Are you lucky or unlucky? Are your circumstances lucky or unlucky? Your answer to that question doesn’t impact your circumstances — what happens to you — but it does significantly impact your mindset and behavior — what you make happen. A person who believes in bad luck is disempowering themselves. A person who believes in good luck does the opposite: priming themselves to see patterns of opportunity where the unlucky brain sees patterns of obstacles.
Do these beliefs change anything about the real opportunities or obstacles that come our way? Not one bit. But beliefs dramatically affect what we see and what we do.
Having said that, in my case I am special. I actually am objectively the luckiest person I’ve ever met.
But I have a good example and anecdote here. I used to work at a startup that went from 60 million views a month to a few billion (Facebook videos). Some people would say, “you were just at the right place at the right time, when Facebook decided to promote video.” That’s true, for sure. However, the right way to describe it is, “I am a really lucky guy. If it hadn’t been Facebook promoting video, it would have been some other lucky break.”
Another anecdote: divorce. Whenever I encounter a thought that starts to resemble self-pity, I remember how lucky I am, and that for the next three days, instead of sulking to myself about not seeing my kids, I actually have something most parents never get: three days of distraction-free time to work on a product that I believe will change the world.
Perhaps I’m deluding myself? There’s no perhaps. I am most definitely deluding myself. But some delusions can help. Being lucky is definitely one of them, with perhaps one additional caveat: that being lucky doesn’t mean I win lottery tickets. It means if I never give up, and I work as insanely hard as possible, and have the humility to change as circumstances dictate, that my good luck ensures I can’t lose. Oddly enough, it is my belief in luck that encourages me to never stop looking for it to be realized. Pretty silly, but it works for me!
Wouldn't it be better to believe the truth that beliefs don't change the circumstances that come our way instead of believing in good or bad luck? The downside of thinking you're lucky is a tendency to overlook problems. I've noticed that when people (including myself) are being overly optimistic, potential challenges and pitfalls are minimized.
One could argue that it is that exact overlooking of the problems that enables many to embark in entrepreneurial pursuits to begin with.