Why is it that some people seem to be so lucky? Do you believe in luck… is it real?
In the spirit of St. Patrick ’s Day and the luck of the Irish I have been mulling around the idea of “luck.” Some people seem to be so lucky—they have the best experiences and are in the midst of astounding situations entirely too often. Whether or not you believe in luck, blessings, good fortune, coincidences or any other way to describe life’s fluke marvels it certainly is nice to be the recipient from time to time. What if there was a way to up your chances of being the beneficiary of luck? Well, (said in a whisper voice) it’s 100% possible…. It’s your choice to significantly up your odds at being the lucky one.
The Lucky One
While chewing over how to write this article I was lucky enough to have an astounding conversation with a friend who had a stroke a few weeks ago. Let’s call her “Lucie,” for the sake of this article and her privacy. Lucie had a severe stroke, so severe that the survival rate was 20%. Most patients who survive this type of stroke are aware of everything, but are completely paralyzed and have no way of communicating. This was what Lucie was facing. Here’s another kicker- Lucie is in her 30s, has three young children, is very active, and was in perfect health when an incident occurred that very nearly took her life.
At first glance, this appears to be a very unfortunate situation for all involved, right? In my first conversation with her since the stroke, Lucie happily declared that she was “Lucky to have the stroke.” Instantly my ears perked up and my little voice inside said: “WOW!! Buckle up kids and enjoy the ride! This conversation is going to be one for the books!”
Lucie happily shared that prior to the stroke she was stressed, felt pulled in too many directions, overworked, etc. Since the stroke, all that has changed. She is relaxed, has free time, and is enjoying her recovery while connecting with friends and family. Moreover she realized how many people are willing to step up, help out, and genuinely care. My guess is she is also grasping what a difference she makes in the lives of others. She is loving her post-stroke existence.
Two Views on Luck
There are a few ways to look at Lucie’s thought about being lucky to have a stroke. Here are two:
- Lucie thinks she is lucky to have the stroke, therefore she is lucky.
- After the stroke Lucie changed how she is being in her world, which changed her world.
Lucie thinks she is lucky to have the stroke, therefore she is lucky. She could have been absolutely devastated while thinking thoughts like “Why did this happen to me? I don’t deserve this. My poor kids. Life sucks!” The great news is she is choosing to focus her attention on the opportunities she has. Her thoughts are encouraging her to be happy, healthy, relaxed and enjoying her relationships. She is in a wonderful space of gratefulness. This is why she feels lucky. Her life and the lives of everyone around her are fundamentally better because of her state of mind. She truly is “lucky” and that is awe-inspiring.
After the stroke Lucie changed how she is being in her world. Faced with the alternative of death or permanent disability, Lucie’s health and wellbeing suddenly became her top priority. She realized she had to take care of herself first. If she didn’t take care of herself, there would be absolutely nothing to give. So she made the change. Lucie feels she is lucky because she thinks the stroke forced her to slow down and encouraged those around her to give her space and care for her. Suddenly her life became more relaxed which is giving her space to heal. Although, was Lucie’s change really due to the stroke?
What was the cause of the lifestyle change? The way I see it, the stroke was a defining moment and surely inspired the change, but the stroke was not the cause of the change. Lucie’s thoughts caused the change. She could have had the stroke, come home from the hospital and continued to stress and not make her health a priority. Some people may have done that, but not Lucie. Her thoughts and priorities shifted and so did the thoughts and priorities of her loved ones and those in her circle. Lucie (and everyone who knows her) wants to heal, so Lucie’s healing took precedence.
Here’s something to ponder: Could all of those changes have taken place in the absence of a defining event like a stroke?
Could Lucie and her loved ones have created that shift in thinking and made Lucie’s health and wellbeing a priority anytime? It might seem improbable, but it is possible. The same is possible for you, your loved ones, and everyone else. What are your priorities? How might we all discover a bit of wisdom in this experience? Lucie was lucky to have the stroke because she was able to change who she was being and realize her priorities. You can too… and you don’t have to wait for a massive life event to decide to change the way you are thinking and feeling.
Upping Your Odds
As luck would have it, there have been studies done on the science of luck. The findings overwhelmingly show that people who think they are lucky, are “luckier.” This scientific study on superstition showed that people who had a lucky charm, crossed their fingers or did other things they considered “lucky” performed better! Why? Because “activating a superstition boosts participants’ confidence in mastering upcoming tasks, which in turn improves performance.” The study is not saying a lucky rabbit’s foot is going to help you win. Instead this study (and many others like it) uses science to show that if you think the rabbit’s foot is helping you, it probably will. It’s your thoughts that matter… not the foot.
Professor and experimental psychologist, Richard Wiseman, has dedicated his studies and written books and articles on the psychology of luck. He has identified “four basic principles that lucky people use to create good fortune in their lives.” Here are his four principles:
#1 Maximize Chance Opportunities (create, notice, and act on good stuff)
#2 Listen to Lucky Hunches (go with your intuition and gut feelings)
#3 Expect Good Fortune (…a self-fulfilling prophecy)
#4 Turn Bad Luck to Good (there’s always a silver lining)
Notice how Richard’s four principles of luck relate: Each principle has to do with your thoughts. Also notice it is not about “positive thinking,” it’s about noticing, believing, and looking forward to great outcomes. Ultimately, we all have the innate ability to think ourselves into good fortune. When we shift our thoughts, our world shifts. In Lucie’s heart of hearts she sees the silver lining, expects things to turn out wonderfully, is going with her gut, and is noticing the opportunities all around. Even more, she is thoroughly grateful to have the chance to live an amazing life. She thinks she is lucky, therefore she is!
We Are All Lucky
We are all lucky to know “Lucie’s” story and being able to witness her strength, humility and resiliency.
Immensely upping your chances at being the lucky one and having a similar impact is well within your reach: Create opportunities; notice and act on the good stuff; go with your intuition; expect great things to happen to you; and always notice the silver lining. Do this and everyone wins.
It is 100% possible to shift your odds. It all starts with your thoughts.
Be the lucky one!
…until the next revolution.
Join in! Live Interactive Session on Creating Luck
Join in Monday April 12, 2017 to dive deeper into greatly increasing your odds at being lucky and creating more success in life, business, and retirement. This is an interactive session and life changing discussion facilitated by Kristy Halvorsen at The Microsoft Store- University Town Center in Sarasota, FL from 8:30-10:00am. For more details and to register for “Feeling Lucky” click here.
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