The Bright Side of Things

The question is how to fully harness ambition. It’s hard to be ambitious about a goal if you don’t believe it’s possible. It’s also difficult to rally ambition if you’re already anticipating a negative outcome.

The key to mastering ambition and realizing your luck potential is positivity. According to scientific studies, positive people consider themselves to be lucky, while negative people consider themselves to be unlucky. This shouldn’t be surprising. Positive people enjoy good fortune because that’s what they anticipate. Their awareness is focused on positive outcomes.

The same studies also show that those who employ a positive outlook tend to make better decisions, meet more of their goals, and create “luck” out of chance events and encounters. So how can you be one of them?

First of all, look for opportunities in all events, be they positive or negative. “Lucky” individuals put themselves in high-leverage situations because their positive outlook attunes them to opportunities when they arise. From an outside perspective this phenomenon appears to be good fortune, but in reality, it is strategic.

The question is whether your focus is on the constructive or destructive. Ambition and attention are partners in crime. Ambition follows the direction of attention. Where do you direct most of your attention?

Matt’s attention was focused on meeting a great romantic catch, and that’s what he continually experienced. If your attention is focused on never making your sales quota, you’ll most likely be banging your head against the wall month after month. Alternatively, if your attention is directed toward the lessons you’re learning while trying to make your sales quota, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to grow in your profession and to eventually nail that huge commission.

Nothing happens overnight, including good luck. Entrepreneurs who sell their startups for millions didn’t begin in such a cushioned position. Many people assume that these self-starters simply turned on a computer, entered a few lines of code, and then sold their creation for millions. Success doesn’t work that way, and neither does luck. They both require hard work, resilience, and optimism. Your experience of luck is completely dependent on your perspective.

When a positive outlook is coupled with ambition, serendipitous events are guaranteed to follow. It’s only a matter of time.



This article is an excerpt from the book “The Whiteboard: Go from Blank Canvas to a Productive, Leveraged, & Highly-Profitable Business” by Chris Haddon and Jason Balin. Please click here to see more.