Tag Archives: luck

7 Quotes to Help You “Find” Good Luck

Luck is one of those words that means something different to everyone. What is responsible for good luck or bad? For some it is a karmic force and for others it’s a manifestation of personal desire. Are you someone that carries a good luck charm – an object you put all your faith in to bring your good fortune or a small trinket that brings you comfort? There have been several philosophers, spiritual leaders and proverbs that try to define the meaning of luck and locate it’s origins. So what does it mean to you? Whether you are one of the people that believes in luck at the end of rainbows or that it comes purely from our own creation we hope that one of these quotes inspires a lucky feeling for you today and whoever you share them with.

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What’s Luck Got To Do With It?

luck 4 leaf clover“Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

I was on a coaching call with a particularly rigid and challenging client. He was lamenting how things don’t go his way – he’s not lucky like others – and he named a few celebrities, sports personalities and city success stories. “They seem to get all the luck,” he said. My question to him was, “Is it luck or preparation?” This changed the tone of our conversation and we started to make some great progress.

Personally, I don’t think I believe in luck. Instead, I believe in preparation and being present to things as they happen. Prepared, we now are tuned in to things that we first would not have seen, and second would not have acted upon. Like the quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, I like to think that my intentionality in things leads to their results – cause and effect. To me, luck is what we rely on when we don’t prepare; luck has never struck me as a success formula.

In addition to my coaching, writing and speaking, I am an adjunct professor at a college in South Florida, teaching in the business school. In my last class, I asked them how they are using their time in college to get ready for life after college. Only two of the 33 students in class had a plan. Only two had a strategy to intentionally selected their majors, enroll in courses that were necessary for what they wanted to do after college (even taking courses that were not in their majors) and what internships would give them the most practice, experience and exposure. Clarity. Intentionality. Focus. The rest of the class just shrugged and shared that “with a little luck” they would find something meaningful after college. With a little luck? This was like trying to drive without your hands on the wheel.

We get results in life when we take responsibility for ourselves as life unfolds. I know we can’t control the events of life, but we can show up present to them, gather information from them, then make meaningful decisions in the moment that lead us in the direction that fits what we want for our lives. Not showing up present means we’ll get moved along according to the whims or plans of others. We then celebrate good luck or blame bad luck for things.

Why is it that we rely on luck instead of great preparation? Here are a couple of thoughts:

  • We have been told this is just how life is done. It is a big, cold mean world that favors some and not others. Some people are lucky and others aren’t.
  • We don’t know how to create success for ourselves because we haven’t learned how to know ourselves and how to connect to opportunities in work and life that need what we do best – we don’t know how to look for opportunities.
  • We don’t own our results. It is always easy to make things someone else’s fault. Attributing things to luck let’s us off the hook from being accountable; we have something or someone to blame.

To move away from relying on or blaming luck requires listening to the wisdom of some of today’s greatest consciousness thinkers. They remind us that when we show up present to the moments of life, we connect to information. Information then creates options. Expanded options increase our ability to find and select the ones that move us forward. In other words, clarity in our direction plus awareness of options creates preparedness; this seems a better life success formula than relying on luck. Talk to the successful people in life and they will share that their success was not based on luck but rather on preparation and awareness of opportunities. This seems a far better formula for success than luck.

Who Knew? Lucky Charms Actually Work

horseshoeAssay: I’ve been thinking a lot lately about superstition.

Superstition is the irrational belief that an object or behavior has the power to influence an outcome, when there’s no logical connection between them.

Most of us aren’t superstitious—but most of us are a littlestitious.

Relying on lucky charms is superstitious, but in fact, it actually works. Researchers have found that people who believe they have luck on their side feel greater “self-efficacy”—the belief that we’re capable of doing what we set out to do—and this belief actually boosts mental and physical performance. Many elite athletes, for instance, are deeply superstitious, and in one study, people who were told that a golf ball “has turned out to be a lucky ball” did  better putting than people who weren’t told that.

