Do You Make These Mistakes On Your Quest for Luck?

Some people seem to have all the luck!

They seem to have success wherever they go, make more money than most of the people we know, and have accomplished more in their careers than many around them.  Brian Tracy, author of The Luck Factor, has summarized some luck that you can identify, learn, and apply in your life to become more lucky.

Lucky day

Mistake #1: Fuzziness and Lack of Clarity.

Success Quote:  In everything the ends well defined are the secret of durable success.  

–Victor Cousins

I have written previously about the importance of putting your personal mission statement and goals together.  It’s hard to hit a target that does not exist.  Have you figured out what you want to give to others in the form of your talents?  Have you decided, specifically, what you want to be, have, and do?  Is it written down?  Are your personal and goals consistent with your values?

If you need motivation for self-help, the first thing you will want to do is figure out your purpose in life, write it down on paper, and take action on those goals.  People with purpose, are people with passion.

Here is a free resource you can use to formulate your mission statement.  I have personally used it, and I have my mission statement stored on Evernote so that I can review it regularly.

Mistake #2:  Stay in A Rutt, On Your Butt!

Success Quote:  “The path to success is to take massive, determined action.”   Anthony Robbins  (American advisor to leaders)

If you want to get lucky, don’t follow the example of thousands upon thousands of mediocre people.  They wish, they want, they moan and they groan.  But they fail to take action!  Anthony Robbins has written that if you want to succeed, if you want to get ‘lucky’, you must decide to take massive action toward your goals.

What is it that has you stuck in a rutt?  What is it that’s holding you back from taking massive action?  Is it the way you are thinking?  Is it the beliefs that you hold?  Is it the key role models in your life who you are choosing to listen to?

Now, I am not advocating foolish impulsivity.  But once you have your big picture goals down on paper, it’s time to break them down into goals (Goal Planner:  Your Blueprint to a Lifetime of Success, Prosperity and Achievement, by Brian Tracy).  And once they are broken down into goals, you will want to have a system for keeping track of your big picture goals and accomplishing something toward those goals on a daily basis.

I personally use Remember the Milk to record all my projects and goals so that I can make sure I am on track during my weekly planning and review.  I also highly recommend David Allen’s book, Making It All Work: Winning at the Game of Work and Business of Life, (I’m currently making my way through this book as we speak) which explains his thinking on how to dream big, but then how to bring it down to a practical, workable plan that does not stress you out.

Mistake #3: Failure to Master Essential Skills.

Success Quote: Proverbs 12: 29 “Do you see a wo/man skilled in her/his work? S/He will serve before kings; s/he will not serve before obscure wo/men.”

Have you taken the time to catalog your strengths and weaknesses?  Do you have a self-help motivation plan to take advantage of opportunities in the workplace and in your personal life, and to offset threats to the same?  Once you have identified your strengths and weaknesses, are you working diligently, every day, to obtain the [critical success factors]you will need to have to move ahead in your personal and work lives?  I would recommend utilizing Pareto’s Principle once you have identified your success factors.  Part of taking massive action toward our goals is eliminating the not so important distractions in our lives so that we will have the time to devote toward the 10,000 hours needed to master our skills. (you can read more on this topic from Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers: The Story of Success).

Mistake #4: Laziness

Once you have a life mission statement and goals that are worth striving for, you will have a key luck factor that many millionaires.  Dr. Thomas Stanley, author of The Millionaire Mind, interviewed a sample of millionaires.  84% of them said that they were financially independent because of “hard, hard work.”  They got up earlier in the morning, and started faster.  They worked longer hours through the day and into the evening.
Energy is another key ‘luck factor’.  All successful people seem to have far more energy than unsuccessful people.  They get up early in the morning and they start faster.  They work longer hours through the day and into the evening.  They invest time in themselves and in their careers on evenings and weekends.

Decide today that you will succeed like an Olympian.  Olympic athletes don’t always have time for some of the things that the average person does.  They make choices which will put them in a position to succeed.

Caution:  Make sure that you don’t over-work.  Don’t make some of the same mistakes I have made, such as making money the main objective, getting so wrapped up in working that I have neglected my marriage or family relationships.  In the end, do you want to be remembered only for your accomplishments, or do you want that balanced with a life of , lived according to your values, and rich in the relationships you have built over the course of your life?

