Vail Daily column: Lucky and good |

Vail Daily column: Lucky and good

Michael Norton
Vail, CO Colorado

It seems like many people hope and sometimes even count on their “luck” to get them through. These are the types of folks who are lucky at everything from games to love and they look forward to the each gamble as it comes their way.

Then there are others who feel like if it weren’t for bad luck, they would have no luck at all. They avoid taking gambles like the plague and are certain that either they will not win or that even the teams or individuals they root for will certainly lose.

I have even heard people make the claim that they would rather be lucky than good. I am sure you have heard it at some point, too, when you witness someone make an incredible golf shot, get a promotion or new job, and maybe even when they close a big deal or gain a new customer.

For me, I would rather be lucky and good, not just one or the other. Why settle for one when we can have both? I am a believer in another often quoted statement, “It seems the harder I work, the luckier I get.” Putting in the extra effort while we learn and practice new skills will always lead to greater results. Not sometimes, but all of the time. Even if the progress is small at first, hard work, applied skills and adequate rehearsal will always yield some type of improvement.

The student who goes from a “D” or a “C” to a “B” in a class may have been a little lucky on a multiple choice question, but to move up a grade or two didn’t come from a few lucky guesses, it most likely came from a little more focus and sustained study time than ever before, and maybe even some coaching or tutoring from a teacher or friend.

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The sales person who closed a big deal may have been in the right place at the right time, but more than likely they planned and prepared a prospecting strategy, took the time to build and nurture a relationship, used solid questioning, presentation, and negotiating skills, and finally had the confidence to ask for the business in a professional manner. Was there a little luck involved or was developing and practicing a sales skill a bigger determining factor of success?

Did a parent have a lucky day and come home one afternoon to find their child in an unusually better than good mood or did that parent realize that they may have caused a breakdown in communication and the relationship between themselves and their child and sought counseling and practiced skills to becoming a better mom or dad? As a parent, I am not sure I would want to gamble on luck alone.

Why settle for one or the other? Why place all of our eggs in the “luck” basket? Imagine how much more we could accomplish if we coupled our good luck with skills and practice. And if we find ourselves in the “If it weren’t for bad luck I would have no luck” group, we can easily take back control of our luck or destiny by honing our skills, developing the right attitude, and practicing our craft. This places “us” in control, not our luck.

Again, it’s a funny thing about luck, the harder I work the luckier I get.

How about you, would you rather be lucky than good, or would you prefer to be lucky and good? Tell me all about it at because when we are lucky and good, it will always be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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