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
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
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.
of Lucky People - This links to the Amazon.com page for the
Good Luck Secrets
- A website on how to be lucky - where the e-book version of
Gillman's book is sold.