Developing Your Career

Four Steps to Make Your Own Luck

By Helene Cavalli on April 23, 2013

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Diligence is the mother of good luck” and it turns out today’s psychologists agree. Well, more specifically, we create our own good luck through hard work and the right attitude.

In psychological terms, the concept of luck in one’s life is often part of the “locus of control theory” whereby some people attribute events in their lives to external factors that that they are unable to influence (externals) and others consider events to be under their own control and derive from their own actions (internals). Studies indicate that those with an internal locus of control have reduced stress levels, are more capable of tolerating periods of ambiguity, are less likely to experience depression and are more likely to take risks and achieve long-term goals.

If you find yourself giving too much power to external forces, here are some actions you can take to navigate from an external to an internal locus of control – and make your own luck.

  1. Drop the negative language. Stop telling yourself “This will never …” or “I can’t…” Verbalizing negativity is simply reinforcing self-doubt.
  2. Consider your options. If you feel trapped with nowhere to go, make a list of available options and talk to others to help open your mind to new ideas. You have a choice to change your situation.
  3. Take charge. You are responsible for your own success. The decisions you make, the attitude you bring and the behaviors you demonstrate ultimately affect the outcomes in your career.
  4. Keep your eye on the prize. Develop written goals and then take note of when you’ve achieved each one and the actions you took to get there. This will help you develop the confidence required for continued growth.

Locus of control is a matter of choice. If you’re attributing results in your career to random external factors, take steps to shift your internal dialogue, take responsibility for your choices, and plan for success.

3 Responses to “Four Steps to Make Your Own Luck”

  1. Peter Doris

    Wow! Powerful, incisive career management advice proffered free of charge. Where do I sign up?

  2. Tricia Rady

    I love it! It reminds me of another quote… “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Thomas Edison.

  3. Kenn Mitchell

    I very much like the positive statement above. As I look to take charge of my success and professional future, what is the best tool for looking for a new job within Ericsson?


Leave a Reply