Mistake #5: Ignoring People Smarts

Success Quote: “What really matters for success, character, happiness and life long achievements is a definite set of emotional skills – your EQ – not just purely cognitive abilities that are measured by conventional IQ tests.”  –Daniel Goleman, Ph.D.

I have written about the subject of people smarts in terms of succeeding in life.  Studies have shown that, all things being equal in terms of competence, if a person has lower , they will more likely be passed over for promotions.  Someone who is positive, optimistic, and cheerful is going to be more lucky than one who is not.  If you need a plan to increase your people smarts, I would recommend 7 Steps to Emotional Intelligence  by Merlevede, Bridoux, Vandamme.  In addition, you may want to change your reality by watching a movie! (This is a plug for this article from Change Your Thoughts, which shows how you can defeat sabotaging thoughts about how you think about your ability to relate to others).

Mistake #6: Dishonesty

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”  Thomas Jefferson

“Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.”  Spencer Johnson

The level to which you are ruthlessly honest with yourself and others is the level to which you will be lucky in your personal and business lives.  Determine today that you will be a person of integrity.  Be truly honest with yourself about what your strengths and weaknesses are.  Be truly honest with yourself about who you want to be, what you want to do, and where you want to go in your life.

Resist the temptations to shade the truth in your dealings with yourself and others.  I cite many business and political leaders in the United States as examples of what not to do.  Yet there are many who are true to themselves and to others.  People want to do business with those who are authentic and real, who will tell them the truth at all times.

Mistake #7: Apathy

Success Quote:  “Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them-a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.”

-Muhammad Ali

Are you sleepwalking through life?  Then chances are going to be that you will be one unlucky person.  The person who is always thinking about their definite mission and purpose, who is picturing it, who is hungry for it, is the one who is going to be lucky.  If you want something longer and harder than the person beside you, chances are that you will be lucky.  The more you want whatever it is you have set your sights on, the more likely you will be to achieve a high return on adversity when it inevitably comes.

You will work longer hours, you will be willing to fail forward, you will read more books, attend different courses and seminars, read excellent blogs (like this one, I hope :), meet more people, and cover more ground.  When you are intense, patient, and persistent, you will be far ahead of your competition.

Stay hungry, my friend :)

Creative Commons License photo credit: ericabreetoe


  1. says

    I believe luck is self created.
    When you have a clear goal and work persistently towards it, doors will start to open for you. When they do it might look like luck to the outside observer but in reality it is just the result of countless hours of hard work.

    • says

      Yes, there are many “lucky” people who have planned very deliberately, and worked through the night while the rest of us slept on… :)

  2. says

    I believe Luck is create also. Your article was great. I believe the first step in becoming lucky is to believe that you are.
    I love Brian Tracy, but I haven’t read the Goal Planner. I will definitely check that one out.

    Jaden Daniels recently posted…Magical Creation Box To Manifest Your DesiresMy Profile

  3. says

    Justin, I agree that you don’t want to get lazy while climbing the mountain of success. However, I do believe that rest is intrinsic to ‘sharpening the saw’ of our physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional energy and reserves. I don’t think we want to kill the goose (our well-being) that lays the golden eggs (our results).

    But I’d also be interested to hear your take on this.
    Steve-Personal Success Factors recently posted…Do You Make These Mistakes On Your Quest for LuckMy Profile

  4. says

    Hi Stephen, Great article. There’s a great quote by Oprah – which I can’t remember at the moment – but basically she says luck is all about doing the work ahead of time so you can be ready when the opportunity presents itself. Even though I’ve done a lousy job of relating that, I really agree with the concept :-)
    Marquita Herald recently posted…Making a Difference- Tunes 4 the TroopsMy Profile

  5. says

    Hey Stephen I really like the article I set many goals for my self and actually have a big interview tomorrow so I really enjoyed the inspiration.
    Valerie recently posted…Bistro MD savings promo codesMy Profile

  6. says

    Hello Steven and thank you for this post. I love all of the information you have provided. We all need the tools necessary to become a success at this business.
    I am sorry my link to my site is not working… website is down.

