21 Reasons Why Some People Get So Lucky in Life


 Did you ever look at someone and think, “He is so lucky. He has money, he’s in a great relationship and wow – what a great career being able to travel like that?” 

I’ve done it too.  And as my mind entertained this thought, I would find myself in an often depressing place overthinking about reasons why I wasn’t as successful as “that guy”.  

I wasn’t so lucky.  I wasn’t lucky to be born with good looks or into the right family.  I wasn’t lucky enough to have the right education or lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time.

But as I grew in my career and in my life and by meeting lots of people from all over the world in so many walks of life, I made this profound realization:  

Tweetable: Luck, chance and randomness are often consequences of action. The more you do – the luckier you get.

Sure we can be born into it and fall into it.  But so many successful people I met – from couples in blissful long term relationships to successful career women to billionaires to profoundly happy people who have very little – became “lucky” because they think differently and take certain actions.  

As I thought about my own journey of learning to deal with uncertainty these days, I realized that in the absence of luck being granted to us by the lottery of birth, we all can get a chance to get lucky.

Here are 21 reasons why some people get lucky in life:  

Lucky people…

1. Work hard…quietly.  They don’t boast, toast or celebrate.  They do.  Toiling away at their craft day in and day out.  They don’t announce it on Facebook or tweet about it on Twitter.  Lucky people get busy working.

2. Surround themselves with positive people who build them up not tear them down. Life is hard enough as it is without having to worry about negative people slowing you down.  

3. Put positive seeds into their mind every single day.  All of us wake up with sometimes random thoughts that can debilitate.  By proactively choosing the right words and actions, some people overcome those morning limitations set by the mind.  They have certain rituals.  A morning run, meditation, prayer or their morning cup of coffee while walking the dog.

4. Fight the overthinking mind each day. You are not alone. We all overthink choices that lie ahead. It can be a daily battle. Is it in their DNA? Maybe. But increasingly I’ve learned that some people – especially happier people make a choice to limit their overthinking mind.  

5. Have a clear purpose.  Lucky people have a crystal clear objective.  Either to provide for their children more than they had growing up or to successfully launch their business.  Whatever their cause, lucky people have a magnet attracting them to their goals.

6. Accept imperfection.  They don’t say, “It’s not a good time right now”.  But they do say, “It’s always a good time right here and right now.”  They know the right time will never come to them. They have to go out and make it the right time.

7. They don’t gossip or pay attention to the critics. Lucky people don’t get distracted by the naysayers, doubters or haters.  They don’t allow the negativity to enter their mind.  Shrugging off a desire to gossip or respond to critics, lucky people smile and keep walking forward.

8. They feel more than they think.  They are often driven by emotion and passion about their endeavor. Thinking is important but often we let our minds direct us forward. And when we face difficult circumstance, we are conflicted between what we think and what we feel.  Lucky people seem to lead from the heart not the head.

9. They focus on the goal, not the plan. Plans can change. Chaos can interrupt the best laid plans. But goals don’t.  Happy marriage, talented kids, meaningful work and a successful career – these usually remain constant but how we get there can change over time. 

10. They take lots of action. Lucky people have a bias for trying things, even if they may fail. They create certainty by moving forward rather than sitting still. Momentum goes when your energy flows.

11. They are open to meeting anyone, anytime.  Talking openly to anyone who’ll listen to their ideas, lucky people smile and engage – opening up their minds to chance meetings with strangers where one thing can lead to another. 

12. Remain in the day to day.  Letting go of the past and focusing on the present moments, lucky people direct their effort at what they can control right here and right now.  Not worrying as much about yesterday or tomorrow. 

13. They get hurt by the setbacks and the failures as much as anyone but they keep going because they know that they’ll come out of it. They have this powerful belief that tough times pass and that if they persevere long enough, they’ll get through the failures.

14. They believe in themselves.  They’re not arrogant.  Lucky people feel that all of us have this inner strength…this resiliency of the human mind that can achieve great things.

15. They’re always curious, asking questions of the simplest things to everyone they know.  They want to understand how things work.  They are explorers wanting to get to the bottom of things.  They welcome new ideas, thoughts or observations.

16. They know that getting to success is never a straight line but a path full of curves and side roads.  Lucky people zig zagged their way through life often in uncharted waters.

17. Are grateful.  Recognizing that life is not a right but a gift, lucky people act with great humility.

18. Admit that they’re not that smart. Lucky people become smart and learn by trying.  They read. They toil. Admit their faults. Apologize quickly and move on.  Recognizing that happiness and success in life comes from constant learning. 

19. They serve others. From launching a new business to sustaining a happy marriage requires serving someone else than yourself.  Lucky people give generously to others through their effort in their jobs, careers, business and their personal lives. Their effort is found on ensuring others have what they need before their own needs are met.

20. Know that they’re not born lucky. They become lucky by studying, working and refining their craft.  They are not born smart but become smart by reading, developing, cultivating and growing. Lucky people don’t count on luck. They make a choice to think differently and to take action.  

21. They’re hungry. They want it badly. They believe they have something of value to give to the world and are aching to give it.  Lucky people jump out of bed in the morning. They sacrifice – giving up the luxuries of the modern world (TV, Facebook, etc.) – so that they can get to work fulfilling the promise they make to themselves.

Embrace the Chaos   |   Bob Miglani


  1. says

    This was a great reminder, Bob. Sometimes it is easy to get “paralyzed” and overwhelmed when you see others that you think have always had it easy.

