Make Your Own Luck

luckysigns“What are the odds that the next person you meet will change your day, your year, your life?” This is the opening line of an article I recently read in Oprah’s February issue of “O.” “Chance of a Lifetime” discusses whether or not we make our own DESTINY. Coincidentally (or maybe not), I was looking at that magazine in the offices of Oprah’s new network OWN, getting ready to pitch ideas to network executives.

I have always been a big believer in signs that the Universe provides to knock us onto our track or to assure us that we are indeed on the right track. For instance when I see a look-a-like of the dog I had as a child, I feel like the Universe is telling me that everything is okay…that I am on the right track. Then when I see TWO of these dogs at the same time, then I know things are REALLY good.

On the other hand, I have been a big believer in making things happen. For example, when I wanted to work for the National Geographic Society, I called every connection I had there, requested informational interviews, and did my NGS homework. I got the job.

I have vacillated between the theories and practices of making things happen and letting things happen throughout my life. Sometimes I am totally on side, sometimes on the other, and sometimes I embrace both. Lately I have been struggling with where I am now.

Colleen Seifert, PhD, who is featured in the O article and is a specialist in cognitive psychology (the science of why people think the way they do) shed some light on this battle of philosophies. “Chance favors the prepared mind,” Seifert says quoting Louis Pasteur. It sounds good to me, but what does this actually mean?

My interpretation of what Dr. Seifert says is that we are always exposed to randomness. By definition a chance encounter is a random event. Our actions however play a crucial role in the outcome. When you are mentally prepared for a chance encounter you give yourself the opportunity to change your behavior and take action. Life hasn’t changed. It is still random. But you may have. So maybe Louis Pasteur had a good point. The prepared mind has a better chance of getting what it wants, or as many call it, “getting lucky.”

Seifert isn’t alone in believing that if you prepare yourself to make the most of chance encounters, good things are waiting to happen. Apparently there is a real science to prove that while you can’t control the random events of life, you can indeed create your own luck. Take for example the research of Richard Wiseman, PhD.

Dr. Wiseman has spent more than a decade investigating why some people have more luck than others and argues that only 10 percent of life is truly random and that 90 percent is actually defined by the way we think, In his book, The Luck Factor, Wiseman says, “Luck is not a magical ability or a gift from the gods…instead, it is a way of thinking and behaving…Lucky people create, notice, and act upon the chance opportunities in their lives.” Another way to say this I think is that being in the right place at the right time is actually about being in the right state of mind.

As I sort all of this out, I think back to when I have had most success and what my strategy and state of mind was at the time. I have tended to think that chance encounters, fortunate circumstances and great successes have come from the friendly Universe. But maybe it is not chance after all. Maybe I really am making my own luck. I still feel gratitude to the Universe though when I see one of those dogs.

Do you think you can make your own luck?

************************************************************************

Tabby Biddle is a writer and editor specializing in helping women entrepreneurs and emerging authors get their message out. Additionally she is the founder of Lotus Blossom Style, a yoga lifestyle company created to support women in their personal transformation. She lives in Santa Monica, CA.

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Make Your Own Luck

  1. Hi Tabby!

    Great article! I totally agree that our mindset helps us pick up on introductions that the universe puts into our lives. What is powerful is when we are aware of these occurrences. I will keep my eyes out for my “dogs” as well!

    Love,
    Ingrid

  2. HI TABBY,
    EVERY TIME I READ YOUR AMAZING SITE I THINK WOW !! WOW !! NOTHING CAN STOP YOU FROM YOUR HIGHEST POTENTIAL. JUST REALLY BREATHE TAKING … I CAN HARDLY BELIEVE WHEN I MET YOU AND YOU WERE FINALLY DECIDING TO STOP TEACHING AND SEE WHAT MORE YOU COULD DO ! AMAZING !!
    BLESS YOU AND CONGRATULATIONS ON ALL THAT YOU DO, YOU ARE MOVING AHEAD AT LIGHTENING SPEED AND I HAVE SO MUCH ADMIRATION FOR YOU ! LOVE, PEISHA XO

  3. Tabby,
    Yes, I agree. Having an open mind to everything is important but doing your homework is also critical to receive the luck which comes to you.

  4. I read this issue as well, and not coincidentally, I was thinking of you when reading it. You have taught me so much when it comes to intention-setting and visualization -living it, not merely believing in it – which is a huge difference. Btw, I love the more scientific tone your blog is taking.

    Lxx

  5. How funny Lotta that you were thinking of me when you read the article. Did I tell you about it when we were at brunch? You have taught me so much too about goal-setting and laying out an envisioned plan. I soooo appreciated when you encouraged me to lay out a 5-year plan whether it felt like a pie in the sky or not. I did my homework and it has helped me tremendously. I even found myself today hanging around some of the Independent Spirit Awards winners catching some photos as I practiced for my own celebrity role. 😉

    So glad you are enjoying the more scientific viewpoint of my blog lately. I guess having a husband who is heavily into the conversation between science and spirit has instigated my thought process about it.

    xoxo,
    Tabby

  6. I definitely make my own luck. I learned a long time ago that you have to be seen and heard for others to know that you exist. And yes, the phone just doesn’t ring. You have to reach out to others no matter what your thoughts are about them reaching out to you. Luck is a state of mind translated by hard work and the willingness to make it happen. Nancy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s