Choreographer and dancer Twyla Tharp writes in her book The Creative Habit
that one way to increase your luck is to be more generous.
When you’re generous to someone and help them out, you are in effect making them lucky. Like a boomerang, this generosity can come back to you: “It’s like inviting yourself into a community of good fortune.”
Tharp writes that it took her years to appreciate the power of generosity, and its role in her success as a choreographer.
She learned over time that to be a great choreographer and teacher, you have to invest everything you have in your dancers: “You have to be so devoted to them and to the finished creation that your dancers become your heroes.”
That kind of generosity takes courage: to believe that the better the dancers look, the more satisfying the work will be.
It also takes humility: “For a few years there, when I was in my forties and could still move well, I would get really pissy when the inevitable moment arrived and I would have to recuse myself from the piece and hand it over to one of my dancers.”
But as Tharp points out, without such generosity, you’ll always be holding something back – the finished work shows it, and your audience knows it.
For Tharp, this link between generosity and luck isn’t confined to dance or art.
She suggests looking at the luckiest people around you – the ones you envy, who always seem to have destiny falling in their laps. If it happens repeatedly, it’s probably not random luck.
In Tharp’s experience, “If they’re anything like the fortunate people I know, they’re prepared, they’re always working at their craft, they’re alert, they involve their friends in their work, and they tend to make others feel lucky to be around them.”