“Good Luck” is something you can control, like this F1 driver that avoided a fatal crash just by paying attention to the right signs:
Beneath the Monaco sun, the roar of engines echoed.
Argentine Formula One driver Juan Manuel Fangio, a five-time World Drivers’ Champion, led the race. Swift and agile, his car danced upon the asphalt.
But as he sped, a hushed alarm bell rang in his mind.
Ahead, a treacherous curve unfurled. As Fangio approached, a peculiar sight met his eyes: The blur of spectator faces, usually indifferent, were turned away, their attention snatched by an unseen drama beyond the bend.
“Why aren’t they looking at me?” Fangio wondered.
His heartbeat drummed in his ears, his pulse thundered.
“Something has caught their attention, but… what is it?”
With a surge of instinct, he slammed the brakes. Tires screeched, protesting against the sudden halt. As he rounded the bend, his fears were laid bare.
A monstrous pileup barricaded the track. Ocean waves had crashed over the harbor front, sending fellow racer Giuseppe Farina into a helpless skid. Stalled and beaten, Farina’s mishap had caused the crash of eight more drivers.
Fangio carefully navigated the jungle of wreckage. A breath held, released. The path cleared, his car surged forward.
On that fateful day, Fangio’s quick thinking crowned him the victor, winning the race by a staggering two miles.
Would you say that Fangio was ‘lucky’, or had ‘good luck’?
“Of course not! It was his skills as an experienced driver that helped him prevent and accident”, I hear you say, or maybe something along these lines.
And yes, Fangio’s skills can’t be contested, but they only worked for a reason: He had the combined eyes of a hundred race fans looking ahead of the bend.
This reminds me of Plato’s cave: You can’t see what’s outside, but only the shadows cast on the wall next to you. In Fangio’s case, it’s like staring at the face of someone with direct sight of the outside of the cave.
What’s so interesting about this, is that this is how luck works. A combination of skills, and paying attention to people. Or, to be more precise, to what captures people’s attention.
Think about it: How many super-skilled people you know, that never seem to get a big break? and how many average-skilled people just seem to be at the right time and place, or meet the right people and be catapulted several steps ahead?
You might think this is unfair. And I don’t blame you, I used to think just the same, but that’s until I realized that such a process is ultimately under our control.
After all, nobody can develop your skills for you. You have to put in the work, and that’s regardless of how gifted you are. Even if your heart sings whenever you think about doing it, most probably you’ll have to practice until you want to throw up. And then some.
The other 50% of luck is ‘circumstances’. The right place and the right time. But you know what? this boils down 99% of times to people. The people around you, or the people that you can reach.
And like Fangio’s story, it is much more precisely about where is their attention.
In general terms, is what the people wants.
If you were a gifted artist, and you wanted to sketch architecture, but people wanted you to paint family portraits, what would be the common sense thing to do?
A) Be stubborn and say that you’ll just sketch architecture, everyone else can stay mad
B) Relent and develop your portrait painting skills to satisfy the market’s demand
Please don’t pick just yet, because there IS a third option:
C) Develop your portrait painting skills, satisfy the market’s demand and then secure your status as a sought after portraitist, so you can dedicate more and more spare time to your architecture sketches.
(And maybe you could sell your architecture sketches to your already happy portrait clients!)
This is an oversimplification of course, and I couldn’t possibly know how to apply it to your unique case, but the principle is the same:
Good luck is half skills, half paying attention to what people want, or attracts their attention.
Important tip: The order of the above ingredients is important. You should first define your skills, what you are good at, AND THEN look for how those skills satisfy people’s demands.
Not the other way around. Don’t put Descartes before the horse (pun intended!).
Give this some thought, but start acting in the following 72 hours… no longer than that.
Because Good Luck also favors the bold.
Don’t hesitate to reply to this email with your own thoughts and experiences.
Much Love and Bliss,
The Body Language Guy.
P.S. You can download my free 100+ Body Language Tips using the link on my bio.