We normally see people who are lucky as unique, special, just like those who are exceptional talented and creative in their fields. However, there is an important relationship between exceptional creative performance or creative living and luck.
Luck is not an abstract feature that some individuals possess and others lack; luck is a factor of attitude, observation, insight and action.
Creativity is not something you are born with or not, rather, creativity is a factor of skill, knowledge, ethic and preparation.
Creativity and luck are found when you set yourself up to be in the right place, at the right time, in the right mindset as much as possible.
To mirror the axiom – set yourself up for success.
Setup the Creative Game
Prepare your space.
Find your creative rituals and tools. For some it may be a cup of tea while they work with pen and paper; for another it will be an empty studio with headphones blasting music; and so on. For myself, I need a cup of tea or coffee to write and engage. I don’t know why, but I’ve noticed my work flows better when I can pause, take a sip, then continue. So, I make sure I have it.
Set the rules of your space. No interruptions. No e-mail, no phone. Maybe you work to music, maybe you work in silence. Maybe you function with the T.V. on in the background, or alone outside. Discover the environment that lets your mind open up and be free to the creative process.
Prepare your mind
Know your domain. Spend time researching the nooks and crannies of your field. Learn the best techniques and strategies for pursuing action. Examine where your domain intersects with other areas of knowledge and explore edges; don’t restrict yourself to the commonly tested ground. Study the critiques and contradictions to established knowledge.
It is with a deep understanding of your domain that you will recognize the possibility of a phrase, a stroke of the brush, or the opportunity of new business as the opening to a successful creation.
Prepare your body
Practice makes perfect. And practice gives you the skills to create the possibilities you imagine. Establish routines of practice so that when it comes to create, you can let the vision take over without worrying if your technique is good. As a dancer I know the technique and the theory behind exceptional movement, yet when I perform I don’t want thoughts of technique and theory interrupting my performance.
With practice, your body knows many things that are obscured with conscious thought. Trust in the practice your body has absorbed and let it do its work.
Prepare your senses
One can only be lucky if one can see the moment of possibility. With knowledge, trust in your body and the space for creation, the moments will emerge. Look for these moments, believe they exist, and grasp them when they surface.
Create methods for capturing these moments if your work is fleeting. As a dancer I record my practice or training because upon review I may discover the seed of a creation that I would have missed otherwise.
Play The Creative Game
Playing within your life, your work, your art with a prepared space, mind and body creates the opportunity for you to see opportunities (lucky moments) emerge. Each piece of the puzzle of creative luck comes together so that you see more than the sum of their parts.
Play is one of the most powerful creative expressions that we engage in from the youngest of ages. Creative play employs skill, knowledge, practice and sense in a directed way, unattached to the exact destination or outcome.
Play is the space for accidental creation – the lucky break.
Those who are most creative are, in a sense, the luckiest. They have a habit of cultivating the aspects of their life which increase the opportunities for creation.
The victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.
– Sun Tzu
Possessing luck is an act of living creatively.
Be prepared, take the best of what is presented, strive for the best of possibilities, and remember there is yet another game ahead.