How to Create Your Own Luck: There are two things that determine how our lives turn out: the quality of our decisions and luck.

John Cousins
February 7, 2023
4 min read

There are precisely two things that determine how our lives turn out: the quality of our decisions and luck.

When Napoleon was picking generals, he didn’t ask his advisors about the tactical and strategic talents of the candidate. He wanted to know whether they were lucky. What is luck, and how do you get it?

Moments of decision are inflection points that change the trajectory of your life towards the destiny you desire.

You will get lucky along the way. You will become aware of opportunities and events will conspire to assist you on your journey. The harder you work, the more luck you will have.

“I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”

- Thomas Jefferson

Tony Robbins says the types of decisions that successful people make every day fall into three categories:

· What to focus on

· What things mean

· What to do

Focus on solutions, not problems. Limit your focus to what is most important to you and say no to everything else. Here’s what Steve Jobs had to say about focus,

“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.”

It’s all about choice. Your ability to choose wisely depends on the range of possibilities you envision.

Focus on what you can do and what you can control. Focus on what is in your sphere of influence. Do what you can from where you are with the resources you have.

Focus on what makes you feel good. Focus on what you are grateful for in your life. Focus on the future you are dreaming of creating and getting excited about it. This centering exercise will give you the energy to start making things happen. Whatever you focus on, you will move toward achieving. Focus on where you want to go.

Focus provides the frame and lens through which you see the world. Controlling your focus doesn’t guarantee you will always succeed, but it increases your chances.

“Whether you think you can or can’t, you are right.” Henry Ford

Focus, beliefs, and decision-making are practices that will show results as we apply them consistently over time. Time is on your side. Be persistent. Rely on habits instead of inspiration.

“First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice.”

― Octavia Butler

Live into the Questions

To be solution-focused start asking better questions. Ask yourself questions about what is good about a situation and what can be done to improve it; what are you grateful for, what can you learn, and how best can you use this day? Don’t be concerned with answers. Live the questions.

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

Ask empowering questions.

Being positive, optimistic, and constructive takes no more effort than being negative, pessimistic, and self-destructive. Which outlook and set of beliefs do you think will serve you better? Being depressed takes effort.

“We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”

- Carlos Castaneda

Find things that make you laugh. Listen to music that gets you psyched. Music is a powerful mood elevator. Read a good book and have good sentences in your head.

Use these tools to lift your mood. In a positive state of mind, you can brainstorm innovative ways to deal with things. You will be more creative at focusing on solutions.

Self Talk

Use better language. Just as music is a powerful mood elevator, you can amplify positive emotional states by changing how you describe them. Words matter.

Get some new metaphors. Metaphors are a way of using language concretely. Whenever you describe something as being compared to something else, you are using a metaphor. Underlying every metaphor is a belief system. When you use a metaphor, you are also using a set of beliefs that support it. Choose your metaphors wisely.

“The metaphor is perhaps one of man’s most fruitful potentialities. Its efficacy verges on magic, and it seems a tool for creation which God forgot inside one of His creatures when He made him.”

Jose Ortega y Gasset

In summary, to level up your game be aware of what you are focusing on, what language you are using, and what meaning you are creating. I wish you Godspeed.

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John Cousins
Author, Entrepreneur, & Teacher

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