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Sunday, June 15, 2008

How to Make Your Own Luck

In accordance with the idea of augmenting one's spiritual work with mundane work to ensure a greater chance of obtaining one's goals, I want to share you with, my reader, the following article. I transcribed this article How To Make Your Own Luck from a magazine article that someone left in the break room of my previous job, however I failed to note the name and publication date of the magazine. Also I have provided additional links at the end of this article with more advice on this topic.

Carolina Dean :)~


How to Make Your Own Luck


There are moments when everyone feels lucky. Remember the day you found the perfect apartment, the morning you met the headhunter at the gym or the time you got a table at the hottest restaurant in town? But wouldn’t it be great if your luck were less random, if you could count on it for everything from landing a great job to finding the love of your life?

The secret of good luck is not to trust it, one must learn to create their own luck. “The ability to attract and maximize good fortune is more about choice than chance,” says Richard Wiseman, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire in England. He spent eight years studying the personality of differences of consistently lucky or unlucky people---those who had a knack for having their dreams come true and those who didn’t. Wiseman determines that their breaks weren’t just random but an outgrowth of their personalities. “It was a result of how they thought and behaved,” he says.

Fortunately we can all learn to be more like them. When Wiseman, who’s also the author of The Luck Factor (Hyperion 2003), showed volunteers how to improve their luck by adjusting their attitudes and actions, 80 percent of them increased their happiness, confidence, and success in just one month. Try these five strategies to bring more luck into your life:

  1. Have High Hopes- “Lucky and unlucky people have amazingly different expectations about the future,” says Wiseman. His research shows that because the less fortunate count on things to go wrong, they often give up prematurely--- not bothering to send a resume because they don’t’ believe they’ll get hired or not joining an online dating service because they know they wont’ meet anyone special, for example. Those who are the luckiest, on the other hand, have a more positive outlook. They’re certain that the future is bright and as a result attempt to achieve their goals despite the odds. Part of this conviction lies in recognizing how fortunate they already are, says Rachelle Disbennett-Lee, a life coach in Aurora, Colorado. Rather than limiting their view of luck as something extraordinary, they recall when they got a last minute doctor’s appointment or a great deal on a pair of shoes they’d planned to buy at full price. To raise your expectations imagine an upcoming scenario that turns out in your favor. Before going into a meeting or on a first date, for example, close your eyes and picture yourself appearing confident and relaxed. When the real event arrives, you’re more likely to anticipate and realize the best possible results.

  1. See the Good in the Bad- A glass half full perspective allows you to effectively cope, and often thrive, during difficult times. When you lose a promotion to a less qualified person, for instance, or your best friend tells you she’s moving across the country. “Lucky people view setbacks as temporary and believe that everything turns out for the best,” says Azriela Jaffe, author of Create Your Own Luck (Adams Media Corporation, 2000). But what if you’re not naturally optimistic and don’t easily see how things could have been worse, that instead of just twisting your ankle when you fell down the stairs you might have broken your leg? Focus on the advantageous results of negative experiences by looking beyond the obvious, difficult circumstances or emotions of a situation. For example, after you ended a turbulent relationship with your last boyfriend, you met the man you became your husband. Or perhaps a major flood in your bathroom inspired you to search for and find the perfect apartment. “Sometimes lucky comes disguised and only time reveals how fortune we really were,” says Disbennett-Lee, who has firsthand experience with this. Though Disbennett-Lee didn’t know it when she lost her corporate job, being laid off was one of the best things that ever happened to her, since it allowed her to start her own business.

  1. Trust Your Instincts- The unlucky often ignore their intuition when making decisions and later regret it. Lucky people, on the other hand, respect and follow their hunches. “Instead of looking at a situation rationally, they use their instincts as a sign to proceed with caution or to move full speed ahead,” says Wiseman. To increase your intuitiveness, try this exercise: When you’re uncertain about two choices, pick one and commit your decision to paper. If you’re not sure whether to end a relationship, for example, write a detailed letter to your partner explaining that it’s over and why you’re ending it. Then ask yourself how it feels to hold your future in your hands. Does sending the letter feel right? That’s your intuition talking; tune in and you’re more likely to make the right decision. To tap into it, make an effort to quiet your mind through exercise, meditation, or retreating to a peaceful place once a day. “Even turning off the television or radio while you’re preparing dinner will give you the time you need to connect with your intuitive power,” Wiseman says.

