How To Be Lucky

May 20, 2011 by    Posted under: Life

We all want to get lucky and be lucky, but what is luck? Why do some people seem to have it while others never seem to feel it?

Merriam-Webster defines luck as:

a : a force that brings good fortune or adversity
b : the events or circumstances that operate for or against an individual

So, according to the definition, luck is a force, event or circumstance. My question then is, where does this force that brings luck come from and how do we land ourselves into circumstance and events that are ‘lucky’? Is it random, planned by an unseen being, hard work, destiny, physics, karma?

My own personal belief system tells me that, whatever else it is, it isn’t random. For me, the presence of an organized force – God, The Universe, That – has a hand in orchestrating events and circumstances in conjunction with hard work, destiny, physics, karma and probably a whole host of other forces and efforts.

And, whatever else luck is, I believe that a very large part of it is what we make of our situations and how we choose to look at our lives. We are lucky if we choose to be lucky. We are lucky if we choose to find the opportunity in every situation. I may not win the lottery or get the job I want but because I have to work for income or continue looking for another job, the world is mine and the possibilities are endless and for that I would be lucky. Luck is a choice. It is choosing to say, “Yay! I got what I wanted” or “Wow, I didn’t get what I wanted but now I can continue to recognize all the other opportunities around me.”

Of course getting what we want when we want it feels great. Believe me, I love instant gratification as much as the next person. I have also spent years of my life feeling ‘unlucky’ and asking “Why did this happen to me?”. I cringe at the thought of all of that needless suffering I chose to experience. But then, that suffering helped to build my character, helped me to learn to feel thankful and lucky for the small and simple pleasures, which then led me to begin to feel lucky, which then allowed me to feel happy and good about myself, which then led me to see all the opportunities around me, which then made me feel even luckier, which then made me realize that ‘being lucky’ is mostly just perspective.

If frustrates and saddens me when I hear people say “Of course that would happen to me”, “Of course the world would end the day after I paid off my car”. It is a victim’s mentality of the-world-is-against-me-and-so-I-must-suffer way of thinking that holds us back from seeing the sweetness of life and opportunity. It also makes us unhappy and perpetuates the cycle of suffering.

I have a dear friend whose husband was diagnosed with a very fast growing cancer. They have three young children, he was only in his mid-30s and and he wasn’t given very good odds. Rather than sitting in a pool of pity, he said, not “Why me?” but “Why not me?”. He said Why Not Me, turned around and saw how much he was taking for granted, including his family, and fought for his life with everything he had. He felt lucky for the awakening opportunity to fully appreciate his life and family.

I am lucky. I may not have everything in life that I want but I have everything that I need. Those things that I want, I will work hard and pray and meditate for. When I feel derailed, I will stop and feel lucky for the opportunity to reevaluate my direction. When I am disappointed, I will feel disappointed and then feel lucky for the opportunity to pick myself up and move on. When I feel frustrated, I will let myself feel frustrated and then feel lucky for the opportunity to learn something about myself and my issues that cause me to feel frustrated.

Everyday I have to spend on this earth with my family and loved ones, to wake up with a roof over my head and food in my pantry, and the opportunity to make myself or someone else happy, I will feel thankful for. For every challenge I am faced with, for every upset and every disappointment, I will feel thankful for because they all bring their own promise of opportunity and change. And that is how to be lucky.

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