I don’t know where he learned about the subject, but the thing is, recently, my son had the idea of finding a four-leaf clover, you know, for luck. A few times when we’ve gone around our neighborhood, he has been combing through any green spots.
Perhaps it has been through some fault of my own that he has heard about good luck. The last time we were in Manhattan, we passed the bull on Wall Street to greet it and do the ritual, with the thought of returning soon to New York. At that moment, I told him about the good luck tradition associated with the statue.
I myself have, as a sort of joke, kept dollars and euros in my wallet. Yes, it might be a bit superstitious, but the truth is that for the great majority, we have all flirted with the idea of good luck in different ways.
Professional athletes do it when they are going into a game, sports fans do it when using their “lucky” clothes, the one who avoids going underneath a ladder does it, as does the person who repeats a ritual when he or she needs “a little help”. Generally speaking, we associate luck with symbolism or mantras while we wait for fate to have a good day and favor us with fortune. A luck that is totally dependent on the circumstances.
On the other hand, less commonly, there are those of us who are of the mindset that luck favors those who are prepared. We have read inspirational phrases from famous personalities that remind us to be ready when opportunity and luck knock at our door. We focus on preparation, placing our attention on a moment in the future when a lucky break will appear and will change our lives once and for all.
… that luck is the one you create for yourself, with effort, dedication, humility, and, as I have learned in the last few months, with a bit of serendipity.
That is also probably why I remind my son that luck does not come from a fun ritual featuring the bull of Wall Street, or finding a four-leaf clover in the neighborhood – besides, I am not even sure there are clovers in this part of the tropics. I tell him that luck is the one you create for yourself, with effort, dedication, humility, and, as I have learned in the last few months, with a bit of serendipity.
The first time I read about this topic was at the start of 2021, through a Spanish publication of a report by Dr. Christian Busch, who had published a book about this subject in mid-2020. The fact that we can create our own luck really captured my attention, not just because we focus on something but more so, by taking advantage of those moments of serendipity as we walk through life. It isn’t something mystical or left up to chance. Basically, it is taking advantage and being on the lookout for those small sparks in life.
At the moment of writing this article, I have in my hands the current and extended version of Connect the Dots, the Art and Science of Creating Good Luck, written by Dr. Busch, who is currently the Director of the Center for Global Affairs Global Economy Program at New York University, where he is also a professor, as he is in the London School of Economics, as well as co-founder of Sandbox Network and Leaders on Purpose – two organizations linked to the development of leadership and innovation – in addition to several other professional activities.
What does luck and serendipity have to do with leadership, innovation, science and all these academic subjects?
A lot! Creating our luck is not just about finding money on the street or finding parking at a shopping mall on a weekend. Currently, we live in the most ever-changing, ambiguous and uncertain world there has ever been in history and learning to embrace this uncertainty, opening our eyes intentionally, being prepared to find those moments of “fate” and then, creating with them something meaningful and fortunate will allow us to prosper in these specific areas.
Additionally, in his book, Dr. Busch tells us how connecting the dots generally allows us to get to moments of joyfulness and wellness in any area of our lives. It is no longer a matter of waiting to see if fate favors us or focusing on future luck, which we are not sure will ever come. Instead, nurturing, shaping and making it a lifestyle, taking advantage of each moment and circumstance that we face.
What if being luck were a skill that we could dominate and teach others?
On the back of the book, it poses the question of what if being luck were a skill that we could dominate and teach others? And that is precisely what Connect the Dots, the Art and Science of Creating Good Luck does. Through profound reflection – some autobiographical by Dr. Busch – and practical exercises, suggestions and examples, as a result of more than 10 years of research in diverse branches and interviews to organizations and globally renown inspirational leaders, the book teaches us that we can stop depending on things or crossing our fingers, that in the day to day there are interesting opportunities that we can take for our benefit, or for the benefit of those around us and for the world in general.
Personally, I can say that Connect the Dots, the Art and Science of Creating Good Luck is an obligatory study guide for those of us who want to be agents of change in the world. It is an inspiring book to those of us naturally born optimists. And, also, it helps us shape our children to the fact that searching for four-leaf clovers can be a hobby and not a pursuit of fortune in our lives.
Thank you very much, Christian and Penguin Books for the book.
To see more about the book and buy it, click here.