At Work

Get lucky: 3 mindsets that help you ‘score’ at work

Imagine this: A lady who seemed to have her stars aligned perfectly in her favour who never really experienced real obstacles in her pursuit of success; A young entrepreneur who creates a simple app and sells his company for the billions that he never imagined having; A fresh graduate who gets his dream job within the first try; An employee who gets a double promotion within the first year. A real estate agent being able to close the deal within one viewing.

“Super lucky!” we might say!

I used to believe in this idea of luck, thinking I was lucky with every single small and big milestone that I achieved. That is, until someone said “Wow, you’re so lucky!” It was then that I took a few steps back and said, “Hey! I worked very hard for this!”

So which is what and what is which? Does the concept of luck exist in view of achieving one’s success? How do we get lucky or luckier?

Here’s the deal about your luck.

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1) The harder you work, the luckier you get

Despite the uncertainty as to whether luck exists or not, you cannot deny that anyone who has achieved their success today, has put in incredible effort, time, passion, enthusiasm, thought and action.

Michael Jordan believed in his lucky pair of shorts which he wore under his uniform in every game. Yet, he is quoted saying, “I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

It would be safe to say that if his shorts were genuinely lucky, he wouldn’t have failed that many times!

Similarly, I’ve heard of someone saying that luck really came to them when a dog followed them home and they decided to adopt the dog, whilst another attributing luck following the birth of their second child.

These individuals, however, were real, true hard workers who had luck coming their way to begin with despite the dog or the child.

2) The more you try, the luckier you get

Stanford professor Robert Sutton explored what makes a company speed up their technological innovation. He meticulously analysed a range of factors – almost everything you can think of – and the only thing that correlated definitively with consistently successful innovation was the amount of times a company tried, the volume of activity, how much they stuck through the journey of challenge and how much they put themselves out there.

As Brian Tracy says, “I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances, be active and show up more often.”

3) The more you break out of your psychological prison, the luckier you get

I met a participant during a training session whose husband passed away with a sudden terminal illness when she was pregnant with her second child.

Many people associated her loss with bad luck. Some even suggested that her “over-love” for her husband caused his death, whilst others attributed the loss of her husband to not performing her religious rituals consistently.

In a year of believing in her bad luck, her self-esteem decreased and her bad luck increased.

One day, she woke up and thought, “Am I not the luckiest woman with the most beautiful children in the world?” Breaking out from her psychological prison and shifting her state of mind, she felt more empowered, more engaged and more in control all over again.

Soon after, she began to work harder, get more professional qualifications and truly enjoy the beauty of motherhood. Today, she is a source of inspiration to her family who believe incredibly in how lucky they are to have a daughter like her.

We can’t confirm whether luck truly exists or doesn’t but the more powerful question to ask instead is “What is the most empowering belief I can have about luck?”

Whilst there are things that may be out of our control, won’t focusing instead on what we can control with our mindset, intent and actions be a surer bet of getting luckier?

Hetal Doshi – Suhana Daswani is a professionally qualified organisational psychologist, certified professional coach, and the founder of O Psych Sdn Bhd, with an expertise in work performance, team dynamics and emotional intelligence. To get in touch with her, drop an email to


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