5 + 1 Habits that Make Good Things Happen for You

Make Things Happen

Finding Ideas Outside of the Box logo 2

Some people say “It’s smart to be lucky.”

My favorite boss used to say, “I’d rather be lucky to be smart.”

I’ve always said, “You don’t need luck, if you can make good things happen.”

Everyone hears about someone who has “all the luck.” That person who is “in the right place at the right time — almost all of the darn time.” How does that someone do that?

It’s not fate. It’s not an accident. It’s not even a lucky star.

That someone knows how to make good things happen.

It’s not hard — change some things and it could be you.

Making Good Things Happen

It’s true. You don’t need luck if you can make things happen. Lets’s face it, making things happen is so much better than waiting for things to happen for us. It’s a matter of having control. It takes time and some attention, but buying a lottery ticket takes that and money too.

We don’t need hocus pocus or feel good energy stuff. I’m talking about our habits of using the information that the world offers, doing the math and making it work in our favor.

Want to make good things happen for you? Here’s what you do.

    1. Pay attention. I don’t mean sit up straight and listen like in school. Make a habit of interacting with your envronment. Notice when things happen around you. Keep track of what is going on. Information you notice now will be there for you later on.

    2. Think what you do matters. What you think changes how you feel and what you do. What you do has an impact, believe that. Recall your own experience, I bet someone has had a BIG impact on you and never knew it. It works the other way around too.

    Be aware of the potential of your impact. The way you look, the smile you give, the answer on your cellphone — each causes a response in someone you might never know about. Everything you do has an impact on the world.

    Argue for the difference that you make, and sure enough you’ll be making one. Believe you’re not, and well, how could you?

    Why not make your impact positive?

    3. Imagine opportunities everywhere you look. Lucky people know that opportunity doesn’t knock often. In fact, they know it doesn’t knock at all. People make opportunities from little things they see. Opportunity hides in the details.

    Look, listen, read, and search for ideas and trends between your niche and your skill set. Then bend and twist and turn those ideas to see how they might become uniquely yours.

    Make a practice of looking at everything to see how you might improve it . . . how you’ll make it more fun, faster, cooler, friendlier, easier, quieter, more musical, lighter, more romantic, more exciting, more inviting, more anything . . . or less something.

    4. Make yourself a magnet for things you’re good at and tell everyone you know. Don’t be shy about your skills. Be generous with your help and counsel. Find opportunities to share that offer a chance of return to you. Look for the tiniest ways to match your uniqueness to what the world really needs. Then give yourself away as often as you can so that people know that you exist and that you are the best at what you do.

    5. Keep count and measure the opportunities you find that suit you — even the nano-iota-teeniest-glimmer of an idea that strikes you.

    If you focus and watch opportunities that fit — the number, size, and worth of those opportunities grow. Research shows that things we watch and measure get bigger and more plentiful. So start attending to what suits you.

    PLUS ONE: When you’re faced with a decision, don’t hesitate. Take the opportunity that shows the most promise and use it to grow the skills that got you that far. Remember every thing is a new line on your resume — your personal brand brochure. And as we used to say in college, “if it gets you a story then the experience was worth it.”

    Don’t wait for luck. Go on, make good things happen. You might be surprised who starts pitching in to help you.

    –ME “Liz” Strauss

    Related articles:
    Just Say YES!
    Knowing How People Think — As a Business Tool
    7 Steps & the Key to Spotting Trends
    Trendspotting: How to Crawl into People’s Heads


  1. says

    I think a natural progression for bloggers like myself (I can call myself a blogger now :P) would be audio-blogging, in the sense, an idea can be instantly captured via audio and posted to your blog. Sure sitting down and writing sometime properly would leave you with the best result, but I find personally that impromptu thoughts and just thinking aloud, I do very well, IMHO.

    Back to topic (I was never on topic anyway :P), I think you need to work at something as hard as you want it to succeed, its a direct relationship. Sitting back and hoping to get ‘dugg’ once, or similar, won’t get you noticed as much as good articles, interesting content will, not to mention it can make your readers want more, leading to reader-loyalty, a tough thing to accomplish in the blog happy interweb we now live in.

