The other day, I was at India Internet Day and listening to what Sachin Bansal has to say. He’s the co-founder of Flipkart, India’s biggest e-commerce website. He gave us his secret of success – being lucky. He insisted that he made it big because he was in the right place at the right time.
Let me confess I have a bad habit – I’m an avid reader. I read a lot. So do my brothers. And believe me, it’s not that good. It’s always better to read less and do more.
Recently, one of my brothers was reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. He told me, according to Gladwell, likes of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and many others are so successful because they were 1955 born. “What about me?”, I muttered, “What to do if I am not born in 55?” My elder brother replied, “Chill! You aren’t lucky enough.”
So, what can we do about being lucky? How to be in the right place at the right time? Can we be lucky at all? My answer – of course, we can.
Luck Rubs Off
Yea, it does. Believe me! How? Let me tell you about myself.
I am one of the directors of Ojas Softech Pvt. Ltd. We have created AstroSage.com, world’s largest astrology website. Do I know astrology? Nah. Do I know how to code? Not much. Am I very experienced in online business? Not at all. I’ve become the part of this company as soon as I finished my studies – see, not much of experience.
How did I manage to become a part of such a great success story? I was just telling you about my elder brothers and their equally bad habit of reading. Yup, you got it right. They formed the company and I just jumped on the bandwagon.
They’re those rare individuals who we refer to as “genius”. Punit, my elder brother, is a born entrepreneur, a master astrologer and a geek – I know, a deadly combo. He created this awesome website called AstroSage, made India’s biggest astrological mobile app and what not.
Piyush, my eldest brother, is one of the most creative minds I’ve ever met. He’s a prolific writer and also one of the sharpest brains in media industry today. Talk with him for half an hour and you will get at least ten disruptive business ideas.
Both of they founded this extra-ordinary company and guess what! Their success rubbed off on me! As simple as this. I learned a lot from them, they made me one of the directors of the company, taught me entrepreneurship, proved excellent mentors and imparted writing skill – everything invaluable.
But, what if you don’t have brothers who are genius and lucky?
The Ancient Secret That Will Make You Lucky
If you don’t have a genius brother, what to do? Well, find one. That’s the key – going out and finding someone who can help you become successful. Whose luck might rub off on you. And do not restrict yourself to just one, because there’s no point in taking unnecessary risks. Find as many smart people as you can and befriend them. It’s called “Satsanga” in Sanskrit.
“Sat” means good and “Sanga” means to accompany, so “Satsanga” means keeping a good company. You are who your friends are – a great and yet mostly ignored psychological truth. Dr. Amen, author of the best-selling book “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life”, stresses:
Taking stock of who you spend time with and spending more time with positive people will keep your brain healthy and make you more productive and happy.
The more exceptional and happy people you know, the more chances you have to be lucky and successful. Find many such people and you are gonna be lucky for sure. Yup, I know what you are thinking now. Why should anybody help you – is it what you’re assessing? The Vedas say:
ॐ संगच्छध्वं संवदध्वं सं वो मनांसि जानताम्।
देवा भागं यथा पूर्वे सञ्जानाना उपासते॥
May you move in harmony, speak in one voice; let your minds be in agreement; just as the ancient gods were worshiped because they were united.
This is something most smart people already know. Harmony and unity, says Vedas, gave that exalted status even to gods. They’re always looking to connect with those who can provide some value to them. So, if you are generous enough, it is not very difficult to be a part of their circle. Keith Ferrazzi, author of the New York Times bestseller “Never Eat Alone” doles out his secret of getting Satsanga:
When you help others, they often help you. “Reciprocity” is the gussied-up word people use later in life to describe this ageless principle... Over time, I came to see reaching out to people as a way to make a difference in people’s lives as well as a way to explore and learn and enrich my own; it became the conscious construction of my life’s path.
Isn’t it deceptively simple? Seemingly small things matter a lot. The world is interdependent. If you help others be more successful, obviously you’re gonna be more yourself too.
If you can tell someone where to find a good book, what’s best restaurant for Italian cuisine, an app that would be very useful, or any value-addition for that matter – you earn the right to be a part of his or her company, his or her Satsanga.
But it isn’t enough. You need one more wonder ingredient for Satsanga and for getting lucky – serendipity. You need serendipity to meet awesome people.
Take Control Of Attracting Serendipity
The dictionary defines “serendipity” as “good luck in making unexpected and fortunate discoveries”.
Doesn’t it look like the chicken and the egg problem, eh? You need to hang out with great people to be lucky, and you need luck to meet great people.
Yea, I know. It sounds absurd – How can I control serendipity! Of course, you cannot. No one can. But, you can attract serendipity. Let me tell you how.
I’m not a great fan of mathematics. Most of us are not. But it answers a lot of our questions. And it also tells us how to attract serendipity. The answer is quite aboveboard – probability. That’s it. Probability leads to serendipity.
If you try to meet one successful person, you might fail. If you try to befriend just one smart chap, you might flunk; but if you try it out with umpteen number of people, your success is assured.
I can tell you this because I did it myself. And I can tell you this too – the more experience you have, the more probability of your success is there. With the time, we learn how to get along with people better, how to make friends with more ease, how to touch their hearts and how to attract serendipity in meeting people. Just improve the probability by giving a bit more effort.
As you get serendipitous in accompanying great people, luck inevitably rubs off. All of a sudden, you find yourself surrounded with great ideas, amazing opportunities and intelligent people. The only thing required is helping and caring for people from the bottom of your heart. Adam Grant, author of best-selling book “Give and Take” puts it the best:
You never know where somebody’s going to end up. It’s not just about building your reputation; it really is about being there for other people.
By the way, I’ve recently befriended some of very deft Table Tennis players. I’m sure you will find me hitting impeccable forehands and backhands pretty soon. Come to my place; we’re gonna play a game or two for sure. For me, “Satsanga” with you really matters. :)
And yea, as I always say – just do it, do it, do it!
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