give to the world and are aching to give it. Lucky people jump out of bed in the morning. They sacrifice – giving up the luxuries of the modern world (TV, Facebook, etc.) – so that they can get to work fulfilling the promise they make to themselves.

Embrace the Chaos | Bob Miglani

By Bob Miglani

Bob Miglani is the Author of the Washington Post Bestseller, Embrace the Chaos, which is about learning to move forward in times of change, uncertainty and disruption. He grew up running his family's Dairy Queen store, the subject of his first book, Treat Your Customers. He worked in corporate America for 23 years. Left to pursue a life of passion working in a startup, writing, motivational speaking and learning how to live a life of contribution.

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