Theo Prodromitis on Making Your Own Luck

This is my thirteenth article published on Thrive Global. In honor of this number, I chose to ignore the superstition that #13 is unlucky – or lucky, depending on who you ask. The truth is that what we do and create matters more than any external circumstance, including passive luck.

Thrive Global founder Arianna Huffington is a fine example of someone making her own luck. Nothing stopped her from sharing her perspective with the world: no person, no perceived boundary, and certainly no number.

Huffington built one of the world’s most impressive platforms dedicated to improving the quality of life for others, and then she sold The Huffington Post to AOL for $315 million dollars. She will be the first to acknowledge that many things went her way, she had what others may consider luck or good fortune. But in interviews and speeches, she also shared the critical importance of what she learned from her mother:

My mother was a continual source of wisdom and great advice. She taught me that there is always a way around a problem – you’ve just got to find it. Keep trying doors; one will eventually open. She also taught me to accept failure as part and parcel of life. It’s not the opposite of success; it’s an integral part of success.” – Arianna Huffington

Through resourcefulness, single-minded focus and resilience, Arianna Huffington made her own luck. And when you develop tunnel vision for your goals, you cut off distractions, powerfully claim a piece of your universe and put unseen forces in motion, in your favor.

Here’s what developing tunnel vision will do for your “luck” and incredible success:

  1. Put on your own oxygen mask

Don’t be afraid to laser focus on yourself to meet your basic needs. What is your current most-pressing need? Identify, then adopt tunnel vision around it. This will mean letting other things fade out of focus until you crush your goal.
A dear friend who has 30 years of experience as a top performer in the hospitality industry is currently furloughed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her industry is being crushed. No one could have prevented this. My friend has embarked on her own hero’s journey, and the call to action now is to focus primarily on her needs: namely, she needs a job.  Any time or energy spent focusing on “the big picture,” or other domestic issues or the global economy – right now it would detract from what’s most important now: cultivating and preserving the energy to create her own luck and find a job. Yes, millions are out of work, and she wishes she could do more – but her tunnel vision must be 100% focused on herself. Don’t be distracted or ashamed of your human needs.

2. Only you know what you want

Friends, family or clients tell me about something they want, a goal or a wish. Finding a love match, for example. They share stories of woeful online dating and disappointing social outings – and reveal that they’re somehow always attracted Mr. or Ms. Wrong. Asked what they DO want, they use broad generic terms and rely on advice from others. “I just want a nice guy that has a job…” or “I want to make more money.”
Listen: only you know exactly what kind of guy you want and exactly how much money is enough. Overcome fear or embarrassment of stating your desires.  Make your desires deliberate, explicit, detailed. Remember that what you focus on expands, and you have complete permission to want what you want.
Tunnel vision means putting yourself first and continuing to go for it, in clear-minded pursuit of something specific.

3. Put yourself where preparation and opportunity meet, then strike a match

Luck lives at this intersection. Preparation comes from a determined focus to consistently move forward, step by step. This does not mean that you shouldn’t be flexible, but the momentum of your potential is in direct proportion to your single-mindedness of purpose
If you want to be an actor, prepare a monologue that’s deliverable on demand.  When you happen to run into a casting director or get an introduction, have headshots and a resume in your car at all times. Be ready to jump on the hood of the car at a moment’s notice and belt out your best dramatic monologue! It can happen. Make your own luck with tunnel vision and get cast in a film. You deserve to unapologetically put yourself first, dream big, be prepared and grab opportunities where you spot them.

Setbacks and failures are an integral part of success. The fabric of goal advancement is filled with them. But with tunnel vision, you will develop the tenacity and drive to leverage setbacks and still further the cause. 

We all have resilience, but like any muscle, it needs to be exercised. Let’s celebrate this lucky thirteenth article with a nod to the fact that you make your own luck!

Light Your Fire