It has nothing to do with luck.
One of my pet peeves is people telling me they're just "unlucky," as an explanation for why they don't have a great job, don't live in an exciting city, or aren't in a fulfilling relationship. Really?
Even in poker, while there's luck involved, there's also skill and the work of honing that skill. When it comes to being discovered as an actor, or getting that coveted job at an amazing law firm, there's always the luck of being in the right place at the right time, but you're not getting the job without skill and hard work as well.
So when I read Jesse Singal's piece, chiding Americans for ignoring the role of luck when it comes to prosperity and success, I was a little perturbed. I get his point and I don't disagree. But, as he notes, it's not ONLY luck that gets us where we want to go.
1. Seize every opportunity.
A friend invites you on a trip and you debate whether this is the best vacation opportunity for you. Later, you may look back and say it was so lucky you got that invite otherwise you'd have never met the love of your life.
Yes, the invitation was a lucky coincidence. But if you'd said "no" to it, and to the guy who asked you to dance when you were totally beat and didn't really want to engage, where would you be now?
2. Be open to new experiences.
An opportunity to join a group hike in a nearby park pops up on your Facebook feed and you consider, and consider and consider. Just say "yes"! If you're thinking about it that much you obviously have some interest. So what if hiking's not really your jam?
Like going on the aforementioned vacation, this is how people meet. It's by chance. But you have to take a chance to make it happen.
3. Give a man a chance.
I'm not saying you always have to go for a second date. That said, I hear a lot of stories about people meeting years after an initial encounter and finding they really have a connection.
I suspect there was nothing wrong the first time, they just didn't give it their best shot. So maybe your guy's nervous on a first date or had a bad day. You can't always put your best foot forward on a first meeting and it often takes longer to accurately assess someone.
Unless it's a hard "no," maybe he's worth another look.
3. Try another approach.
So you said you'd never try online dating, speed dating, matchmaking or singles events because they feel too forced. If you're not meeting the person you want the way you want, it's time to try something else.
Ask yourself what you have to lose. If it's a little time working up a profile or hanging out somewhere meeting people, that seems like a low cost. If you do meet someone it feels so lucky, but that's because you made your luck by trying a different approach.
4. Be authentic.
When your now-fiancé tells people it was your quirky sense of humor, how comfortable you seemed in your own skin or your "Game of Thrones" obsession that got his attention, you may think it was serendipity.
When it feels like too many doors have been shut in your face and your dating luck has run out, look for an open window. What's the opportunity you've missed? Is there a new experience or approach you might try?
Connect with who you really are and keep playing the game. Just like poker, it's not just about the hand you're dealt, it's about playing your cards right.