Commentary by Lt. Col. Mickey Evans
55th Communications Squadron commander
6/24/2013 - OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. (AFNS) -- "She's so lucky! He has all the luck!" Just like you, I hear these phrases thrown around from time to time.
I've often been taken somewhat by surprise when I hear one of these
comments. Don't get me wrong, I think there are times when truly random
events of good fortune happen.
Take for instance the lady that recently won $590 million in the Powerball lottery! That's got to be luck, right?
However, I've watched some "lucky" people and noticed a few common traits and characteristics.
Lucky people are prepared. They show up for work ready to fulfill their
role in the mission. If there was research to be done to prepare for a
task, they've done it. If there's a pertinent Air Force instruction,
they've read it. They know when their physical fitness assessment and
their performance report is due and what ancillary training they have to
Lucky people don't procrastinate. Their career development course needs
to get accomplished - check. Signed up for a primary military education
course by correspondence as early as possible - check. Service dress
needs to be squared away for an event next week - check. The fact is,
the pace of our daily mission is so fast, we usually don't know what
curve ball is going to be sent our way tomorrow. Lucky people understand
this and take care of what they can today.
Lucky people seem to have a plan. Those people with whom I work closely,
often hear me say, 'Hope is not a plan.' For me, hope is four-letter
word. Most of the time when I hear this word, it tells me the person
talking really has no idea what they're talking about.
Perhaps unbeknownst to them, lucky people seem to have the same
philosophy. They know how many pages of the Professional Development
Guide they have to study each week to be ready for their promotion test;
they don't 'hope' to get through it. They know what they want to score
on their next physical fitness assessment and have a plan to get there;
they don't 'hope' to do well. They have a plan with definite goals and
milestones and they stick to it.
Lucky people take personal responsibility for their own success. They
don't wait for their supervisor to tell them what to do or wait until
the squadron sends out a roster of overdue ancillary training. They are
aware of what is required and take care of it. If they fail, they take
responsibility for it and perhaps most importantly, learn from it, and
Lucky people are disciplined and balanced. It's very easy to let one
facet of our lives overwhelm the others. Most of us have many titles
such as spouse, father, supervisor, student, et cetera. By capitalizing
on those traits, lucky people self-regulate their time to ensure each
facet of their lives gets the attention it requires.
Finally, I think lucky people have a heightened sense of situational
awareness and take full advantage of it by being fully engaged and armed
with information. They listen to their peers and mentors and follow
their advice. They know where to find information and stay on top of the
latest news and opportunities. Because they are informed, they often
seem one step ahead of everyone else.
Lucky people get that choice opportunity or assignment because when the
eye of the Air Force looked around for qualifying candidates, these
people have taken personal responsibility for their success and taken
care of everything in their control.
Lucky people don't need to get ready when an opportunity presents
itself; they are ready because they took care of business as early as
It boils down to this: good fortune, or luck, is usually the result of
focused hard work and dedication that resulted in a level of ability
that was available when an opportunity presented itself.
Best of "luck" to you all!