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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.