7 Actions That Create Good Luck

Next week, I will get to check off an item from my bucket list.  I am giving the keynote commencement speech for one of the departments at the University of Maryland, College Park.  I will be sharing stories that embody this list of actions which, in my experience, create good luck:create luck clover

  1. Make a bucket list. This is a list of things you want to do before you kick the bucket. The point here is to set goals. Too many of us meander through life and years later look back only to realized we haven’t accomplished what was once our dreams.  Deciding what you want out of life is the first step.
  2. Get a mentor. Even the most independent people who strive to create their own paths leverage the guidance of others to shed light. Every professional athlete has a coach. A mentor or coach can show you the ropes and help identify weak spots so you accelerate achieving your goals.
  3. Express gratitude. Saying “thank you” are probably the two most powerful words anyone can speak. Being grateful for what you have and expressing gratitude to others for their contributions to you is an important step in making more luck flow into your life.
  4. Volunteer. The old saying “80% of success is just showing up” rings true every time. When you have an opportunity to participate in an activity, do it. Volunteer to take a lead role in your professional association, be the first to offer to put in extra time at the office, join a community group. You will feel good about the contributions you make and others will notice. And that will bring you more luck.
  5. Share what you learn. Think about this: At a dinner party, who do you find most interesting – people who talk about themselves the entire night or those who share experiences and information that put others’ interests first?  Be the person who shares and people will gravitate toward you.
  6. Create connections. Connecting with others is a critical piece of the “luck” puzzle.  Make connections for yourself and for others. If someone introduced you to a person who was helpful in your career, you would remember the gesture and want to reciprocate. Most people feel the same way. Connect others and they will make connections for you.
  7. Tell stories. We learn best when we hear stories. They allow us to identify with characters and see our own lives playing out in the story. When you make a point, illustrate it with a story and your audience will remember your point much better.  The commencement address I will be giving will be full of stories to help remember these seven actions.

What creates good luck for you? Please share your comments.

I am Thankful

I am thankful for a lot things.  This Thanksgiving, take saying “thanks” one step further.  Do more than saying thanks at grace before you eat.  Write down what you are thankful for.

Here is my list of some of the many blessings I have in my life.Raj Khera and Jeff Kaplan

I am thankful for my family. They are my rock. No matter what happens at work, with a client, on a trip, or at home, I have an endless supply of hugs and smiles waiting for me.

I am thankful for my many, many friends. Today, my best friend since the 6th grade surprised me with a lunchtime visit. He moved to the Philadelphia area years aMailerMailer Wins Stevie American Business Awardgo so we rarely get the opportunity to connect like we used to. It was a blessing to see him today to share and catch up.

I am thankful for my amazing staff at the office.  They continuously make magic happen and provide inspiration to me to become a better leader.  It’s their hard work that earned our company the American Business Award (The Stevie) this year.

I am thankful for my clients without whom I would not have a business.  They drive us to create the best customer experience we can make and provide us with input to improve our products.Times Square by night

I am thankful for masala dosa and pani puri.  If you like Indian food, you know what I’m talking about.  I grew up in an Indian household where my mother was always making something special.  Every time I get a hint of these aromas, it takes me back to childhood Sunday mornings.

I am thankful for Times Square by night.  My favorite U.S. city is New York City.  Its unique energy and vibrancy make you feel alive and ready to tackle the world.  I also love the M&Ms store inside Times Square where they have dozens of colors to choose from.

DC snow stormI am thankful that the D.C. area only gets hit with major snow storms a couple of times every decade.  I am also thankful for my snow blower without which it would have taken me 6 hours to shovel the heap that fell two years ago.

I am thankful for my education.  I’m a Terp.  True, this football season wasn’t very good and there were a lot of disappointing games.  But being a part of the university community isn’t only about sports.  I am thankful to be part of an institution that produces some of the brightest and most productive professionals around.

I am thankful for our armed forces.  Last year, I was fortunate to participate in the Marine Corp. Business Executive Forum which allows business owners a hands-on opportunity to learn more about the Marines.  The experience was very rewarding.Marine Corp Business Executive Forum

I am thankful for red wine.  Yum!  ‘Nuff said.

Wine Tasting

 

The power of gratitude is an amazing force.  I didn’t realize how powerful it was until I started keeping a gratitude journal to document the things I am thankful for.  The more things in your life that you are thankful for, the more of those things you get.  I now keep a small spiral notebook next to my bed.  Before I go to sleep, I reflect on the day and write down what I am thankful for.

What are you thankful for?