15 Oct Serendipity 101: How I Create Luck (take this ONE golden step)
“…when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
— Paul Coelho, The Alchemist
This article is shorter than usual, so to add to the fun, I filmed a video and linked to a handful of our most popular articles on the topics discussed. Take some time to soak them in.
To start, watch the below video, then dive into the text and links that follow…
Have you ever seen the people who just seem lucky – all the time?
Their projects always seem to just work out, they meet the right people, get the right breaks and things just flow.
Well, I don’t buy it. Telling other people they’re luckier than you is an excuse. It’s hiding behind selfish fear.
Sure, there’s blind luck involved in everything. But these consistent “success” stories always have a pattern.
I believe that pattern – that formula for being lucky – comes down to one practice…
Know the people who inspire you.
Know the authors and influencers you want to meet.
Know who you are, the things that excite you and the difference you want to make.
Know your everyday elevator pitch.
Know the unique ways you can help people.
Know the things, ideas, people, places and events you care enough to make time for.
Have the courage to share your work, even when it’s not ready – because it never is.
Then show up.
First, show up mentally…
Step into the person you are and you know you want to be, which is someone who shares himself and inspires others with the ideas and difference he wants to make.
Be the person who doesn’t try to puff out his chest or offer a facade to the world. Instead, be someone who decides to refresh the world by being unapologetically and vulnerably you. Because when you’re you, you give the people you’re with permission to be them. That’s often the greatest gift.
Then show up in the real world…
Instead of finding excuses for being too busy with things that probably don’t matter, find reasons to meet that friend or friend of a friend for lunch, to attend that last-minute event, or say hello to the interesting person sitting in the seat next to you on the plane.
Adopt the expectation that the time you invest will be worthwhile.
Believe that you’ll meet the person who will help get you to the next step – and just as importantly, the one who you can inspire to take their own step.
Because when you expect magic to come from the things you do, and you lean into that belief, magic starts to show up. “Coincidences” start to become commonplace.
You recently decided to sign up for a marathon, and the next day, you happen to sit next to a 60-year-old 10-time marathoner on the park bench.
You finally commit to starting your book, and that night, the father of your daughter’s preschool teacher turns out to be an editor – whom you only met after dragging yourself to that open house.
A failed business leads to your life’s work.
The “lucky” ones don’t fail any less than you do. In fact, they probably fail a lot more. But to them, it’s not failure. They do something with it. They’re habitually resourceful.
This is what I call serendipity – fortuitous luck – or as Webster puts it, “the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way”.
They’re the coincidences that can’t be explained. The luck that starts to feel normal.
When the student is ready, the teacher appears.
If you go to an event thinking it will be a waste of time, it will be.
If you show up excitedly wondering who you’re going to meet, you’ll connect with someone worthwhile.
If you think the world is out to get you, it is.
If you lean into possibility and embody what matters to you, the world will be in your corner.
When we know who we are and consistently show up and represent that to the world, our conversations change. The people we hang around and those we attract are those who align with that vision.
People notice. Doors start to open. The red carpet begins to appear.
And it all starts with that decision to show up.
That’s why our LYL Local in-person communities have become so powerful for our hosts and attendees. They didn’t show up to meet their new best friend or business partner. They never dreamed they’d finish their book or get their wife to finally understand why they’ve taken the road less traveled. But every one of those things have happened – numerous times around the world.
LYL members didn’t come because they were guaranteed or expected a world-changing experience. They just showed up because something inside them said that’s what needed to happen. These were the people they knew they should be around. Then came the luck. And the more they showed up, the spiral of serendipity grew.
In a few minutes, I’ll be landing in West Palm Beach, Florida, to trade ideas (i.e. learn from) 20 entrepreneurs from around the world for a 3-day, in-person mastermind session.
I only know one person who will be there, and everyone has more experience than I do – by a looong shot.
The timing of this event was awful. I’ve been on the road or entertaining guests for nearly 30 days straight and I only have two months left before Chelsea and I leave San Francisco for our year around the world – to see many of you (I’m not complaining, trust me!).
But I’ve been around long enough to know what happens at gatherings like this.
And that’s why I can’t wait for these wheels to touch down and see what comes of it.
To be clear, this is not me handing out a prescription to run yourself into the ground by saying “yes” and showing up to everything under the sun.
I’m suggesting you get crystal clear about how you want to show up so that you can say “no” to everything that’s not you and say “Hell, yes!” to the actions that change everything.
So, what’s one way you can show up in the next week? Tell us in the comments.
P.S. There are BIG things coming for Live Your Legend Local very soon. We’ve been working crazy hard behind the scenes to set up a totally new platform that I believe is going to transform the way in which all of us can connect – in the real world and online. Hosts to hosts, attendees to attendees and everything in between.