Any discussion of superstition reminds me of a perhaps-apocryphal story that I love, about physicist Niels Bohr. Bohr noticed that a friend had a horseshoe mailed above the door, and he asked why. When was told that it brought luck, he asked in astonishment, “Do you really believe in this?” His friend replied, “Oh, I don’t believe in it. But I am told it works even if you don’t believe in it.” (You can watch me tell the story in this video.)

To help herself quit drinking, a friend told me, she explicitly invoked the idea of luck. “I told myself, ‘The lucky parts of my life have been when I wasn’t drinking, so I need to stop drinking to get my luck back.’”

How about you? Do you have a lucky object, lucky ritual, or lucky item that you wear? I have a lucky perfume. I love beautiful smells, but I save one of my favorite perfumes to wear only when I feel like I need some extra luck.

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The Cosmic Trinity of Chinese Metaphysics

Cosmic Trinity of Chinese Metaphysics

There is something really important I want to share with you, because I believe it explains what controls our lives and how we can make better “life choices” for a smoother smarter path.

It’s called the Cosmic Trinity of Chinese Metaphysics and it is divided into three parts; EARTH LUCK, MAN LUCK, and HEAVEN LUCK.

Earth Luck is our Feng Shui and it controls one-third of the equation. This means that the physical place we live and work is important. Either it supports us or it depletes us. Have you ever been to someone’s home or office and it doesn’t feel right? You can’t wait to leave? On the other hand, there are places you love and want to stay forever.

Man Luck is your freewill. These are the choices you make. It is also the magical candles, mystical objects and superstitions you believe in. It’s those coins tied with red strings or the hanging crystal. It is also your education and everything that requires you to take action. Man Luck is powerful because it controls one-third of our lives. Finally, there is

Heaven Luck or your astrology. It can be Western Astrology, or Chinese BaZi Astrology, or Vedic Astrology. All roads lead to Rome. This represents your parents and your destiny. It explains why you have certain talents and traits. Why your parents and siblings constantly get on your case about something you do that bugs them. It’s about your potential.

I want you to see how all three work together. If you live in a place that supports you and you’re proactive in making smart choices because you know your potential, you will be more successful because you have 99 percent of the equation. This insures that you have a greater chance of being happy, healthy, loved, and prosperous.

Have you experienced an imbalance in these three aspects of yourself? Have you focused on only one of these areas and seen success bloom because of it? Please share your experience in the comments.

Learn To Be Lucky

“Some people have all the luck!” But do they? This observation is usually driven from our competitive nature which tends to be jealous of other people’s accomplishments, wealth and friendships. Anyone who has ever risen above petty jealousies understands that it is best to imitate the object of envy, even ask that person to become a mentor, “How did you do that?”

After interviewing a random sample of self-proclaimed lucky people, here are the attributes I have found. Study them, so that you can improve your luck.

* “I follow my gut reactions. At first it was a little voice and a bit hard to tell if it was my gut feeling or a fear. But when I didn’t override it, I saved myself a lot of hurt, wasted time or anger. I don’t do what I basically feel I shouldn’t do. The emphasis is on feel.”

* “I look for the good within the bad. Like when my car was totaled and I had a hip operation because of the accident – someone else’s fault. The operation was a success; my rehab was good; and I returned to the gym, greeted by my friends and have made a full recovery. I think I am better because I put my mind into my healing. I am stronger now and appreciate getting about every day and moving around freely.”

* “I’m alert and receptive to possibilities. I notice opportunities a lot of other people don’t. I find money on the street; I go to a party hoping to meet a great girl, but instead I meet a good friend or a great business connection.”

* “I’m lucky to be alive and enjoy the little things. I see a hummingbird, or a beautiful flower growing out of a crack in the seam of a concrete sidewalk and I get so excited. I transfer what I see to my art. There is inspiration everywhere.”

* “I’m lucky because I’m an optimist and believe that things will work out in the end. Guess what? They always do.  My perception is skewed to the positive instead of the flaws. I see the bigger picture.”

