September 16, 2022

Seeing what the universe is serving up to you in the moment


My experience tells me that luck is very real, and that it’s a function of numerous elements, some of which are under our control, some of which are not.

Luck is a combination of factors like preparation, probability, optimism, timing and leverage.

That’s why there are certain people in the world to whom fortunate things happen more naturally and consistently. Period.

Now, this philosophy may be my futile attempt to explain a chaotic and random universe over which we have zero control. And so, setting aside my theory for a moment, here’s a cool thought experiment in the opposite direction.

What if it were scientifically proven that there was no such thing as luck? How do you reconcile that with fact that certain people still seem to experience more good fortune than others?

My highly unscientific and totally biased opinion is, the phenomenon is a function of intention and attention.

See, it’s not that lucky people have more opportunities than anyone else. It’s that they’re not too busy with debris to react when those opportunities come their way.

The only reason they don’t miss out on good fortune is because they’re not distracted. They have the eyes to see what the universe is serving up to them in the moment, and they also have the energy to capitalize on it.

They possess enough intentional and attentional bandwidth to put themselves in the path of what they seek.

It reminds me of looking at one of those stereograms back in the nineties, also known as magic eye posters. They were cool when they worked, but some people simply couldn’t see the goddamn image.

It was infuriating. They tried all of the visual tricks like crossing their eyes, standing twelve feet away, making their vision blur, focusing on one specific point, or rearranging all the furniture in the room.

But it still came up blank. That sailboat just wasn’t visible. Maybe it never would be.

Made people want to punch a hole in the wall.

To me, that’s what luck feels like. Some individuals have a unique combination of intention and attention that makes it hard to notice, react to and exploit the opportunities that are right in front of their very eyes.

Sivers, the musician, programmer, writer and entrepreneur, addresses this theory in his inspiring and instructive book:

Say no to almost everything. This starts to free your time and mind. When you find something you’re actually excited about, you’ll have the space in your life to give it your full attention. You’ll be able to take massive action, in a way that most people can’t, because you cleared away your clutter in advance.

What chances are you missing because your energy is poorly invested? Is it possible you’re exposed to the same amount of opportunity as everyone else, but your brain’s startup disk is full and doesn’t have the processing power to do anything about them?

Listen, there are tons of strategies you can leverage to increase your likelihood of positive outcomes.

But the most basic one is, get control of your attention and intention. Acknowledge the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual distractions that are weighing you down, and consider letting them go.

One by one. Free up some space. And you just might become the luckiest person you know.

Are you willing to question your certainties and change them back to probabilities?