  1. Expand Your Network- The bigger your web of contacts, the better your odds of finding opportunity. “Luck is a numbers game,” says Disbennett-Lee. “The more you’re out in the world, the greater the chance you have to meet people who can help you.” For those who are outgoing and gregarious, building a large ‘network of luck’ comes easily---they’re more likely to meet friends for coffee, to attend industry networking events or to strike up a conversation with a stranger. If you’re shy or introverted, start by watching your body language. In Wiseman’s studies, the most fortunate people smiled twice as much and engaged in more eye contact than their counter parts. They also pointed their bodies toward the person they were speaking to, uncrossed their arms and legs and gestured frequently. The result: “Communicating comfortable, inviting signals makes you the target of other friendly approaches,” says Disbennet-Lee.

  1. Spice Things Up- Lucky people routinely introduce variety into their lives. The changes don’t have to be large or time-consuming. Simply taking another route to work now and then or occasionally trying a different restaurant creates new opportunities for beneficial change. For example, Wiseman tells of a study subject who randomly chose a color before arriving at a party and then introduced himself to other guest who were wearing that color, regardless of whether they were his ‘type.’ Besides meeting some interesting people, he had more fun, another important link to luck. Personality tests have show that good fortune tends to make you more relaxed and laid back. If you’re not naturally open to novelty in your life, make a list of a half dozen things you’ve never done before but wouldn’t mind trying, from taking an improv class or learning to scuba dive. Number the options from one to six. Then, one by one, carry out each chosen adventure. You’ll be amazed by how often you’ll find luck in the unlikeliest places.

Links:

Eight Traits of Lucky People
It's better to be Lucky than Smart
How to Court Lady Luck
The Luck Factor (PDF)

4 comments:

Rachelle Disbennett Lee, PhD said...

Carolina, great blog. Lots of interesting information. The article you used was printed in Fitness Magazine. I thought I had a copy, I usually keep everything I am quoted in. It was several years ago, but don't remember exactly when.

The whole concept of luck is a great one because I believe people are as lucky as they make their minds up to be. It really is a matter of what you think and your perspective on the situation. As mentioned in the article I was laid off from my job, something most people would not consider lucky. However I believe that being let go saved my life, or at least my sanity. I wasn't going to leave on my own so I was very lucky that the company helped me move on in my life.

If people decide they are going to be lucky in life I believe they will be. It all depends on how one views what happens to them.

Rachelle Disbennett Lee, PhD
www.coachlee.com
www.365daysofcoaching.com

Carolina Dean said...

Thank so much Rachelle for this information. I was thinking it was a woman's magazine, like McCalls or the like, but you may be right in that it was a fitness magazine.

If you read any of my other blog posts, you'll find that I too recently lost my job and, like you, had I not been terminated I most likely would have remained in a very unhealthy environment.

No matter what has happened to me in my life, it's always worked out. So, I can only believe that this turn of events will eventually lead me to a much better place in my life.

Just today, I got a phone call for an interview and it's already forcing me to change some of my behaviors. I've always been the kind of person that doesn't like to drive somewhere I don't know where I'm going.

As this interview is in a town 20 miles away, and one which I've never driven to myself, it's forcing me to get out of my comfort zone and confront my fears. Once I gain the confidence to drive to this place, who knows what other possibilities await me in this new town.

Thanks again for sharing this information and being an inspiriation.

Carolina Dean

Coach Lee said...

Carolina,

I am doing the happy dance that you lost your job. I have a feeling this is one of the best things that has ever happen to you. I know you will do just fine, oh better than that, great. I love your energy and your perspective. I am glad you are stepping out of your comfort zone and exploring new territory. I will be checking the blog for updates on how you are doing. This is going to be such a great adventure.

I also put a notice in my ezine that you shared this article. Thanks for spreading the word about Luck.

Fitness Magazine is a woman's Mag. I was so happy that when they asked me to share my comments I didn't have to send in a picture. Ha Ha!

Rachelle

Carolina Dean said...

Rachelle,

Thanks again for your support and encouragement. You don't know what it means to have a stranger believe in you (or maybe you do) and it makes me think that if you believe in me, then maybe I can believe in myself!

Carolina Dean