The luck of the devil (and how to have it)

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Are you intrigued by the concept of luck? Some people just seem to be “born lucky”, have “the luck of the devil” or are on a “streak of good luck”. Is it something to do with genetics, or some kind of magic? Maybe you just really believe in yourself, or in some higher power.

Either way, you can create your own luck.

A bad set of cards or the winning hand?

Imagine life is a game of cards, and the hand you’re dealt is the hand you have to play with. Now one player will use their hand to play the game, finding opportunities and leveraging them. The other player will see their hand as a handicap, as bad luck holding them back. Which player do you think is more likely to win the game?

When I was growing up, I felt like a victim of my circumstances a lot of the time. I felt that growing up poorer than those around me, and with more limited opportunities was holding me back. I felt resentful of those who had more money, who didn’t have to work while they studied, and seemed to swan through life with ease. Confession: I still do, sometimes! But now I see (more) clearly that these circumstances were just the cards that I was dealt with. It was, and is, up to me to turn these cards into a winning hand.

Think about this: If you see yourself as lucky and say this to yourself regularly, do you think this can impact your actions and results?

Training yourself to be lucky

You may have heard of the power of positive affirmations. According to Positive Psychology, Ekhart Tolle, Louise Hay and many other famous proponents, positive affirmations can lead to powerful changes. There’s even been studies that show that group meditation can lead to decreased crime and reduced murder rates. Imagine if reminding yourself how lucky you are can change your energy!

Successful American football coach and motivational speaker Lou Holtz has a great quote: “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it.” I think we can say: Luck is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it. And if we create our luck by how we respond to events in our lives, we can train ourselves to be lucky!

So, what have you done with the luck you’ve had? Have you turned any bad luck around or made the most of any opportunity?

Finding that elusive silver lining

Obviously, at some point in your life, you’ve wallowed in self-pity because of the bad luck that you’ve faced (we’re all human, right?). But did you learn a lesson from this bad luck? Did you make a change, or pivot to a different direction?

If you begin to see yourself as lucky, you’ll start to look for the silver lining in ‘bad luck’ situations, you’ll become more open to growth and risk-taking, and you’ll find that you start to develop the luck that you’ve been hoping for.

Tip: We tend to wear rose-tinted spectacles when we think about the successes of others. We focus on the results they’ve achieved,  not on the obstacles overcome, the missed opportunities, and the hard-won growth that was part of the journey to get to their triumph. But in ourselves, we don’t necessarily even see our successes.

We only acknowledge the struggle and might even diminish or dismiss the achievements that others see when they look at us. This is the kind of selective thinking that works against us, not for us. But this bad habit isn’t that hard to change.

Blue-footed Booby Formula: How to gain the luck of the devil

  1. Reflect on past “bad luck” which actually turned out to be a good thing for you.
  2. Be grateful (for anything in your life that’s good. Anything at all). This shapes your perspective in a more positive direction.
  3. See yourself as lucky. Imagine that you are already just lucky in life. What would change about how you live your life, or how you behave? (PS this is NOT a call to start gambling!)
  4. Spend time in the company of positive people.

If you don’t know anyone who considers themselves lucky, here are a few inspirational reads, also available as audiobooks:

Try this out and let us know if you’ve experienced any new luck!


Q) How can I meet people with a more positive mindset?

A) Think about joining some social groups, hobby or sports clubs, or even a support group. Take an art class or join a choir. It doesn’t matter what you do, just do something that takes you completely out of your comfort zone. This will open doors!

Q) How can I be grateful when I have so little to be grateful for?

A) Gratitude isn’t a feeling, it’s a practice. Keep a gratitude journal. Research shows that you only need to write in it once a week to experience the benefits.

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