During an exit interview my supervisor, an Ivy league educated Latina, asked me why two inner city kids like us succeeded when so many of our counterparts, with near identical circumstances, did not. My answer — I made the decision to be successful.

People who succeed are not lucky. I don’t believe in luck. I do believe that luck is the child of opportunity and preparation. That being said, from a Latino perspective I do believe that when it comes to success a monsoon of external factors are stacked against us. Success, however, in the traditional sense is largely intrinsic. Essentially, we are responsible for our quality of life — no one else.

The “Lucky” Approach

Successful people approach life with dedication and intention. They are action driven and create doors when opportunity does not knock. In short, successful people understand that their destiny is not guided by serendipity but by the choices that they make. To that end, choices are guided by our thought patterns and because of this our success is dictated by our decisions.

There are two critical things you can do to jump-start your path to success. First, you must decide to operate from the mentality of abundance and feelings of being deserving of success. Those that are stuck tend to operate from a fear-based mentality that is plagued by feelings of inadequacy. Second, analyze your personal blocks. Yep you have them, but everyone does. Make a conscious decision to shift them. These include interpretations, assumptions and limited beliefs about yourself and how you see the world that you believe to be true, but are not.

Tips to Jump-start Your “Luck”

If you are looking to change your luck or draft a blueprint to succeed at a specific goal below are some practical and applicable strategies.

Create New Habits

Habits are the cornerstone of success. Because success’ muse is confidence start by strengthening your self-perception. What are you exposing yourself to? Reading, watching? Is it feeding, nurturing, inspiring you? Be intentional about aligning yourself to media and people that affirm your goals and advancement.

Build Your Board of Directors

As mom always said, tell me who you hang with and I will tell you who you are. Successful people surround themselves with like-minded individuals. Be strategic about the company you keep. Align yourself, or strengthen the relationships with the people you aspire to be more like.

Create/Review Your Goals

My favorite saying is — if you keep carrying the same bricks you will keep building the same house. Successful people understand that they must first create clear goals with benchmarks, but they must also reassess them and re-strategize in order to keep getting to their next level.

Fail Forward

You are going to fail. But after you do, decide that you failed forward. Meaning that you must be intentional about extracting the lessons failure is there to teach you and focus on the opportunity that it gives you for growth and your road to greater success.

Practice Self Care

More leaders are asserting that success is not a money/power dynamic but one that includes a work/life balance that puts your needs first. When your own health and well being suffer it severely affects your overall success. Yoga, running, sleeping more, drawing, whatever it looks like for you, do it. You can’t fill another’s tank if yours is empty.

Image credit: istockphoto.com/TopShot UK

About The Author

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José is the Executive Director of GRIOT Circle, the only staffed non-profit organization in the country that provides social services to LGBTQ elders of color. José is a Certified Life and Empowerment Coach and a trained psychotherapist. As his writing angles are diverse, he often writes about personal development and growth. His most recent book, which he co-authored, The Happy Law Practice: Strategies to Build Business While Maintaining Peace of Mind, can be found on Amazon. José holds a bachelor’s in Psychology from the University at Albany, an MA in Education and Human Development with a concentration in Community Counseling from The George Washington University, an Advanced Certificate in Executive Leadership and Non Profit Management from NYU and received his Certification as a Professional Life Coach from The Institute from Professional Excellence in Coaching.

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