Several years ago, the only commercial flight out of the Virgin Islands to Puerto Rico was cancelled. As disgruntled passengers sat around cursing their bad luck, one man had an interesting idea: he decided to charter a private plane for $2,000 to Puerto Rico and charged impatient travelers $39 per head. Before people started boarding, he grabbed a chalkboard, placed it by the plane and jokingly scribbled “Virgin Airways” on it.

That man – as you probably guessed – was Richard Branson. And that seemingly negative incident was the inspiration behind his $5 billion international airline carrier, Virgin Atlantic.

While we may not all be as quick-thinking as Sir Branson, there’s a valuable lesson to learn from this: luck is something you create, and in many instances, it’s about finding opportunities in less than ideal situations. So how can you be lucky in life and wealth? Simple. Change the way you think.

Think Positively.

If you believe you’ll never land that client, get that promotion, or win that sweepstakes, chances are you’ll never try. If you start thinking otherwise, you might be amazed by what can happen. Several scientific studies have found people who see the “glass-as-half-full” are less likely to suffer from major illnesses, depression and even live longer. They’re also more likely to be successful than their negative counterparts.

Find The Good in Bad.

If positive thinking doesn’t come naturally to you, try to encourage the right state of mind by writing down possible opportunities in situations that may seem negative — or as we like to say, “take the Branson approach.” For instance, if you get laid off, maybe that’s a chance to start your own business. You get sick. This might be the push you need to change your diet and lifestyle habits. You get dumped. Take that trip your ex never wanted to. The point is, when you focus on the negative, you narrow your way of thinking, and consequently, any options you have. So start training your mind to find the good in the bad, and you’ll see the possibilities are endless.

Journal About “Lucky” Experiences.

Journaling about positive experiences allows your mind to relive it, helping release endorphins and other natural mood boosters. Acclaimed psychologist and researcher, Shawn Achor, explains this can lead to a “happiness advantage,” where your brain – under positive emotions – performs significantly better and is more productive than when you feel negative, neutral or stressed. What’s more, when you start recording your accomplishments, lucky breaks or things you’re grateful for – no matter how small – something miraculous can happen: your mind will start to identify luck, expect more of it and therefore, produce it.

Expect the Best.

Lucky people expect good things to happen to them. They don’t believe they’re impenetrable to negative outcomes but are confident it will all work out in the end. These expectations become self-fulfilling prophecies because it motivates them to persist in the face of failure. As a result, they’re more proactive in seeking opportunities, resilient in overcoming odds, and subsequently, more successful in making things happen.

Look for Different Ways to Expand Your Network and Make Money.

Positivity is half the battle. Finding opportunities is the other. If you want to maximize your network and ways of making money, try thinking outside-of-the-box by adding some variation to your routine. Consider freelance writing, driving for a ride-sharing app, renting out spare rooms or even providing neighborhood dog-walking services. These are just a few (out of many) ways in which you can earn some extra cash while growing your opportunity pipeline and network. Who knows, it could lead to discovering an unforeseen passion or your next big ‘money-making’ break.

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