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Luck is an Attitude

By Mary Desaulniers

A friend of mine who started playing the dollar-a-week lottery 4 years ago seems to have a knack for winning. He has won at least 5 times, each win ranging from $200 to $1000.

I can't help but feel a bit envious. I can explain away his good fortune by saying that he has more luck than I. But when I compare his situation with mine, I see a different story. His luck comes with a perfectly rational explanation"he plays the lottery every week whereas I am, at best, a once-a-year player.

"Same number each week, is his motto. "You can't win, he tells me "if you don't throw the dice."

"Do you ever think that you're just throwing good money away? I ask.

"Of course I do, he replies, "but I avoid that kind of thinking. If I allow it to become a mindset, I "d never buy a ticket."

So what is the reason behind his luck?

Engagement. He takes the time to talk himself out of doubt and makes the effort to turn the tide in his favor. He takes the initiative to be engaged. And that is perhaps all luck is"the willingness to do all you can to change your destiny.

Azriela Jaffe, author of "Create Your Own Luck (2000), attributes luck to toxic-free thinking. Negative beliefs prevent you from seeing the solution to your problems, she suggests. Opening your mind allows you to move beyond the obstacle by finding your way around it. Toshu Fukami, a highly successful Japanese businessman who wrote "Lucky Fortune"(1997) to explain the whys and wherefores of his success, makes a similar association between good fortune and positive thinking. Lucky people, he says, are those who have a knack for "finding something to their advantage in any given situation." Both writers define luck as a state of mind, an attitude that anyone can develop.

If this is so, what can you do to attract luck into your life?

1. Stay Positive

Staying positive is more than cultivating happy thoughts; it is knowing what gives you joy and purpose and going for it. Lucky people are able to find out what their purpose in life is and the meaningful activities that help create the "being they wish to become. They are willing to do everything they can to realize their vision without developing a jaundiced view of themselves and their world. Fukami observes that lucky people have a very positive core of being; they refuse to be depressed about failures or obstacles. Science Fiction writer Holly Lisle says it all:"If you will not put yourself in a position to fail, you cannot succeed."

2. Believe in an ordered and intelligent universe.

Lucky people tend to have faith in a benign and ordered universe. They tend not to see events as random but purposeful. Fukami claims that developing "empathy with the cosmos by opening yourself to the energy of the stars allows you to participate in a sympathetic universe: "you will think of yourself as being seen and protected by, led by and deriving power from those very same stars." Similarly, Jaffe says that paying attention to intuition and meaningful coincidences is central to creating luck. Why? Intuition is wisdom deeper and broader than the individual mind. Often the one who succeeds pursues his dream despite social censure because he has a "hunch that his strategy will work.

3. Stay on the Path.

Staying on the path does not mean that you have to hang on stubbornly to a particular strategy or perspective. In fact, people who succeed will find a different approach when they hit the wall. Success depends on trying paths that do not bring results and creating other paths that do. The key is to keep finding a way to your vision, even if it means abandoning a course of action that does not work. Jaffe refers to luck builders as "expert lemonade makers. They spend little time, perhaps only minutes, being angry. Instead, they get right to work making luck out of any change in plans"even telling themselves that perhaps this is what God had intended all along."

4. Give through gratitude, forgiveness, kindness.

In order to receive, you must first give. An attitude that serves the interest of others will bring the greatest returns. This is known as the "boomerang effect. Being grateful for what you have, forgiving those who have either knowingly or unknowingly offended you and giving yourself to help others are all ways by which you open your heart and mind to receive the blessings of the Universe.

5. Be patient.

Thomas Edison once confided to a friend the difficulties he had working on his invention"an early version of the stock-market ticker. He wrote: "I'll never give up, for I may have a streak of luck before I die." This willingness to work and wait for the lucky streak is the patience that will bear fruit. If success depends on persistence and right timing, then patience is an indispensable factor in luck.

I ask my friend if he considers himself lucky. This is what he says: I've always felt lucky. Even when things don't turn out well, I look around the corner and wait. Something good always shows up!"

Copyright 2005 Mary Desaulniers

About The Author
Mary Desaulniers

A runner for 27 years, retired schoolteacher and writer, Mary is now doing what she loves--running,writing,helping people reclaim their bodies. Nutrition, exercise, positive vision and purposeful engagement are the tools used to turn their bodies into creative selves.


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