How to Get Lucky

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I am a photographer passionate about the outdoors, meaningful travel, creativity and intention in all things. I hope to use my platform online to show the beauty and complexity of the world we live in, and to encourage genuine connection to the world and all the magic within it.

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People used to call me lucky all the time. Not as much anymore, probably because I am transparent with which parts of my life are actually luck, and which parts of my life are just hard work.

I believe that luck has been a factor in any success I’ve experienced, no matter the venue. But I have noticed something important.

Luck that really matters only happens when you’re moving.

Luck often looks random from the outside. By definition, sure.

But I’m talking about the times when you couldn’t believe you got this lucky. The big things. The big luck.

Big luck is a helicopter looking for a place to land. You have to clear the space so it can find you. You have to open your hands, and keep them open, in order to receive it.

And indeed this isn’t really luck at all– it’s just the result of work you did. It’s something you invited into your life by investing in it and building a foundation for it, even if you couldn’t have even named it yet.

But let’s just call it luck for now.

Notice the times when you have seen big luck in your own life. I guarantee that it found you at a much higher rate during periods where you were actively doing or seeking something. Luck that matters rarely finds us when we are sitting at home watching reruns of Maury eating whole bags of kettle corn. Chase your dreams, actively, passionately, boldly– and you’ll see this contrast.

It doesn’t come without fear. When we invite really big luck into our lives, we also invite the possibility of failure, of hard decisions, of challenge that could be avoided if we took the easy way out. Only you will know what this means for you. When we pick a more complicated route, there are more variables and more things that could go wrong. It is less comfortable. Decide for yourself where the value falls.

As you work, you will unlock new levels of luck that will find you seemingly effortlessly. When you do more to begin with, you are also creating opportunities for things to just work out. I feel lucky every day because of the life I have created for myself, and indeed, I have noticed that as I work harder, luck flows easily into my life.

If you want to get lucky, you have to get moving. When you do, you’ll see that it was never luck at all. It was just you, getting the opportunities you worked for.



Feature photo by Ali V. Check out her work here and on Instagram at @alisonvagnini.

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  1. Lindsay says:

    I love this. I am writing a piece this week that has a similar theme. People always say, “You’re so lucky… you moved across the country knowing no one and somehow landed your dream job.” I’m not lucky. I started networking four years prior, knowing that I wanted to move one day. The fact that the exact position became available at the exact right time… that’s lucky… but the fact that I got the interview, nailed it, and knew that the team knew me… that’s just plain hard work and a drive to get what you want. Amen to you, Erin Outdoors. You have a good head on your shoulders.
    Keep on writing. It suits you well.

    • Thanks Lindsay! When I was traveling, the “you’re so lucky” chorus was loud! You put in the work, that’s why you were lucky. Great job getting after the things you want in your life! You deserve every bit of “luck” you’re seeing.

  2. Lucie says:

    Hello Erin! I would like to thank you for this nice and inspirational post. I have to agree with you in every single word. 🙂 I think being lucky means that you want to change something that doesn’t make you feel good. So, you make a plan and fix it. Have a nice day!
    Lucie xx

  3. Michael says:

    ” I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” Thomas Jefferson ” Do you wait for things to happen or do you make them happen yourself. I believe in writing your own story.” Charlotte Eriksson. Yours is sound advice and you’re in good company. You will surely get the opportunities you are working so hard for.

  4. Wise words as always! It is true that “luck” will spring up when you are least expecting it – probably because, as you mentioned, you’re usually too busy hustling!

  5. Robin says:

    “Notice the times when you have seen big luck in your own life. I guarantee that it found you at a much higher rate during periods where you were actively doing or seeking something. Luck that matters rarely finds us when we are sitting at home watching reruns of Maury eating whole bags of kettle corn. Chase your dreams, actively, passionately, boldly– and you’ll see this contrast.” I love that–couldn’t be more true. We feel like we need luck the most when we’re sitting around being miserable and waiting for better things to find us… but then when we start taking action to better our circumstances, it feels like everything happens at once, out of nowhere. It’s a blessing and a curse!

    • Absolutely! I think everyone falls victim to this at some points– feeling like everyone else is getting their big break but that nothing good is happening to us. When we actually start moving, we see way more opportunities and might catch our own big break because of it. Thanks Robin!

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