And if you need a symbol to remind you that you are lucky, something to give your focus to, consider these cultural  tried and true charms: The four leaf clover, the hand, the horseshoe, a star, three keys, a red string, and in your home, a bamboo plant. Even better, create your own good luck charm or wear your lucky outfit.

  What  would you dare to do if you believed that you were lucky?

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / spike55151

St James’s Day

I’m not a big fan of commemorating saints, but this one has an extra meaning for me. On this day in 1941 my father was shot down by the Germans, crashing into the sea off France. He was lucky to survive because not everyone on his plane did. He spent the next four years, more or less, in various prison camps, being starved. At the time he thought this was the unluckiest thing in the world, since all his chums were fighting fascism, getting promoted, doing good things, and he was stuck behind the wire. He dug tunnels, but never got to break out.

What he didn’t realize was that most of his chums were being killed. The camps were what helped him survive.

I’m grateful for that or I wouldn’t be here.

So this little tale reminds us that we never can see the end results of what is going on for us. As Milton said, ‘They also serve who only stand and wait’. Sometimes we have to wait, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important or that nothing is happening.

My father’s name?  James. He always thought his saint was looking out for him that day.

How Open To Opportunity Are You?

Is it true that opportunity only knocks once? Or is it more true that opportunity knocks so often, it nearly knocks you down? Are you open to it? Or do you fear that there is never enough, and possibly miss life’s generous hand directing you along an unknown and to-be-discovered path?

Luck has been described as the preparedness to meet opportunity. Are you prepared? And what does it mean to be prepared? Events way beyond the control of any of us have meant that we can no longer rely on things being the same as they have always been. Whether we like it or not. most of us are having to adapt. You can do so reluctantly, fighting resentfully every step of the way. Or, you can embrace this time to re-evaluate your life’s possibilities, and the opportunities that await you.

I will prepare and some day my chance will come.

Abraham Lincoln

25 years ago, giving seminars for those meeting "early retirement" in their 50’s, I became aware how important it is for people of all ages to have purpose and a good reason to get up in the morning.

Having a vision to realize and fulfill impacts your all round health and well-being. You need to prepare to meet new opportunities, including after a long period of full-time economic activity, possibly in one career. Those opportunities have never been greater, even today.

How do you prepare? The first part is to know what you really want; the skills you wish to use, develop or learn; the kind of people you wish to be spending your time with; the environment that best suits you; the accomplishments you would like to be working towards. Evaluate and become aware of your greatest strengths and qualities.

In short, you are creating a vision for yourself. This is a process and does not happen overnight. You may wish to talk through your ideas with a good buddy; meditate or pray about it; take a brisk walk for inspiration; ask for guidance in your dreams. Explore your passions and dreams, what it is you would really love to do now.

Then you may cultivate the opportunity mind-set, expansively become aware of the good things in and around you, the blessings you enjoy and are grateful for. There is the opportunity you have to assist a friend; to extend a kind word when someone is feeling down; to celebrate the completion of a difficult task with a colleague; to join a team who pray for those who are troubled.

What need do you see around you that you can fulfil? What opportunities do you notice to make a difference to someone else? What issues spark your creative inspiration?

You are beginning to open the door to opportunity as you get to know yourself better, who you are now, your values and personal assets. Without this knowledge and direction, you could be walking into an ocean of opportunities, but never recognize even one.

The door may now be open and you can see beyond it into the next "room", your vision. At a certain moment, you may need to let go of what has become familiar and comfortable from the past, to step through the doorway into this new world.

With a clearer picture of who you are, your enthusiasm and what you wish to contribute into life, you will find it much easier to attract opportunities, often coming via people who need what you are offering, or who are keen to support your objectives.

Again this is not something that happens overnight, but can be a process of serendipity or seemingly random chance. But how random is it? Have you not prepared yourself by doing the necessary homework?

