How to Be Lucky

An Interview with Steve Gillman

By Vincent Dali

Steve Gillman knows how to be lucky. He is the author of "Secrets of Lucky People." His book is not a manual about charms or magical endeavors to attract good luck in life, but the opposite. It is a rich and down-to-earth resource that teaches you with specific examples and some metaphorical content how the individual power of the mind becomes effective through action. That, according to Gillman, plays a key role in the creation of good luck.

Below is an interview with this author who brings us a fresh and practical approach to becoming lucky. He shows how luck is something human beings can construct with well-planned efforts instead of wondering how to attract it with spells or wishes.

Why did you decide to write "Secrets of Lucky People?"

I had read a little out-of-print book on how to have good luck many years ago, and I consciously applied the lessons in my life from time to time, with noticeable results. In fact, friends often commented on how lucky I was. It was perhaps twenty years later when I pulled out my old notes from that book, and used them - along with further research - to put together a seven-part course on luck for a self improvement website I had built. The site never did take off, but I later expanded those seven lessons into an e-book and started to sell that online. A year or so later I decided to publish it as a paperback.

It is good luck a mystery or a strategy?

Both. There are certainly positive things which happen to people and which have causes we do not fully understand, and we call that good luck. On the other hand, there are some conditions from which luck arises more often, and we can arrange those conditions in our lives.

So you believe that we do have control over the creation of good luck?

Yes, and the simplest example is that of a contest winner. What do all contest winners have in common? They entered a contest. That may seem silly to say, but doesn't it immediately suggest that if we take certain steps we are more likely to have results that we call good luck? If you want to have luck in love, you increase the odds by saying hello to more people. If you want to have luck in investing, you have to learn what you need to learn - and then start investing.

If we have control over the type of luck that we experience in life, what about tragedies or catastrophes outside of our control that we could say bring us bad luck?

Random things do happen in life, for better or worse. That's true for all of us, and it is also true that some people will just randomly have more of such "bad luck." On the other hand, that says nothing about our ability to learn from such events and use them to our advantage. I recently read about a young man who was born without legs, and from the challenges that created he became a motivational speaker who makes a very good living.

Yes, there are things outside of our control, but how we choose to use the experiences at least partly determines how "bad" such luck is. We can choose to focus on what we do control, which includes our attitudes and ways of thinking about things. The lack of control over many aspects of life is just a fact, but it isn't very relevant to our efforts to create luck. Imagine six men sitting at home doing nothing while six others make millions and live adventurous and fulfilling lives. Now, if two of the "lucky" six are randomly killed in accidents, some people will point to that as evidence that we can't guarantee luck through our efforts - and we can't. But so what? We can't guarantee anything ultimately, but that doesn't suggest for a second that we can't do anything. What about the other four? What about the time the two who died had? They all improved their odds of good luck by getting out and trying, and we do know that we can virtually guarantee a lack of luck if we do the wrong things or do nothing.

In your book you use many stories and metaphors to make your points more clearly, one of them is "Mico staring at the Sea." Could you outline this story to our readers and mention how they could apply this teaching in their own lives?

The idea came from something Rabindranath Tagore said, which was, "You can't cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water." The first line of the story was, "Mico stood there staring at the water." He was a young man who wanted more than the small-town life on the island where he lived, and he dreamt of crossing the sea to explore new places and a new ways of life - but he never did more than dream. He imagined how things might go wrong, and he hesitated forever. It's a story about motivation and how we often mistake fearful thoughts for our self. We think that the internal dialog and imagined scenes in our minds are essentially our own. Once we see that there are parts of us which have no interest in our well-being, we can start to disregard the "advice" of those fearful internal voices and to live more fully.

We know you have been invited to be part of a very important documentary on Luck. Can you tell us about it?

I was already interviewed for the film - the first time I have been in a documentary. My wife and I got to see Hollywood, and it was a lot of fun. I hope the documentary will be in distribution this year. It was done by Grand Scale Films, and the last time I checked the working title was "The Luck Movie" or just "Luck."

Finally, could you mention 6 effective ways to start to get lucky in life right now?

Sure, and in sixty seconds or less. Go where you are more likely to have the lucky breaks you want, meet more of the people who might be able to help you, take more small risks, look for opportunities instead of excuses, find ways to always have extra time and money available, and take some action toward important goals as soon as you finish reading this.

There are many more methods, and the six listed need some explaining perhaps, but that's what my book is for.


Secrets of Lucky People - This links to the page for the book.

Good Luck Secrets - A website on how to be lucky - where the e-book version of Gillman's book is sold.

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