The other night I went to a formal event for the 75th Anniversary of the American Club of Lisbon. It was a lovely Gala at the Hotel Palacio in Estoril with maybe 150 people gathered for dinner and dancing.

Before dessert was served someone came by offering raffle tickets for the 6 or 7 prizes to be given away in support of charity. My partner and I bought 8 out of the 348 tickets that were sold.

At the last three consecutive Gala events we had attended, we won two round trip tickets to New York on Delta (the only prize given that evening), then two nights in a sumptuous suite at the glamorous Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro, and at the last event, we won a lovely weekend at the 5-star Royal Obidos Ocean & Golf Resort.

Before the drawing began at this latest Gala, people were coming up to me and jokingly making comments like, “if you win again, we are never coming back”, or “can I sit next to you? Maybe some of that luck will rub off”, and the best of all, “if your number is called, we will burn you at the stake”. I laughed and waited for them to call my name.

When our numbers were drawn, not once but TWICE, I needed a garlic necklace to ward away the evil eyes as I walked up to the stage to claim the prizes. I may be jinxing myself by writing this, but I want to share with you what I believe accounts for my extraordinary “luck.”

It is based on the belief in the pseudoscientific law of attraction, which claims that directed thoughts can change a person's life. Counting my blessings has been essential, reminding me of what's already great about my life. Visualisation has gotten me some good prizes and forced me to pay attention to what I really desire, but thus far the Universe has been too busy to deliver the buyer for that €10 million house I listed last month.

“Luck” is a determined mindset that is often accompanied by tremendous work and effort. The concept of luck is a misunderstood thing. We often relate luck to chance. There is an element of random chance that puts certain opportunities in front of us and we call this “catching a lucky break”, but that alone is not sufficient.

Being prepared increases the odds that an opportunity will yield positive results because you have the mindset, you have built the skills, infrastructure, work ethic, or whatever it takes to maximize the opportunity. You’re ready to make the most of everything in front of you because you have the right pieces already in place. And when that chance opportunity arrives, you can apply your preparation to convert potential into something meaningful.

A good example of this is Arnold Palmer, one of the greatest golfers ever. He said “The more I practice the luckier I get”, because his practice has prepared him to seize the moment, and the more frequently this happens, the luckier he seemed to be. If that’s the case, then we can all be lucky by creating more opportunities and refining our skills.

I have experienced the same “luck” with the success I have had with my company in Portugal. The greatest prize I´ve ever won happened this November. Brightman Group won Best Single Luxury Real Estate Agency in Portugal from Luxury Lifestyle Awards, an International organization that celebrates and promotes the best luxury goods and services worldwide. This recognition came only five years after moving to Portugal and entering one of the most competitive Real Estate markets in Europe. It is true that I was in the right place at the right time, and for this, I feel very lucky. Portugal has been one of the best decisions of my life.

Against all odds, here I created a vision for myself and forged it into reality with grit, fierce determination, and the ability to grow, adapt, and learn quickly from my mistakes. Looking back at the struggles, the sacrifices, and the long hours put into making this dream a reality, I know that “luck” had little to do with it.

I´d love to hear from you about the role luck has played in your life. You can write to me at If you have suggestions for other topics you would like to talk about I´m open to suggestions.

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