    As alway a great read Liz.

  2. says

    I think you need to work at something as hard as you want it to succeed, its a direct relationship.

    Wise word indeed Techz. Add to that faith and graditude for what the world has to offer and you have a pack that the universe can’t resist!

    Thanks Techz for the great thoughts here. :)

  3. says

    I’ve a big issue with people (obsessed) relying on lottery to get rich. They spend so much time collating those 6 sets of numbers week after week, hoping to strike it big. Since they are so “good” with numbers, don’t they know the simple math of calculating their odds against winning?

    With the same amount of energy and money, spend it wisely on things that interest you to succeed in your career path. Sure, nothing is easy in the beginning. Life is never easy anyway, it’s how one find the balance and grow in wisdom.

    Research has shown that people who won the lottery money, it’s usually spent very foolishly and lasted no more than six months, and that happy feeling wears off after a couple of weeks.

    Whereas if one gradually acquires the needed skills to succeed, s/he would likely know how to manage the funds, as it requires WORK to accumculate.

    To conclude, what’s the point of getting lucky when you don’t have the wisdom to retain wealth. How smart is that!

  4. says

    Hi Renée
    Wow! You packed so much life learning in one comment! I really love your thinking when you say this it’s how one find the balance and grow in wisdom.

    Gosh I hope to be wise one day. I’m sure that’s not coming from some paper ticket.

    Thing is, I find it fun to be engaged and learning from what’s around me . . . when I forget to do that is when I get depressed and cranky and start feeling sorry for myself. Life is meant for living and growing and looking at living and growing things.

  5. says

    Thanks for your compliments, Liz.

    I’ve my fair share in life and I learned it through school of hard knocks!

    As a matter of fact, I learn quite a bit from you myself. We are learning everyday, knowingly or unknowningly!

  6. says

    Yeah, I’m learning every day too . . . unfortunately sometimes I think I’m stuck on the same lesson. Life, to me is often like a video game. If I can get certain life lessons down, I’m sure I’ll get to go on to the next level. :)

  7. says

    This is a terrific post. I especially like 3 & 5.

    I tell people all the time to look for and collect opportunities like you’d hunt for shells on the beach. Pay attention and collect any one you find the least bit interesting. If your bucket gets too full and you find one that you just have to keep, get rid of one of the less interesting ones to make room. Life is like a treasure hunt. And it can be lots of fun!

  8. says

    Hi Tony!
    Welcome. Sounds like you’re a prolific writer with an attitude like that! Curiosity is a wonderful thing. It keeps us interested and interesting when the electricity, DSL, and cell phones don’t work and when we’re alone . . . but not lonely :)

  9. says

    I guess if lots of notecards with partial ideas and random doodles count as prolific, then you pegged me right 😉

    I’m giving it a shot though. It’s not really work if it’s fun, right?

  10. says

    Hi Alan,
    Thanks for sharing your link! I see you’re a man of few words — or in this case one word. :) Yeah, it looks like we were talking about the same thing.

    I find that synchronities like this happen all of the time in the blogosphere, most often with friend and people I really like.

    I hope you’ll stop back and add some thoughts to the conversation so that everyone can listen in to what you thinking on this one. :)

  11. says

    Hi Liz,

    As usual, a thoughtful and interesting post. I’m finally settling into a new house and routine after a rather difficult move (still don’t have our furniture/stuff yet) and I worry that I’ll never get my fledgling freelance writing career back off of the ground after it’s been practically dormant all summer.

    Your article reminded me that the same things that made me successful before things went nuts in June will bring me success again now that it’s September. I especially like “pay attention;” some of the most interesting travel items that I write about are in my local area, not anyplace exotic.

    It’s good to be back! Sheila

  12. says

    Welcome back, Sheila!
    How wonderful to see you!
    Glad to hear that most of the move is behind you and that you can have positive things to look forward to now that you’ve got a place for those roots to grow.

    It’s good to have you back!

