Can I Create Good Luck?
One of the most common questions I have received in my e-mails as of late is how to create or pull luck in one’s own favor.
So first I’d like to talk about a couple of sayings or beliefs that are somewhat accurate but not entirely. The Bible refers to it as reap and sow, and new age spiritualists refer to it as Karma. I’d love to be able to tell you that if you are always nice, people will always be nice in return. Or that if you always do good, you will never experience anything bad.
Sadly, I cannot do that. Bad things happen to good people and I have a long list of people that the karma bus,…well maybe it just ran out of gas. Most of the “karma” or “justice” will not happen in the here and now. I’ve learned to be just fine with that for a multitude of reasons one of which being I am not anyone’s judge or jury. Trying to be is flat exhausting. But controlling my own behavior is doable and I can rest like a baby knowing I did my best to bring a little joy to someone throughout the day.
Of course, we should treat people as we would like to be treated. We should treat others with kindness, empathy, and compassion. When we can’t, we should just mind our own business. And while it’s great if we receive the same in return, I caution you not to expect it. Having great expectations of others gives them a pretty steep lever on our happiness. Click To Tweet
My Lucky Reality Check
About a decade ago, you quite literally might have spent 48 hours around me and known I was not a very lucky person. That whole cliche` thing about having bad luck or none at all, yep that was me. I felt like an actual bus had run me over and kept backing up and re-running me over on repeat.
Only I didn’t have any explanation for why. I had been a good person, been loyal and good to people, busted my booty in school. Yet somehow, in 2007 I found myself totally lost. If you’d like to know more about the process I used to get back to reality click here.
The point is this. While I cannot remember the exact day, I do remember several of the steps leading up to my “aha” moment. The moment when I realized that I indeed did have some control over my own luck.
Is Luck Real?
I have had this little argument with plenty of people. Some people don’t believe at all and others are so superstitious it’s not funny.
You won’t see me running around with a salt shaker or dancing around the cracks on the sidewalk. Nor will you find me screeching at the sight of a black cat or breaking mirrors. That is not my definition of luck and I hope it isn’t yours either.
And I certainly do not believe in pre-determined fate. Yes, people and places come into our lives and go. But I don’t for one second believe that our choices, actions, and emotions don’t have a huge pull or say in the matter.
Does Life Have to Be Negative?
I could nearly prove it to those who knew me at the time. I was walking proof that my negative energy was drawing bad luck to me in droves. Conditioned to always expect the other shoe to drop, it was a boot stomping like no other.
I wanted good things. I worked hard for good things and expected good things to come my way. But deep down I also expected to lose or be let down. I hadn’t grown up knowing anything about emotional energy, the law of attraction, or even being “lucky”.
Those things weren’t a part of growing up. I was taught that life was hard, work would be a struggle, relationships were difficult, and money was always elusive.
Catching a Lucky Break.
In late 2007 I met a couple who introduced me to a whole slew of new people. I was experiencing a level of emotional high that I had not in many, many years. These people were upbeat, happy, planning and expecting the greatest of goals. (E and J I love you guys!)
At first, it was a little overwhelming. I thought maybe they had all drank the same crazy kool-aid or something. Nearly a year later, I was convinced that these people knew something I did not and I wanted to know what the heck was powering their consistent lucky streaks.
I had heard a little bit about the law of attraction, Oprah was starting to mention the Secret in her book club.
Then I happened to get an invite to a leadership seminar that literally pulled a whole lot of pieces together.
The convention was within driving distance a mere three hours from my house. The tickets were steeply discounted and the couple offered to give me a ride there. I was sitting in the Spokane Arena with some 12,500 other people and on stage walks John C. Maxwell.
He says, “I’m John C Maxwell. And I’m Your Friend.” The crowd literally exploded. I felt like I was at a major rock concert or something. Dead serious, I have goosebumps just writing about that moment because I remember it like it was yesterday. The energy the guy brought to the stage was phenomenal.
And guess who bumped into him during the intermission, with a copy of his book in her hand? Yeah…ME!
