« How smartphones make us ignore our kids | Main | Do singles get taken advantage of in the workplace? »

Where does luck come from?

St. pats

This morning, I opened an email from Paula Rizzo who writes The List Producer, one of my favorite newsletters. In today's edition, she pondered the question, "Where does luck come from?"

I had been pondering the same question myself when I went to the racetrack on Friday. It was my birthday so I wondered if I should be particularly lucky.  One of the women I was with had amazing luck. She would scrutinize the horses a bit and then bet. She won nearly every race. I won a few, too, and used a completely different method. I bet on the horses I felt were lucky. I used the hunch method. The two of us went about placing bets differently, but both of us created our own luck.

So, where does luck come from? I mentioned to friends while at the racetrack that I was going to bet small and therefore win or lose small. And, if I lost, it would be okay. For me, it's more important to be lucky in life than to win bets or raffles or even bingo games.  In life, I believe I'm very lucky. 

I know a successful woman business owner who gets angry when someone tells her she has been lucky in her career.  "My fortune has been earned," she will say. Along those lines, you might consider Sara Blakely lucky.  Sara is founder of Spanx, a multi-million dollar undergarment company. She is the world's youngest self-made female billionaire. Sara heard a lot of "nos" before she heard "yes". She brought a unique shapewear product to the market at the right time and convinced department stores to sell it. Sara will argue her success has been anything but luck. She will tell you that it's been all about hard work determination and dedication.

Rizzo asks: "Is it luck that opens doors in our life or is it our hard work and determination that pushes us forward? I think that it’s a little bit of both! When I look back at the good things that have happened to me — sometimes I’m the one who creates my own luck! I think that Oprah puts it perfectly, ”I believe luck is preparation meeting opportunity. If you hadn’t been prepared when the opportunity came along, you wouldn’t have been ‘lucky.’”

I completely agree. To me, luck comes from believing things will go your way. If you believe you can find work life balance, and you are prepared when opportunity comes knocking at your door, you can create the path to happiness and career success as you define it. That's part luck, part attitude.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!