By Carol Kline
Most of us believe that luck—that mysterious force that makes life an exhilarating ride from one victory and achievement to the next—is capricious, random, even fickle, certainly outside our control.
And while it’s true that there will always be a random component to luck—both good and bad—research in the field of Positive Psychology and the experiences of consistently lucky people show that a great deal of your luck can be changed, and quickly, with a little conscious attention on your part.
Just as there are rules for improving your health—get enough sleep, eat a balanced, fresh diet, stay hydrated, exercise regularly—there are specific guidelines for improving your luck. Some of these require paradigm shifts; others are daily practices to incorporate into your life.
The very first step is changing your ideas about how luck works. Stanford University professor, and luck expert Dr. Tina Seeling, explains that the key is “understanding that luck is rarely a lightning strike—isolated and dramatic—but a wind that blows constantly. . . .You need to build a sail—made up of certain tiny behaviors— to catch the winds of luck.” More than a century earlier, Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore is attributed with saying much the same thing: “The winds of grace are always blowing, but it is you that must raise your sails.”
What can we do to raise our sails and harness the winds of luck? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Believe it’s possible and commit to being lucky. This is called mindset. It may seem simplistic, but studies show it’s anything but. People who believe they are lucky are more open to and aware of the opportunities that come their way and act upon them—which leads to a larger number of positive outcomes.
- Become aware of your own negative conditioning about luck. Most of us have decided on an unconscious level how lucky we deserve to be. To turn your luck around often requires “lifting curses,” rooting out those limiting beliefs we’ve acquired along the way that become self-fulfilling prophecies.
- Take bold action consistently. Think of action as a cosmic lottery ticket. The more actions you take, the more chances you have to win. To turbocharge this step, get out of your comfort zone. Meet new people, change your daily routine, do things that stretch you. Fortune favors the bold!
- Learn to listen to your inner promptings, mental, emotional and physical. Being true to your deepest values, priorities, and intuitions, and staying centered in your body while you move through space, are essential for being in the right place at the right time—a common definition of luck.
- Watch who you spend time with. Are your friends and family supporting your growth or encouraging a victim mentality in you? There’s a growing body of research that shows your circle has a profound influence on your health, happiness, and success.
- Find the luck in every situation—even challenging ones. This doesn’t mean being relentlessly cheerful or suppressing your feelings. The next time something bad happens, let yourself feel whatever comes up and then in the spirit of tremendously gentle inquiry, ask yourself, “Can I be grateful for this, too?” Feeling lucky, like feeling grateful, is within your control.
- Utilize the power of good karma. You’ve heard the saying, “What goes around, comes around.” Seed the clouds of your life with kind and generous acts from your heart and watch good luck rain down on you.
BIO: Carol Kline has devoted her career to teaching, writing, and speaking about consciousness and personal growth. She is a #1 New York Times bestselling author whose books include Happy for No Reason, Love for No Reason, five books in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and the upcoming Conscious Luck: Eight Secrets to Intentionally Change Your Fortune, co-authored with Gay Hendricks.