At any rate, we talked for quite a while. Having such an engaging conversation with a stranger reminded me of this old post from July 2008. I never repost, but I figure I had about 10 readers back then, so it's unlikely you've seen this. With the New Year almost upon us, I think it's particularly timely.
Why not invite some good luck into the year ahead?
How to Attract Good Luck
Last Sunday morning I was floating in the pool reading How to Attract Good Luck, a book written by A.H.Z. Carr and published in 1952. God knows where I picked up this little gem, but I know I bought it second hand; it still has the $2.00 sticker on the cover. I want to share some simple principles from Chapter 2, “How Zest Exposes Us to Luck.”
According to the author, in order to attract good luck, we must first be exposed to it. Carr states that most of the time a lucky episode occurs when somebody says something important to us, and that a high proportion of luck comes to us through strangers. “Between ourselves and those who cross our path,” Carr says, “chance throws out an invisible thread of awareness, a ‘luck-line.’ It is not too much to say that any new acquaintance to whom we throw out a luck-line represents a possible gain in our future luck and happiness.”
Carr goes on: “To say that to expose ourselves to luck, then, means in essence to come into healthy human relationships with more people.” This means the more luck-lines you throw out, the more luck you’re likely to find.
The author contends that “unexpected friendliness” is the secret of much of the luck of life and offers this verse from Edwin Arlington Robinson:
“There came along a man who looked at himUnexpected friendliness. Are you leaving yourself open to it?
With such an unexpected friendliness
And talked with him in such a common way
That life grew marvelously different.”
I often say that writing is a lonely endeavor; the overwhelming majority of us are soloists. But think of the luck that could happen if instead of writing at home, we move to a café or other public place.
Unexpected friendliness. Are you offering it to others? That's the key, if you ask me. You're really, really lucky when you've been able to make someone else's life "marvelously different."