I think this is going to totally change the trajectory of LYL Local. And the best part? As always, it’s totally free to all of you. Because we believe that surrounding yourself with passionate inspiring people in the real world is a fundamental right. And we’re doing all we can to facilitate that. More details coming soon!
BenPosted at 06:08h, 15 October
Great example of the rewards putting yourself out there…and creating your own luck.
Reminds me of how I felt the first time I went to WDS but by the time I had dozens of new friends. Here we are two years later still supporting each other on our career paths.
This article is a great reminder to prioritize showing up in person whenever possible.
mike GoncalvesPosted at 06:28h, 15 October
Great post Scott, thanks! Love the middle name too, makes this post that much more fitting. Couldn’t agree with you more, nothing happens or has a chance to happen unless I show up. Nothing works unless I do. I often find myself wondering what happens after I show up, then what? I’ve decided to stop thinking so much, just show up, tell myself something great awaits me, and then go and see what happens. Believing or having faith that something good is about to happen to is tough for me to wrap my mind around at times. It’s the unknown. I do know though that if anything is going to happen, it won’t be by sitting at home behind my desk. I use to only go to Toastmasters when I was scheduled to deliver a speech and then I began to realize the opportunity I was missing out on to connect with others, listen to their stories, and their speeches, by not going regularly. I wasn’t putting myself in a position to “get lucky”. I’ve changed that. I show up now, every week. Cheers!
SarahPosted at 06:40h, 15 October
I think there is just so much power in STARTING. Doing something – anything – to inch toward where you want to be. You can’t make any progress without “showing up” or starting, no matter how small the action.
I managed to quadruple my income in a matter of a few years by taking small, measured steps and just DOING something. Meeting people, networking, and taking small steps to change the direction of my life.
There is some luck in this world but most of the luck is created by the person experiencing it.
IvyPosted at 06:44h, 15 October
Amazing post, so helpful as always.
“If you go to an event thinking it will be a waste of time, it will be.
If you show up excitedly wondering who you’re going to meet, you’ll connect with someone worthwhile.
If you think the world is out to get you, it is.
If you lean into possibility and embody what matters to you, the world will be in your corner”
These 4 lines could not have come at a better time. I now fully understand just how important showing up as your truest self is. I took part in your blog challenge with much excitement, but like I have for most of my life- I let my fears get the best of me, and I felt extremely ashamed for not having gone through with the prompts everyday, always thinking…maybe I need to edit some more, think of a better name.
But yesterday I finally decided to publish the post that had been sitting on my computer for two weeks now! I finally started my blog! and it felt great…and even though my biggest fears are still there. I’m learning to move past it.
So thanks for this Scott, its such a great reminder to go out there and make things happen for yourself, instead of waiting for luck to come and hold your hand and magically guide you to your palace of dreams. That palace is something we must work for, from scratch.
Eddie de JongPosted at 09:04h, 15 October
The great South African golfer Garry Player said: “The more I practice, the luckier I get.”
Showing up and doing something are the keys to building your ‘luck’. Don’t know what to do? Do anything, it’s better than doing nothing!
This guy desperately wanted to win the lotto, so he prayed about it regularly. One day a voice from above responded “Please give me a chance, at least buy a ticket!”
(no disrespect or blasphemy intended 🙂
RebeccaPosted at 13:24h, 15 October
Absolutely true! I have learned over the past year that unapologetically and unpretentiously being yourself — showing up to LIFE as your true self — is so incredibly powerful all on its own. It can be very hard to learn to do, but the rewards are immediate and enormous.
lynnePosted at 17:55h, 15 October
Hi, great post, when a person is successful that doesn’t mean that there were no obstacles encountered , it only means that they have learned to move beyond failures that leads them to a successful path. Thanks for sharing a very informative post.
Sebastian Aiden DanielsPosted at 19:53h, 15 October
This was a well timed piece for me. Thank you for writing this. Showing up is one of the hardest things for me. I can get complacent in staying home and not following after my dreams at times and it a detriment. A reminder to just show up and work towards my goals one small step at a time was much needed at this point in my life.
LetiPosted at 14:53h, 16 October
I can show up consistently this next week by completing all of my work responsibilities well and in a timely manner while also choosing to consistently pursue my dreams for the future (which are not connected to my current jobs).
MichaelPosted at 07:55h, 17 October
Love this! This has been a common theme for you over the years and I’ll testify to it’s incredible power. Thanks a lot!
“The harder I work, the luckier I get.”
Catherine CavanaughPosted at 00:58h, 18 October
Do you suppose that if your life continues to batter you with obstacles and things just going bad, for which everyone around you attributes to nothing but “bad luck” that maybe it’s time to move away or try something else? I’m not sure exactly how long I’m supposed to wait for a serendipitous moment, but I am willing to keep trying forever, because there’s just no other alternative.
