Ever feel like if you didn’t have bad luck, you wouldn’t have any luck at all? Or are you one of those people who always gets the best parking space, always hears their favorite song on Pandora, or manages to snag those rock concert tickets in the 10 minutes they are for sale?

Some things in life truly are luck. We can’t really control when the guy in that perfect parking space is going to leave. But we often relinquish control of things that we can influence and wrongly put them down to luck. Here are some ways to improve your odds of being lucky:

  • Keep learning—When you hear about a freelance gig or job opening that requires experience on the very latest software or platform, you might say to yourself how lucky you are that you know it, but it wouldn’t really be luck.
  • Take chances—Not everything will work out well, but if you are open to the possibilities—a new startup, a chance to partner with an enthusiastic entrepreneur, a volunteer opportunity that could lead somewhere—your luck will improve.
  • Say hello—You never know who you might meet and how you could help each other. But if you don’t start conversations, those lucky encounters will pass you right by.
  • Increase your frequency—We’ve all heard the story of the guy who sent out one resume and got the job. He sure was lucky! I don’t believe in that guy. Send out more applications, approach more people for informational interviews, go to more industry events. Make the luck come to you by being present.
  • Fear not—“Fear is the mind killer,” as Frank Herbert said many years ago. I think fear is the luck-killer. Approach every day as an opportunity to succeed if you do your very best—at your work, at your relationships, at your planning, at your life.

Luck is an element beyond our control. Take control of what you can and maybe it will sprinkle some of its magic dust on you. Take enough and you won’t need it!

Wendy Stackhouse, for Artisan Creative