    To Much More Success,

  7. says

    Hey Steve,

    Great points. I believe that we all suffer from one or more of these from time to time in our lives. It is what we do with them that matters the most, how we respond or re-act to it. Thanks for sharing.

    Keep your dreams alive!
    Make it a great day!
    God Bless,
    The GREAT Edward!
    The GREAT Edward recently posted…Hammock Wisdom – Living A Fear-less Life!My Profile

    • says

      Edward the GREAT! Thanks for stopping by, and thank you for the encouragement, and for keeping yours’ and others’ dreams alive :)

  8. says


    Such a great posting. You know, I like to think about the Olympics as a great test of success and how it factors into winning or achieving your goals.

    Think about what it took for that someone to win the gold.

    Where bronze might have put in 5 hours a day, silver put in 10 and gold put in 15. Those who want it more, do it more. Plain and simple.

    Thank for the posting, everything here jives together in a way that everyone should grasp and make the decision to be the winner they were ment to be;
    Dereck recently posted…iWowWe Review – Robust Email Marketing &amp Affordable Web ConferencingMy Profile

  9. says

    Hi Steve! Thanks for all the links to your resources for this wonderful article! I’ll be checking out Remember the Milk :) This is a great set of reminders that can help someone get back on track if they happen to get sidetracked! Checking out these areas will definitely help identify the issue if you seem to have come to a standstill in your progress – and get you back on the good road again. Thanks!
    Lori Tisot@Social Media Management recently posted…Backing Up Facebook Profiles and Fan Pages – A Few SolutionsMy Profile

  10. says


    Two points that I just wanted to mentioned out of a whole lot of great points.

    1. 10,000 hours for mastery. I believe that Malcolm Gladwell is probably one of the greatest minds of all time. To be able to look through everything else and tell us how people succeed is amazing. I looked back when I read his book, and realized that everything I did in life was roughly equivalent to this principle.

    2. I have overworked myself as well a few too many times. It is only been recently that I am starting to appreciate balance. There is nothing wrong with waking up early(I woke up this morning at 5:30), work hard all day, and then continue working till the wee hours of the night as I do 3-4 times a week. However, balance that with time with your family. The time I spend with my wife rejuvenates me.

    • says

      Andy, I love your second point, because I agree 100%. What I am learning, from Brian Tracy and from Leo Babauta, is that it’s how hard you work with the time that you have. In other words, we can sometimes get as much done in 4 hours as we do in 8 if we really learn to focus and cut out distractions and ‘busy’ work.

      Second, the 10,000 hours of mastery shows us that nothing comes ‘easy.’ It takes consistent, tenacious practice and work.

  11. says

    First I want to thank you for sharing these great thoughts. Anthony Robbins is one of my favorite person that lives on earth! With personal experience on what is success in life, I am in a process of achieving my goals “finally”. What i think is the most important for people, is to know what they want! That’s depending from our peer group! If our group of friends or family doesn’t drive us to success we need to find another path, another group that will pull us up. That’s what I did. I found people doing what I wanted to do and I modeled them!
    Success and happiness to all.
    John Mak recently posted…Promo Coupon Code for eDietsMy Profile

    • says

      John, I’m glad that you are clear on what you want. Care to share what some of your personal goals are?

  12. says

    Luck is such a fascinating topic. It is hard to determine what is luck and what is the result of your actions. You could consider Tiger Woods very lucky for having all these amazing talents, but who would call Tiger lucky these days… Besides, some of us may want to be a celebrity, but I am certainly not one of them. Success and luck are subjective to a degree.
    Karin recently posted…Do you leave comments to increase your online visibilityMy Profile

    • says

      Karin, I would agree: being a celebrity is not all it’s cut out to be. You’re definitely a social media celebrity for me, of course:) And it’s true that success and luck are subjective according to what your values are :)

  13. says

    Luck is made. People don’t just achieve “success” however they determine it by simply being “lucky.” They get up and work hard at it every day. Olympians are the perfect analogy as you stated in the post. These pitfalls that you explained are great illustrations of how luck is made – it doesn’t just happen. Many people just see the end result of all these successful people like the olympians. They fail to see a Michael Phelps getting up at 4 a.m. and swimming for 8 hours 6 days a week for four years staight to win a gold medal. Then they criticize him for partying after its all over! lol. You’ve made it clear that luck is what you make of it and how to do reach your goals.

