While attempting to leave Los Angles last week my plane was delayed on the tarmac for almost 2 hours (thank you SFO). Always looking to make the best of a situation, I struck up a conversation with an interesting man named Peter in the seat next to me. Peter is a serial entrepreneur who attributes his success to being “lucky.”
Peter regaled me with stories of his tech, restaurant and now clothing companies. Early in his career, just after he and his partner had agreed on their business plan for an internet-based business, a key investor just “happened” to share a cab with them and bankroll their idea. Another time, he didn’t panic when a first shipment for another company was held up at gunpoint (seriously). Since he considered himself lucky, he knew he could get out of the dangerous situation with his shipment intact; it was just a matter of being adaptable to finding a solution.
Peter sees himself as special and believes that luck will follow him wherever he goes. And because he lives with the intention that he is lucky, that is exactly what he experiences! Whenever he thinks of things going badly with his business, he chooses not to worry because he knows they will eventually work out. He said all he brings to the table is an ability to adjust and shift tactics as events require until he gets what he wants.
The Roman philosopher Seneca wrote, “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.” While Peter attributes his success to luck, it’s more likely that his prosperity results from an ability to be in the flow of his life.
Without being conscious of it, Peter created lucky situations for himself through the years by setting goals, planning for contingencies, then being flexible as unexpected events happened along the way. His ability to see life as game allowed him to make tactical moves without being emotionally attached to them. When something didn’t work out, instead of seeing it as a failure, he saw it as a new opportunity. Challenges were things to solve, instead of barriers. Peter’s ability to adapt to changing circumstances, rather than fight them or give up, allowed him to stay in the flow of the present and take advantage of every situation, thereby building momentum toward his goals.
At every moment, life gives us an opportunity to create and achieve anything we want, provided that we know where we want to go (set goals), we have momentum (act on decisions), and we are able to adapt and adjust to events as they unfold. We don’t even need to know all the little steps within our plan in order to be successful! Instead, all we need are some milestones that will get us closer to the goal and a willingness to shift strategies to meet the needs of the moment. Sprinkle in a dash of Peter’s “everything always works out for me” attitude and we’ve got ourselves a recipe for success!
As we move into 2016, think about something you really want to achieve in the new year. What are three milestones that are necessary to make the target? Next, what are three steps that you can take this week to build momentum toward the goal?
“Enjoying success requires the ability to adapt. Only by being open to change will you have a true opportunity to get the most from your talent.” — Nolan Ryan