Every day you will hear someone complain about their lack of luck. Almost as often, you will hear someone tell you about their good luck. While most people might tell you otherwise, the concept of luck in terms of success is overrated. Instead, a common trait among successful people is their ability to capitalise on random events, to pursue the things they enjoy, and to constantly pay attention to the world around them. In short, they make it possible to “get lucky.”

Capitalise on Chance Encounters

dr seuss

Theodore Geisel is known around the world as Dr. Seuss. His children’s books are among the most famous of all time with over 600 million copies sold. The Cat in the Hat was written as the result of a challenge to write a book consisting solely of the 250 words that all first graders should know. It went on to become one of his most famous titles. His works has been adapted many times, including 11 television specials, 4 feature films, a Broadway musical and four television series.

The fact that anyone has ever heard of Dr. Seuss is due to his taking advantage of a chance encounter. According to Geisel, he was on his way home to burn the manuscript for And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry StreetThe book had been rejected by dozens of publishers and had just once again been denied. On his way home, Geisel ran into an old classmate from Dartmouth College. Over drinks, Geisel found out his old classmate worked for Vanguard Press, while his friend discovered Geisel was a writer. The outcome was the first publication of arguably the most famous children’s book author in history.

Pursue the Things You Enjoy

Britain’s Victoria Coren started her career as a writer at age 14 when her first article was published. In addition to her creative interests, she also wanted to make friends and meet boys, and she figured that learning how to play poker could accomplish both. She soon became a regular player in her brother’s home game and found that she really enjoyed the game.

Victoria’s success as a writer continued, and she had her own weekly column by the time she was 17. However, she refused to give up on playing a game she so enjoyed. As her writing career flourished, she also began to work with the BBC as a frequent host, commentator and presenter, while poker was still considered only a pleasant past time.

She began to play some small buy-in poker tournaments and found she enjoyed them as well. In 2006, when a EPT event was held in London, Coren thought it would be fun to play in a big event and entered. She won the event, becoming the first female champion and took home £500,000 – nearly $1 million.

In 2014, she entered another EPT Main Event tournament, this time in San Remo, Italy. Once again she won, making history once again as she became the first player to win two EPT Main Event titles. Her share of the prize pool was over £476,000 – over $600k. In her post-victory interviews, she continued to stress that you should play poker to enjoy it and to have fun.

Listen to What Is Happening Around You

Mark Knopfler, the singer and songwriter for the rock band Dire Straits, is known for a number of hit songs. The most popular of them all is Money for Nothing. Surprisingly, the song’s origins did not come from some sudden self-realisation that being a rock star was an easy way of making a lot of money. Instead it came from a conversation that Knopfler overheard while shopping.

While shopping for appliances one day, Knopfler overheard an employee complaining about the life of rock stars. The store employee was standing in front of a television display, some of which he evidently had to move. He ranted about how the guys “on MTV ain’t working” and how “I should’ve learned how to play the guitar.” Knopfler took the rant and turned it into one of rock’s most iconic songs.

Success is seldom solely the result of a pressure-fuelled drive to be the best. Luck is not something that happens; it’s something that successful people allow to happen. Sometimes, it is important to stop and share with a lost acquaintance, and to always remember to keep doing the things you enjoy while simultaneously trying to reach your goals. Simply paying attention to your surroundings during day to day life can really pay off. Most successful people will tell you that by keeping your eyes and ears open for unexpected opportunities while also pursuing your passions is a winning recipe for making your own luck.