Are you lucky?

“The dynamics of great creativity are often dependent on the dynamic of our reality, the impact of the challenges we face. A client once told me if it’s a problem he’s not necessarily interested, if you exchange a problem with “we have a situation” he feels better. From his perspective, a situation can be solved, but a problem isn’t necessarily solvable…

Phillip J. Clayton
3 min readJan 16, 2023

Whether or not he’s correct didn’t matter to me, because it reminded me of something Dave Trott said, changing problems into challenges you can solve. This is achieved by changing the perspective and looking at things from different viewpoints.

We often get stuck on things we actually can’t solve, not that they can’t be solved, but perhaps we can’t do it… this stifles creative thinking, and we box ourselves in. Notwithstanding that great creativity is often given birth from limitations.” — Something I said to my friend Chet Moss this morning on LinkedIn.

Photo of the Go Luck Yourself: 40 ways to stack the odds in your brand’s favour by Andy Nairn
Go Luck Yourself: 40 ways to stack the odds in your brand’s favour

My response brought me to my current reading by Andy Nairn, ‘Go luck yourself’. it was also in response to something wholesome that Chet said.

“The word, “monument,” comes from the Latin for “memorial” or “statue.”But it also means “something that reminds.”

“We have also come to his hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, August 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Now is as good a time as any.”

Monument of martin luther king
Photo by C Moss

I have said I don’t believe in luck, but there is context to that statement. What I don’t think is the garden variety definition of luck, we don’t acquire what we want or good fortune by waiting around and doing nothing. And we certainly won’t achieve them from magical fairies sprinkling dust on us.

What can feel ethereal is your own unappreciation for your participation. What I believe in are decisions and timing, but we have to be actively participating in what we want, we have to make deliberate actions, and make our claims known, that’s luck, for me. Wherever you are, whatever you have achieved, is a result of you doing a number of things, and depending on the decisions and several things aligning at the right time, you have created your own luck.

Buying a lottery ticket isn’t luck, it’s a chance that you took and the only way to have a chance to win, is to play. And if you are religious, simply praying gets you nothing, a prayer, in my opinion, is a meditational moment requesting assistance. You still have to do some work, participation is important.

In other words, so far, Andy Nairn’s book reminds me of the quote attributed to the Roman philosopher, Seneca: "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”, which reminds us that we make our own luck. The difference between lucky and unlucky people is decision-making and patience. I have seen it written somewhere in the past that lucky people generate their own good fortune via four basic principles: Skill; Decisions; Self-fulfilling prophecies or affirmations; Adopting a resilient attitude that transforms failure, or “bad luck” into something good.

I like the things Andy is saying in his book, and he has rationalized the magic of luck, it’s not frivolous. My professional focus is narrow but requires a wide range of processes, but easily categorized under Advertising and Marketing: Art; Design; Brand development; Business. And under each of those, a number of skills and processes are required.

My job is often inspired by the human experience, and without ignoring that experience, Andy is not only rationalizing luck but more specifically, presenting the practical alignment of luck to brands, the things we ignore and take for granted.

Leading psychiatrist Phil Stutz said that the three constants in life are pain, uncertainty, and hard work. You cannot get rid of these things.

We call today Monday, the 16th day of January 2023, but we do not exist on a hamster’s wheel. What today is, is this, a new day that you have never lived before, it’s a new chance at life, at work, it’s a new opportunity.

Go luck yourselves!



Phillip J. Clayton

Brand consultant | Strategic advisor | International brand & marketing design judge: | Writer | Creative director