Not gonna lie, I was dumbfounded. My unlucky streak was seeing a shimmering grain of sand. He spoke to me for about three whole minutes and those words inspired me to read, study, and take in all I could about our conversation. And yeah, he signed my book 🙂
Luck and Gratitude Go Hand in Hand.
I won’t go into the long of it but here is a three-step condensed for your consumption version.
Luck and gratitude are directly related. Brutal honesty here, when I first started a gratitude journal my attitude about it kinda sucked. Certainly was not an attitude of gratitude. I was putting down all the standard “easy” answers like clean air, eyesight, my children, our good health, etc.
It looked like a boring checklist. But hey, better to start somewhere. I was struggling to add three a day which was my pre-determined minimum.
Then I learned to really elaborate on those points, and add details.
Instead of writing, “I am grateful for my kids”, I would elaborate. “Today I am grateful that my oldest had a great day at school. I am grateful that she helped me set the table and took the time to help her sister tie her shoes. I am so grateful she is healthy and learning my values and sense of responsibility.”
“I’m grateful for clean water.”, became, “I’m grateful my clean water comes straight from my tap that is run by electricity. That it is readily available whenever I need it or want it. I am so blessed to live in a first world country.”
Now I can easily hit way more than three if I choose.
Mindshift Your Negative to Positive.
This exercise of elaboration allowed me to really grasp the idea that I was indeed blessed and lucky in so many areas. The funny thing about this is when the attitude shifts, it really shifts. When we are negative, it’s so easy to find more things to be negative about. Seeing the good becomes a struggle.
It’s simply an act of retraining ourselves. This is why so many health professionals, therapists, and homeopaths suggest gratitude journals. I suggest one of these two for beginner-intermediate. The second one says it’s for women but it must be the color of the cover because the interior is written nicely for either men or women. You can click on either to hop over to Amazon for a more detailed look.
Once we start making lists of the positives, especially when we start elaborating those lists, it becomes easier with time to find more and more to be grateful for.
If you have tried this and thought, “rubbish it doesn’t work”, then I strongly encourage you to visit a third world country. You should come back with thousands of things you are grateful for, like bug spray, a toilet, and a clean mattress…oh yes shoes. Those are nice. Not being recruited as a child soldier, that’s nice too. Just saying.
Guilty or Lucky by Association.
That whole thing about being like the five people you spend the most time around…yeah. Probably should take notice of your surroundings.
Inventory so to speak. I found this to be true and not just with people. The books I was reading, movies I was watching, music I was listening too, all of it.
People, of course, will have the greatest pull. Your significant other, best friend and co-workers are usually the people you see most often. For some people it may be a sibling or parent.
Make sure these relationships align with who you are and what kind of life you are trying to live out.
Here’s a little bit of a challenge: If you have been in a negative space for an extended period of time, getting positive people to be around you, might be difficult at first. You see, they already know that like attracts like and they are very likely avoiding you if you are a downer so to speak. You’ll have to show some consistently positive attributes, so make sure when you are around those who will lift you up, you are putting your best foot forward.
Don’t gossip, complain, or fall into old habits. Listen and observe. You just might pick up some lucky vibes!
Choose Optimism 2.0. It Will Increase Your Luck
When we have been unlucky, especially for any length of time, it’s easy to start seeing the glass half-full.learn to identify the possibilities instead of the problems and suddenly lucky opportunities are abundant. Click To Tweet
Here’s a little science experiment. Poor a glass half-full of 7UP. Stare at it for a moment. Bubbly isn’t it. A pessimist will see that they only have a few swallows and feel that they were jipped out of the full glass of soda. An optimist will see that they still have some sweet bubbly left. Something to wet their whistle.
But an optimist at 2.0? They will see the space up top and it’s many possibilities. Perhaps I could add some cold ice to that glass, after all, there is room. Maybe I could add a little cherry grenadine and have me a Shirley Temple. Let’s make it a fiesta and add a little rum.
See where I am going with this?
The absolute same is true for life. Sure unfortunate things will happen but learn to identify the possibilities instead of the problems and suddenly lucky opportunities are abundant.
Those people you see that seem oh so lucky, they have this concept figured out. They aren’t just “looking on the bright side”. They are helping to create it.” Life feels pretty darn good when you aren’t backed into a corner without options.
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