Making Your Own Luck

Keith Lakatosh, President, 248-854-8446

What does it mean to be lucky?  Is it some cosmic anomaly that seems constantly out of reach?  Well sometimes maybe, but more often than not, luck is something that is planned for and acted upon.  It was the famous Roman philosopher Seneca that said “Luck is when opportunity meets preparation.” I like this quote because it makes luck something I can have influence over.  Now I’m not talking about luck in the form of beating some statistical improbability, like winning the lottery.  I’m referring to luck when it comes to the everyday things we do in life.

In order to have true influence over your “luck,” you have to be prepared.  I want to talk about some ways that the Jaycees can help you prepare for the opportunities that produce “good luck” in your life.

For many people, the mere thought of speaking in front of a group of people is one of the most intimidating things they would ever have to do.  I know a number of people that in a casual setting have very little trouble conversing, but when placed in front of a group of people they become nervous piles of goo.  The Jaycees offer and encourage members to attack this insecurity head on.  We provide opportunities to speak up during General Membership Meetings (GMMs) and the Jaycees offer quarterly speak up competitions at our state assemblies.  These skills are important, because no matter what your profession, chances are there will be opportunities for you to present an idea to an important audience, whether it is a perspective client or the leadership in your organization.  The Jaycees prepare you in a safe and constructive setting to increase the chances to capitalize on those opportunities.

The Jaycees are committed to leadership development.  In order to know what that means we need to define what the characteristics of future leaders are.  For most fortune 500 companies, the model leader is one who is a self-starter and a strong motivator, essentially an entrepreneur for his or her organization.  Why is this relevant?  The Jaycees provide chances for members to organize a variety of events.  They range in size and scope and involve several levels of coordination.  However, the most common thread for all our projects is that they require self discipline and effective planning.  Now, I will not guarantee that all projects will go off without a hitch, or without a wide range of curve balls, but wouldn’t you rather learn how to deal with those unexpected problems in the Jaycees than on the job?  I like to think the Jaycees teaches its members how to be good planners and entrepreneurs through encouraging them to run projects and learn the project life cycle.

I would love to share with you how the Jaycees have enhanced my life, both professionally and personally.  However, that is self serving and unique to my own needs and experiences.  I would instead ask you to look internally and examine what your goals are and how the Jaycees may be able to prepare you to achieve those goals.  While we are a service organization and strive to make our community a better place to live, our main mission in the organization is to develop future leaders.  I wish you the very best and hope your future opportunities bring you the best of luck!

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