…and How You Can Too.
by Craig Forman
The two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you know why.
Unfortunately for some people, that second day never occurs.
For lucky people, though, the second day — the day you know why — is often described as a personal epiphany. The most successful people have a clear idea of who they are, and a conviction about where they want to end up. They then work backwards to develop the milestones they need to hit along the way.
Howard Schultz, CEO Starbucks, remembers quite clearly his professional epiphany — it happened in Milan, Italy nearly 30 years ago:
“The Italians had turned the drinking of coffee into a symphony, and it felt right. I felt the unexpressed demand for romance and community.” Back at home in America, Starbucks — then selling only coffee beans, mostly by mail — “was playing in the same hall, but without a string section.”
And though it took many years to convince others to see what he saw then, he reminds people seeking to create more luck to stay the course.
“Vision is what they call it when others can’t see what you can,” says Schultz.
The epiphany moment, despite the excitement the realization can arouse, isn’t a gong-ringing moment. It intriguingly is frequently characterized by a sense of calm. Once you know the course you have set, everything else is a function of that goal.
For the past decade or so, I have been accumulating ‘life’ lessons from many remarkable people, including Senator Bill Bradley, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and self-made construction magnate Linda Alvarado whose stories I tell in my new book Be Luckier in Life.
There is surprisingly little analytical rigor brought to the study of luck. As I undertook the process of studying the underlying traits and characteristics that have consistently created luck for the most successful people, I began to realize there is a pattern – and even a method — to the seeming randomness of luck.
Among the lessons in the book, the luckiest people:
– Don’t simply ‘communicate’ with others, but find ways to authentically connect with others.
– Use the right ‘toolkit’ of people skills, conceptual skills, judgment and character that helps them succeed in finding new opportunities and reframing setbacks to their advantage.
– Swing for the fences when a big, fat pitch of opportunity comes their way.
– Know when to ‘lighten up’ and keep perspective.
The “luckiest” of people literally create their own luck by behaving in ways that makes them open to new possibilities and new people. These traits and behaviors are alluring, and this allure itself leads to new opportunities – which – in their abundance – provide an ever-more powerful and complex system of chances for success. It’s a “virtuous circle” where lucky behavior begets ever more luck.
Craig Forman is the author of Be Luckier in Life, an Amazon best-selling career guide. He weaves his first hand knowledge gleaned from interviews with top leaders to help people and organizations learn how to profit from opportunity by making luck happen.
Forman has a deep knowledge of the changing media landscape, with a focus on mobile, and speaks to audiences about managing change and creating more luck!