The point is here not to give up at the first indication that what you want is not available for you. Treat this stage as an exploration, an adventure into new territory. An encouraging partner or buddy can be worth their weight in gold, as I have found. A witness to hear your trials and triumphs can help to keep you going.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
Thomas Alva Edison

What if you are stuck, and simply cannot find the energy or inspiration to take another step? Or if you run out of confidence that things will ever come right? You feel completely blocked and hopeless. Hard then to stay open for opportunity to find you.

If you find yourself shut down, ask yourself:

What has to happen for me to…..
and complete the question for yourself. Write it down somewhere.

For example:

What has to happen for me to…
…. meet a new life partner?
…. sleep well at night?
…. achieve a healthy body weight?
…. enjoy daily meditation?
…. get a job that pays well, that I love and do well.

In my experience, this opening question can lead to an "out of the blue" occurrence, such as a surprise phone call from someone you have not heard from in ages. Or you may find yourself with new insights or fresh inspiration. Or you might be willing to take some radical action that you just do, for the heck of it.

It may take for you to be truly tired and sick of being sick and tired before you are willing to break through fears and doubts to make the change necessary for a more rewarding life. There has never been a better time than now for reinventing yourself and creating an amazing set of circumstances for your fulfilment and joy.

Has life ever surprised you with an unusual opportunity? Have you ever made a radical change in outlook and expectations to create a better life? If I could wave a magic wand for you, what would you have happen?

Please feel free to leave a comment below, or contact me at anne@annenaylor.com

For updates on The New Wealth Book, click here for the latest from the New Wealth Book Blog: The TGV, Deep Healing And Humility

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / andreh8

New Year’s Black-Eyed Peas

I’ve been told that black-eyed peas eaten on New Year’s Day is supposed to bring luck and prosperity. I walked into the New Year with quite a bit more blessings than expected, but I wanted to make sure I got an extra helping of luck and prosperity for 2010.

It’s almost the end of January, Time Warner is threatening to turn off my cable (Truly, I don’t know how cable got so expensive!), and I figure I need to claim my prosperity ticket. So, I cooked up a dee-licious Black-eyed Peas Casserole. You have got to try it!

• 1 pound ground beef, turkey, whatever suits your fancy
• 1 medium yellow onion, diced
• 2 cloves garlic, chopped
• 3 cups cooked black-eyed peas or from the can is just as good (I swear!)
• 1 medium jalapeno, diced
• 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes
• 1 (10-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
• 1 (10-ounce) can cream of chicken soup
• 1 (10-ounce) can mild enchilada sauce (You can even use Salsa)
• A few dashes of hot sauce (I use a Scotch bonnet mixture my momma gave me…)
• 2 Tblspn Seasoning salt (Should/could include: paprika, salt, garlic powder, Black pepper, onion powder, cayenne, dried oregano, and thyme)
• About 10-16 corn tortillas
• Butter
• 2 cups grated cheddar
• Chopped green onions or sour cream for garnish

Brown the ground meat in a very large skillet. Add to the browned meat, the onion, garlic, jalapeno and your seasoning salt mixture. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the onion has softened. Add the peas, tomatoes, mushroom soup, chicken soup and enchilada sauce. Add a few dashes of hot sauce. Simmer until warm, about 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Tear the tortillas into large pieces. Grease the bottom of a large casserole dish with butter and then line the bottom with the torn tortilla pieces. Spoon on the ground beef mixture into a thin layer and then add a layer of cheese. Add another layer of tortillas and repeat with the meat mixture, finishing with a layer of cheese on top. Cover the casserole dish with foil to prevent the cheese from burning and place in the oven. Cook for 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and eat your fill of luck and prosperity.
Oh! Garnish with chopped green onion or sour cream.

Try it and let me know what you think.

I’m a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.

The 5 Lies of Lucky in Success

So easy to dismiss the success of The Great Ones in business, sports, science or the arts as "lucky". But success doesn’t just show up. It’s always earned. High achievement isn’t the result of "destiny" but desire – and acute determination.

From Branson to Bono and from Mandela to Michael Dell, dive deep into the stories of the best of the best and you’ll see they’re are all thinking the same thoughts and doing strikingly similar things (all of which I write about in my new book "The Leader Who Had No Title" which comes out in March from Simon and Schuster).

Don’t buy into the following 5 Lies of Lucky:

1. Successful people don’t work hard – they just happen to be at the right place at the right time. Sure, timing makes a difference (just ask Jobs or Brin). But business superstars not only outthink their competition – they outwork them. Few things are as mission-critical to leadership and winning as blood, sweat and tears.

2. Successful people had a smoother path and more lucky breaks.
Nope. The people who have achieved the most are generally those who have failed the most. Success is a numbers game and those who have reached the mountaintop where those who simply refused to lose (and turned every stumbling block into a stepping stone). FedEx’s first day in business saw only about 15 packages moved. But rather than shutting down, they regrouped and reinvented.

3. Successful people are born motivated. Motivation is a learned sport. To play at peak and light a fire in your belly takes daily devotion. The best among us are up while the world around them sleeps, listening to inspirational cds, reading heroic biographies, planning their days/weeks/months/lives and basically preparing themselves to deliver their leadership best. We all need to refill the well of passion and inspiration every morning.

4. Successful people are "one person shows". Behind GE’s Jack Welch lived a superb group of followers. Alongside Jeff Bezos walks a remarkable band of believers. Can’t do the dream without the right team. If you are really serious about getting to wow on each of your 2010 business and personal goals, make sure you have the right people and resources to help you get there. To paraphrase John Donne: "no person is an island".

5. Successful people are geniuses. According to the latest research, genius isn’t a natural trait – it’s a learned skill. The "genius research" has found that every so-called "genius" invested the equivalent of 10 years singularly focused on their chosen sport/business/craft. As I’ve written in "The Leader Who Had No Title": "mediocrity occurs when we focus on many things. Mastery arrives when we focus on only a few." Commit to being brilliant at just a few passions in your life and cut out all the rest. And then practice on these obsessions daily. In time, you too will be recognized as a master. And that’s my great wish for you.

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Photo: Flickr / thinkpanama

Top 9 Number 9 Stories for 09/09/09

In honor of 09/09/09, here are 9 positive news stories related to the number 9. 

  1. 1. The Beatles hit song “Revolution 9” ends with, “Number nine… number nine… number nine…” and a special digitally remastered Beatles CD box set is expected to be released today, 09/09/09.
  2. 2. Starting today, the 9 Supreme Court Justices are returning early from a summer recess to hold a special session about campaign finance. This will be the debut of the first Latina on the Supreme Court, Justice Sotomayor.
  3. 3. This day, 09/09/09, is being celebrated as World Interconnectedness Day. The theme for the unique day is, “Just Imagine……a shift from I llness to WE llness.” This theme is consistent with the number 9 in astrology: "Astrologically, nine corresponds to Sagittarius and the Ninth House.  There is a sense of expansion and a world where life has meaning and everything is interconnected."
  4. 4. Muslims are currently observing the holy month of Ramadan, which takes place on the 9th month of the Islamic calendar and concludes on the 19th. 
  5. 5. Although couples typically get married on the weekends, tens of thousands of couples in China will be wed on Wednesday because 9 is considered a lucky number in China, and 09/09/09 is seen as particularly auspicious.
  6. 6. After approximately 9 days of being docked at the International Space Station, the shuttle Discovery has undocked from the station and is scheduled to return home to the Kennedy Space Center on Thursday night.
  7. 7. Want to take a closer look at Dante’s 9 circles of hell? Today only, gamers can pre-order Dante’s Inferno (PS3/X360) at GameStop and save (what else?) $6.66.
  8. 8. David Axelrod has said that this is the “9th inning” for health care reform, and President Obama will be addressing Congress tonight, 09/09/09. 
  9. 9. The animated movie 9 opens today, which “dynamically explores the will to live, the power of community, and how one soul can change the world.” Also, the surprise hit District 9 continues to delight science fiction fans, earning positive reviews from 90% of critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
May you have a happy and auspicious 09/09/09!
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