BradPosted at 13:42h, 20 October
How you show up for life determines almost everything about where you’re going. Showing up mentally doesn’t just happen, it requires a certain effort. Everyday you’ve got to spend a few minutes thinking about where you are going, who you want to be and making sure you tell yourself that until YOU believe it. Until you believe in yourself, no one else will. Awesome post Scott and the TED talk rocked..
Scott DinsmorePosted at 15:50h, 20 October
Well thanks Brad! Loved this comment btw.
Karen H.Posted at 00:13h, 21 October
This is How I’m Trying Out My Luck
Can My Girlfriend Meet Leo Babauta Through You?
I know this is a long shot. And logically, there is no way you’re going to do this for me. In any case, I’m going to give it a try.
I want it to be part of my Christmas gift or marriage proposal for her. She is a huge fan of Leo and would very much like to meet him even through a Skype call or something. This would really make her happy. And it would really make me happy to make her happy. I plan to propose to her some time soon. And I intend to do that by folding one thousand paper cranes. I’m on my 758th, by the way. 🙂
I know there isn’t any reason for you to do this because you’re busy enough as it is, but if you could accommodate this request, this would mean so much to us. So please? 🙂
But whether you do or don’t, I’d like to thank you for inspiring me to do the stuff that I love doing. I just quit my job and am currently learning design software so I can put my talent to good use. I think the community you’ve built in Live Your Legend is awesome and is one of the forces that will change the world and make it a better place.
Thank you and I really hope to get a response from you.
O hai let me wanna-be! pe Trilema - Un blog de Mircea Popescu.Posted at 10:07h, 22 October
[…] are seeing this because your blog was recently used as part of a DDOS attack against […]
Jan KochPosted at 01:31h, 23 October
This is one of the most important lessons I learned in my first year of being an entrepreneur. When I just do the work and believe in myself, opportunities do show up.
Seneca once said “luck is when preparation meets opportunity.” That’s why I do the work every single day. I’m suffering from a flue for a few days now, yet I manage to get at least a little bit of work done every day. First, it doesn’t feel like work. Second, I managed to line up an amazing interview that I probably would have missed otherwise.
So, we all need to continually show up.
Thanks for sharing this lesson Scott!
NoelPosted at 06:39h, 27 October
This is absolutely true Scott. A person makes his own luck through hardwork and determination. I used to be complacent yet always complain how others are luckier than I am but I’ve learned a lot from personal development books and tapes that if we have a dream and we are persistent in coming after it, luck will come to us. Thanks for sharing this post!
LynnePosted at 02:03h, 30 October
Great advice to just show up. Make your presence known and find your place in your family, community, the world. Your determination and your decision to do something and just show up is all the luck you need.
MaríaPosted at 00:58h, 02 December
Before even reading this post I had the feeling that hiding behind my usual pile of books was taking me nowhere so I have decided to open up a bit showing up at some social networks – something I haven’t even considered for a long time and know what? I have this feeling that I have done exactly what I needed to do. It might be true that showing up is the starting point of some new, good things.
Hazel PerryPosted at 03:51h, 15 December
Wonderful post! The article is truly infinite and simple to do follow up in a right way. Keep sharing with us!
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Herlin FarnandisPosted at 01:03h, 10 March
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10 lessons to learn from the legend himself – Scott DinsmorePosted at 02:09h, 18 September
[…] 9. Creating your own luck. […]
Ultimo FashionsPosted at 03:49h, 18 December
thanks for the great sharing with us its such nice post. i would like to again visit here!
StaceyPosted at 17:56h, 24 April
I will show up this week by being true to myself and being prepared for an important meeting.
Sky NelsonPosted at 13:56h, 15 May
Great post from Scott. Rings really true, just show up. Chelsea, if you get this, I am a physicist studying synchronicity/serendipity. I have a short written piece on “The Physics of Flow,” linked below. My perspective aligns with this post wonderfully. If you like it, I’d love to share it as a guest blogger, or something like that, for our community to benefit from. (the piece below is just the intro)
D'Arcy BurgessPosted at 13:40h, 28 September
Who is the genius behind this post?? I love it! I’m inspired!
D'Arcy BurgessPosted at 13:44h, 28 September
I just googled Scott Dinsmore and read that he passed away in 2015. Can someone confirm if this is true or not?
Chris RiversPosted at 15:43h, 13 December
I will show up ready to serve. Be the born leader i truly am. Let everyone know that I’m here to party. The task before us may look tough to some of you, but know this… You will gain confidence from me, you will become something you never thought you could be just by following my lead. If you skin your knee, ill be there, if you make a mistake ill be there. I cant do it without you so join me and lets do this together…
BebePosted at 00:00h, 22 January
Hello would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with?
I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m having a difficult time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs
and I’m looking for something unique. P.S My apologies for
getting off-topic but I had to ask!