    Great post!
    Steve Dooley recently posted…FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real Drives Network Marketers Into ExtinctionMy Profile

    • says

      Wow, I didn’t realize that Michael Phelps gets up at 4 am every day! I have to start turning my time clock back (I’m actually starting to do this daily, 5 minutes at a time.) Thanks, Steve, for the reminder of what consistent, hard work can produce for winners :)

  14. says

    People don’t get successful because of luck, people acquire luck because after working for it.
    The truth is no matter how you dream to be lucky and successful, you are not going to anywhere unless you do something.
    Making these dreams come true will give you the luck.

    • says

      Elley, thanks for stopping by. By the way, I hope you keep on blogging on your private blog. I like what I read there :) What you said is very wise: we have to dream, but we have to work as well.

  15. says

    Hi Stephen,

    Wonderful suggestions here! Success has less to do with “luck” than it does with drive, determination, and action. Throw in God’s blessing, and it’s a sure-win! You’ve given a lot of great resources in your blog — I appreciate that a lot.

    I haven’t used “Remember the Milk,” but am trying out Nozbe and love it. It’s free up to 5 major tasks. In this day and age, we surely need something besides all those little pieces of paper… :)
    Pastor Sherry recently posted…Let It Go!My Profile

    • says

      Hi, Pastor Sherry, thanks for mentioning Nozbe. I’m actually now using instead of remember the milk. Mainly because it’s free as well. I think you’d really like it, because it allows for a lot more than 5 tasks.

      You make a very good point about pursuing things in line with God’s blessing. I personally believe that we need to make sure that our values and choices reflect Biblical principles, because otherwise, we can find ourselves chasing the wind and building sandcastles.

      • says

        I’ll have to look at!

        Your comment reminds me of Ps 127:1 — “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.”
        Pastor Sherry recently posted…Let It Go!My Profile

  16. says

    I think that this is such a great post and that one can really learn from it. Maybe not everything is about luck because i believe that with persistence, determination and motivation we would be able to achieve our goals in our lives. We should not commit those mistakes in order for us to go through life and achieve success. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  17. says

    I always believe that luck is not a gift. It comes through an effort. A tough effort. My laziness is sometimes killing me. This is something I have to deal with in the past few days. Thanks for sharing this valuable article.

  18. says

    I think a lot of successful people when they describe their success put a lot of it down to luck. What they fail to mention is the incredible amount of hardwork they put in to make that luck happen.
    Charlotte recently posted…Self Catering Chalets ChamonixMy Profile

  19. says

    Hi Stephen,

    Luck is definitely a catalyst. But, before a catalyst begins to work, you need to start working. So, luck might only help you cover that last mile; the preceding, thorny journey needs to be travelled. And you are right, you will never reach your destination unless you know the destination. So, identifying one’s purpose and mapping out your route is absolutely essential.

    Kevin Rudd

    • says

      Hi, Kevin. Thanks for pointing out the thorny journey. Too many people give up because of the thorns, not realizing that the thorns are hiding the diamonds of success that come through overcoming adversity :)

  20. Michael B. Viera says

    Hi Steve,

    I don’t think that there are people who are “just” lucky. Maybe we can see them prosper wherever they go but it is because of their hardwork and determination to succeed. It is not just “luck”. I should say that you’re luck depends on the path that you chose to go. I you want to succeed, then do the hardwork. That’s it!

    I love the success quotes and the information that you have here.
    Michael B. Viera recently posted…Email Marketing ForumMy Profile

    • says

      Michael, you’re right: Luck is much more than the Law of Attraction. It begins with a dream, then goes to a set of smart goals, then requires persistence through obstacles to the finish line.

  21. Sophia says

    Thank you for your shanring, to become a secessful person nends a lot to learn. Other’s experience only could be taken as a reference. What is really suitable for you is need youself to make a try. So I sould have enough courage to try. Experience is the beat teacher, but it is so priceless, that is you have to spend time on it.

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