Monday, July 27, 2015

Make Your Own Luck

My grandmother used to love saying, "If I did not have bad luck, I would not have any luck at all." But, the reality is, we often make our own luck - and by how we approach our lives, we determine, ourselves, if we will have good or bad luck.

On many of his blog posts, Nico Rose (a German Positive Psychologist) talks about being the architect of your own luck. He says you have to do just three things to see luck in your life go your way:

  • Prepare
  • Be There
  • Express
  • Say Yes
In other words, we often are the creators of our own good or bad luck. We often attribute negative things in our life to 'chance' when in fact our lack of being prepared, or our lack of knowing on the topic, or our lack of effort, or our lack of openness, all together led to us losing a chance or opportunity. We often do not take personal responsibility for how much control we actually have over the 'luck' on our lives. This is not to say that true tragedy does not befall some, or that there are not true trials that happen to us which are indeed unfair. This is not to diminish the pain or suffering of such events. But, outside such events, our day to day lives are created by our own actions and thoughts.

According to Nico, one takes control by: being prepared: think about things. Study things. Know things. Then, be there: Be where you can apply that knowing, or know what you need to prior to a circumstance. Next, express interest and willingness in what you want, and listen to others' expressions too. And, finally, say YES to the opportunities presented to you. 

He points out that in many regards,we are in the driver seat of 'luck' in our life. 

In Shawn Achor's book, The Happiness Advantage, he talks about the 'Tetris Effect'. He uses the example of Tetris because after you play a game of it then everywhere you look you see how things can fit into each other, and then at the grocery store you are mentally rearranging the cereal boxes. He says noticing good and bad things in life are the same. If you train your mind to only see the bad, and miss all the good chances, opportunities and events that come along, then all you see are the bad. And, if you train your mind to also see the good, to have a more balanced perspective on your life, suddenly you start to notice the positive things and chances that come your way each day too. 

So, to Nico Rose's approach to creating good luck in our life, I would add a step:
  • Prepare.
  • Be there.
  • Express.
  • Be aware.
  • Say Yes.
I add in 'Be Aware', as often we go though life quite literally ignoring the good things going on around us. We have trained our selves to only notice what we don't like, what is not going well, what bothers and frustrates us. We also need to scan our days, life, and each moment for the good things too, and to be aware of the positive events and chances that also come into our lives each day. If we do not become aware of them, notice them, they pass us why and we convince ourselves we only have bad luck when in fact as many chances at good luck were in our day as bad. 

Please note that we are not saying one should ignore bad things in their life. Bad moments and feelings can be warning flags about important things that need to be addressed, changed, or fixed. These tactics simply point out that a realistic mind does not only see the bad, and does not only see the good. It sees both, in a balanced view. Most people only see the bad, and do not notice the good as well.

See this blog post by the Bloggess, and she talks about why it is important to notice the good things too, in a very eloquent, if not also to the point, post: http://thebloggess.com/2015/07/the-small-things-are-the-big-things/

One way to learn to become more aware of the good too is to do the following:
  • Obtain a small journal, or use a note or journal feature on your phone. 
  • At first, until you get in the habit, find one time each day, perhaps before bed, to write down the following in the journal: 
    • 1 thing in your day you feel grateful for. It can be personal, career, family, global, anything.
    • 1 good thing that happened that day.
    • 1 thing that made you feel good, or smile, or laugh, or happy.
    • 1 beautiful thing you saw or experienced.

  • At first just try to write down one thing, once a day. 
  • Then move to two things.
  • Then move to writing things down as you notice them throughout your day.
  • Soon you will have retrained your mind to also notice the good things in your life.
And like that, you can begin to work towards creating a more sustained awareness of the good in your life.


No comments:

Post a Comment