  2. says

    What a great list of awesome features!
    However, I would not agree that the people who live the way you describe are “lucky”. Luck is “success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions.”
    And that’s exactly where I see the dissonance. The features you are writing about mostly refer to actions taken by the “lucky” people. For me it seems that you are writing about deliberate actions taken by people making conscious choices, people who think, know what they want and plan how to get there. People who don’t give up in the face of adversity but learn and pursue further.
    In my terms, people who live that way are happy people. As the Dalai Lama said “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions”. And that’s exactly what you have described in your great article :)

    • says

      Hi Izabela,

      Thanks for writing. Yes, I hear what you’re saying here and I suppose I have stated about choices that people make. And I think that is the heart of my message, that many of us think that the adversity doesn’t impact everyone. But it sure does. And as you say, what is important is that in order for us to more forward through that adversity, we have to take our own actions. Love that happiness quote. Thanks for sharing!

      Have a great day!

  3. says

    I also tend to believe that luck comes from preparation, rather than the will of a sentient being or the universe.

    You have managed to name a lot of key elements, although you left out one thing that I firmly believe in. Enjoying the journey.. there’s nothing more motivating than actually 100% enjoying the route you are going down in life. You sleep easier, wake up with more energy and you naturally start to overthink less.

    • says

      Hi Ragnar,

      Great point: Enjoy the journey. In fact, look at the back cover of my new book out tomorrow…it says: ENJOY THE RIDE! I agree wholeheartedly that we should we need to worry less about the chaos and try as much as we can to revel in it.

      Best wishes,

  4. Jennifer says

    How about people who receive their rewards by being positive, and taking action, but also through manipulation, deception, selfishness and taking advantage of the weak. Are their rewards justified because they had a goal, which they worked so hard towards? I know of someone who I feel doesn’t deserve their present state of happiness or luck. When someone works hard, by any means, and their rewards are achieved, is it also justified? P.S. I’m not dismissing the article. I do agree, that to achieve successes in life, you have to be determined and work hard for it. I just wouldn’t label it luck, but rather earned. Earned, when it’s done through honest means. Luck when it’s done deceptively. Or Luck when it just happens: such as a winning the lotto.

    • says


      I understand your frustration as I have felt that myself over the years. It used to really bother me. One of the things I realize is that no one is spared from these kinds of frustrations whether its now or later on in life. We just have no way of knowing what will happen to anyone. And so what I learned to do is to re-channel those frustrating thoughts back to my work, my mission, my goals and the work at hand. And over time, it has helped me to deal with these better. And luck is my wink-wink way of saying that it is truly, “earned”. You’re absolutely right about the label. Thank you for writing.

      Wishing you the best,

  5. Jacob says

    I agree with this all… I, myself, am “lucky”. I’m 32 years old, manage one of four North American business units for a Fortune 50 company, have travelled the world, and have an amazing and gorgeous woman in my life. My next youngest peer is nearly 60, and people my age in this company are at far far far more junior positions. So, “Why am I so damn lucky??” Certainly it’s because I was born into a great family, right? I must have had a good role model who pointed me in the right direction or used my massive family contacts to get ahead… right? No way. I was homeless as a kid more than once. We lived in run down trailer parks and moldy basements… I racall walking up and down ditches picking up cans with my folks so we could cash them in and buy baby formula for my sister. We were very poor and I was picked on it every single day for it. I was smaller than other boys my age, was admittedly nerdy looking, and had no self confidence. Top it all off with the fact that I graduated high school (15 years ago) second to last in a high school class of 35 students and you have the makings of a disaster… Poor, obviously not too bright, skinny, and no concept of how the world worked. I knew I needed to change my direction and that I wasn’t going to college (no money) so I enlisted in the Navy. I worked hard and wasn’t the poor kid anymore. I hit the gym, made different friends, travelled around the world and kept my mouth shut. Quickly I broke out from the pack due to work ethic. Four years after joining I had finished a bachelors degree going to night school, I was athletic because of the fitness training and had developed a hobby of going to the gym (had put on 60 lbs by this point), and I was quickly selected for a commission. As an officer I continued to break out and advanced to lieutenant before resigning at 27 years old. Being a top junior officer led to my being recruited by a headhunter and ultimately landed me in my current industry. As an officer in the military I led hundreds of people and accomplished many great things. This translated into a more senior position on the outside. I’d sat in front of foreign government representatives and dictated US foreign policy… I’d led men into situatons looking for bad guys where I knew we very well may die. Sitting in a room of civilian leaders with tiles like Director, VP, and CEO didn’t phase me. When a COO tried to back me down in a board room I stood up and made him look like an idiot with facts that I had prepared. Now, two years later, I run an entire segment of this company. I’ve taken some insane risks, and have my skeletons, but I never quit moving forward. I choose to promote myself instead of waiting for someone else to do it. If I know I can move up and my employer doesn’t have room I go to a new company and take a more senior role. Luck is being prepared and having the guts to act. You also need an undying goal. For me it was to never be the poor kid again. Now, 15 years later I am well within the top 1% of income earners for my agegroup. I live modestly and prefer blue collar friends who don’t ask what I do for a living, and I am happy with that. If you want to be lucky then make your own luck. If a dumb, poor, redneck can do it I promise you can too.

    • says


      Thanks for your story, which is an inspiring one. I can relate to all of your points especially the fact that once we take responsibility of our own life and start taking actions, we have the capacity to achieve great things, as you’ve done.

      Thanks for writing. Best regards,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *