Are Successful People Just Lucky?

It’s easy to think that successful people are successful just because they’re lucky, right?  We all know people who always seem to have things go their way – even bad situations turn out good for them.

We often hear stories about people who seem to have the Midas Touch – whatever their hands touch turns to gold.  Or those who, with just one invention or product or experience, suddenly “make it big.”

These things all happen because of luck, right?

What My Fortune Taught Me About Luck

Recently, I had dinner with my family at a Chinese restaurant.  As is customary, at the end of the meal, we all opened our fortune cookies to read our “fortune.”

I have always been fascinated with many of the proverbs I’ve found in fortune cookie “fortunes” over the years.  And this most recent one I received did not disappoint.  It said:

Good luck is the result of good planning.

What?  Good luck doesn’t just “happen”?  Actually, this wasn’t a new idea for me.  Some years ago, one of my mentors taught me that what we often call “luck” is really the result of preparation.  He said:

The “chance of a lifetime” comes to those who are already ready for it.  Opportunity knocks on doors that are already open to it.

His point is that something “magical” happens once we take steps toward achieving a goal – whether it is to start a business, find balance in our lives, get out of debt, etc.

Somehow, the moment we decide to move in a direction, other things in our lives also start to point us in that direction.  And the more we plan and prepare, the more our plans become a reality.

What do you think?  Has this been true in your life?  Or could it be true?  Please share your thoughts in our comments section.

What Do You Do on Sick Days?

If you’re like me, you don’t enjoy being sick and having to take time off from work.  About once a year, I get a virus that ends up settling in my lungs, causing bronchitis, and I have to take a couple of days off.

I really hate having to reschedule appointments and shuffle projects around to others.  But despite these hassles, over the last few years I’ve learned to embrace, if not enjoy, these sick days.  Here are a few reasons why:

  1. I catch up on my reading – not just work-related magazines and journals, but personal interest stuff too.
  2. I catch up on the latest news from online sources.
  3. I catch up on blogs and sites I follow, and go more in-depth with them.
  4. I learn something new by researching a topic I’ve wanted to learn about but haven’t made time for yet.

These are just a few reasons why I don’t mind a sick day every now and then.  What about you?  What do you do on your sick days?

Have a Beautiful Day

“Have a beautiful day!” the young lady said, as she handed me my large sweet tea at the McDonalds drive-thru a few minutes ago.  Not, “Have a nice day” or “Have a good day”.  But “Have a beautiful day!”

She didn’t know I was on my way to the office.  She didn’t know I didn’t feel well because I’m still fighting the flu.  She didn’t know that my heart was heavy for my friends who had just suffered the loss of a second adult child (born with a fatal disease).  She didn’t know anything about any of my circumstances.

But she wished me a “beautiful day”.

Really, it didn’t matter that she knew anything about my circumstances.  Because our circumstances don’t have to determine our attitude.  Unless we let them.  And many times, we do.

This young lady’s wish for me, that I have a beautiful day, is a beautiful reminder that you and I have the power to determine our attitude, whatever the circumstances.

And more than that, you and I have the power to make this day a beautiful day for others, through what we say and what we do.

I’m going to have a beautiful day.  And I hope you do too, dear reader!  Let’s find a way to make it beautiful for ourselves, and for someone else.  I know we’ll be glad we did!

Start Your Day with an Attitude of Gratitude

Did you wake up this morning grateful, excited and ready to tackle whatever comes your way today?

Let’s face it, not everyone wakes up on the right side of the bed each morning.  Yet how we start our day often sets the mood for everything else that follows.

If you’re less-than-excited about getting moving in the morning, decide to start each new day with an attitude of gratitude.

Here’s an idea from Tim Sanders’ blog “Sanders Says“:

Don’t leave your attitude and mood to chance, they are important! When you are in a great mood, filled with gratitude, your day will be more effective (and enjoyable).

About six months ago, I put myself on a new wake-up plan that’s changed my life.  When I first wake up, I lay back down and close my eyes and concentrate on three people I should be grateful for from the previous day.

It could be a helpful co-worker.  My wife.  A friend who gave me some good advice.  I think and think until I’ve come up with three people.  I focus on their positive intentions to help me be successful or happy.  I say out loud “Grateful for ____.”  Then, I get up and over coffee, write down one sentence to capture my gratefulness for those three people.  In the beginning, I struggled to always find three helpful people from the previous day, especially if I was writing in seclusion.  But soon I realized that everyday is filled with people helping us along.  Now, I struggle to limit myself to three.

Give it a try tomorrow and see how it changes your mood.  An attitude of gratitude will give you renewed hope and confidence.

For extra credit, decide to live today in such a way that others will wake up tomorrow and be grateful for you!

Inspiration in Your Inbox

Let’s face it, sometimes it is hard to get motivated on Monday morning, or any morning for that matter. One of the things that has helped me, for over 5 years now, is a FREE inspirational quote that I receive in my inbox every morning from My Daily Insights.

These quotes, from famous people living and dead, give me something great to think about and apply to my own life.

Today’s quote is from Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft Corporation:

Being big or small isn’t the crucial issue.  If you don’t move, you don’t move.

Ballmer reminds us that success isn’t dependent upon size.  It is dependent upon action.  Which is something I’ve been focusing on in my own life quite a bit.

Need some inspiration to get going on Monday morning, or any morning?  Subscribe to My Daily Insights today!