  13. Beth says

    Your “plus one” comment was in and of itself worth the daily visit to Successful. Probably should be a blog entry all its own. (Ah…the challenge has been thrown down…will she take it?)

    I’m in a good job now, and interviewing for another equally good job. One of those cases where no matter how good your current job is, you’d be an idiot to not at least interview for the new one. I’m torn because each one’s pros/cons are equally compelling. Your comment reminds me of something at precisely the time I needed to be reminded.

    When you’re looking at opportunities, it’s too easy to get caught up in the financial rewards or the glory rewards. Way too easy. But it’s important to look at the bricks we’ve added to our foundation, the ones we’d like to add, the ones the new opportunity appears to be able to give us. Keeping track of the bricks (details) helps us keep on track for establishing the expertise we want to have (big picture).

    You’re not going to find an opportunity that will give you all the bricks you need to finish your foundation (if that’s possible…to finish). I think all too often, people look for opportunities that will give them all the bricks they want and, when they only provide a subset, they walk away. Then, ten years later, they’re would-have/should-have/could-have-ing all over the place about that opportunity.

    Instead, and in line with what you said, we need to look for a combination of opportunities that will give us the right combination of bricks at the precise times we’re ready and able and willing to work with them.

    Not sure if that makes sense. Running on four hours of sleep after staying up to lay bricks into my foundation.

  14. says

    Hi Beth
    About that challenge . . . don’t be surprised if I take it, ask Arianne Benefit about the one she laid. :)

    What lovely, well-thought, well-written comment. You’ve entended and added so much value to this conversation. You’re a lucky person to be faced with such a choice, but I don’t envy the thinking you have to do.

    Going through the possibilities and comparing them to your skills and your values is a deep thinking, time taking operation that requires investment and self-knowledge — not to mention confidence of the highest level.

    Just the adventure of facing such a choice is an opportunity and a notch in your belt, one of the bricks. 😉

    Thanks for taking the time to write about this. I’m going to be reading it again and again and I hope to find out what happens after you choose. *hint hint*

    Meanwhile, check out the post I wrote this morning, it might help

    You’re not a stranger anymore. You’re a friend now.
    Great to meet you, Beth.

  15. says

    Well, golly. (blush) I stop by for a daily visit and I get a compliment. How could I *not* come back? (chuckle) Might even have more nerve to lurk less and participate more.

    Your post from earlier today did resonate with me. Working on a response to that as well (it takes effort to write short!).

    Getting back to the bricks. I’m not a visual person (I’m more “word smart” than “picture smart”), but I keep a drawing of a brick wall folded up in my current journal. I’ve labeled some bricks, and left some blank for future growth. When I’ve achieved a specific brick, I color it in with colored pencil. For me, the picture (I use the term loosely because I can’t draw to save my life) works better than a list for reminding me how much ground I’ve already covered. It’s helpful for those times when I feel discouraged, or frustrated because things aren’t moving fast enough to suit me.

    It’s a simple tool, but might be useful for someone else.

  16. says

    Hi Whitney Beth,
    What a great idea, keeping that picture of the bricks . . . So many of us don’t stop to look at how far we’ve come, we’re always so busy achieving we don’t see what we’ve already done. Then we don’t realize our own value.

    Good on you! I bet lots of folks take the concept if not the exact idea. You’d make a great teacher!

    You’re not a stranger anymore. You’re a friend now.

  17. says

    Hi WTJ,
    If you start by paying attention to every input, that’s really a whole lot less likely to happen. If you’re always taking information in — without judgment — you’re really in a BETTER position. Folks are less inclined to try to cheat someone who is alert and aware.

    Just as a mugger is less likely to choose someone who pays attention to what’s going on when he is walking down the street . . .

  18. says

    I printed out what you said so I can read it over and over again to myself. I have been taken care of my entire life. From childhood to wife and mommyhood. I want to learn skills outside of house cleaning. I don’t feel like I have much control. Or very many choices for that matter. I don’t want to spend my life blaming others, I just want to do something myself. For myself and for my family.


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