"There is always going to be an opportunity to do something for yourself, or do something better or go down another avenue within an industry. You just have to find it. You have to be courageous enough to maybe level up and try something different."
Opportunities are truly always around us. I read about an experiment done to test the way our brain works and to see from which belief system we operate from: lack versus abundance. An ad was put in a newspaper for people to get in touch with a psychologist if they felt they were always unlucky in life, as well as if they felt they were consistently lucky. (Based on article by Professor Richard Wiseman, University of Hertfordshire.
They were then interviewed for research and took part in a simple experiment. They were given a newspaper and asked how many photographs were inside the paper. In the middle of the paper an ad was placed, and if they told the experimenter they had seen the ad, they automatically won $50! This was written on the ad itself. The message took up half a page, and was as clear as can be, yet not everyone participating saw it.
You probably guessed, those who felt luck was on their side, ended up seeing the ad, versus those who felt they were consistently unlucky. The opportunity to level up was staring at them, but they never saw it!
What is the differences then between lucky people and unlucky people? Lucky people are found to be more open and relaxed, therefore they aren't set on a specific outcome or expectation and hence can recognize opportunities which may look different to what they imagined. They listen to their intuition and allow that to guide them, be it taking bolder risks and adopting a resilient attitude. Unlucky people on the other hand are more tense, experience anxiety often and do not notice the unexpected. For example they would go to a party to find a perfect partner but miss the opportunity to connect with people. In this case, they looked in the paper to find specific jobs but then missed the other ones which could be great opportunities, as well as the $50 ad!
To be completely honest, I have my moments of fitting into the "unlucky" category. And it's truly no one else's fault but my own perspective which needs to be challenged in these situations. I have an ideal outcome I would like, but I can be prone to missing key opportunities to learn something, to gain something, to experience something, when my eyes are fixed on what is not working, or what's not there. However in 2020 I decided, I would definitely be different. And the truth is it is happening. I decided I was fed up with my old way of thinking, and it was time to finally stretch myself, as well as stretch my thinking. This meant introducing some strategy into my life, less procrastinating and scheduling my day in such a way to get some deep work done, but also be open to that schedule changing, if an opportunity arises.
"I have an ideal outcome I would like, but I can be prone to missing key opportunities to learn something, to gain something, to experience something, when my eyes are fixed on what is not working, or what's not there."
Professor Wiseman shares 4 tips to becoming more lucky:
1. Listen to your gut instincts- I love this! For the longest time, I feel like I never trusted my inner voice. This then translates in the way I make decisions, my level of confidence walking into a room, my need to people please and ultimately a whole lot of self sabotage. When you "know thyself!" you don't compromise on your core values to please others. You trust that you are exactly where you are supposed to be. You operate from a place of peace not confusion.
2. Be open to new experiences and breaking routine- I love routine to a certain degree. For things to get done, they need to be scheduled, and trust me the world's billionaires would agree! However it's not always those scheduled activities which lead to breakthrough or mind shift moments. We have to make time to play, to create, to be. To be open to experience something new. To be open to be challenged. To stay curious. I have found when I am truly present, I most always learn something new and am able to forge a very different connection with someone, as opposed to when I am distracted by the hundreds of things I need to get done.
"When you "know thyself!" you don't compromise on your core values to please others. "
3. Remember things that went well- Again, so guilty of not doing this. There are days where we can all fall into complaining, and being nit picky, when really there is so much to be grateful for. If we operate from a space of gratitude, we are happier! It's always true! Gratitude and stress cannot be felt in the same moment. I believe Tony Robbins even swears by this. We need to give ourselves a pat on the back for small achievements and wins, not just the big ones.
4. Visualise being lucky- I love this one! Again something I am trying to practice more. We all have and carry energy. If we expect disappointment and always think the worst, what are you likely to get? That's right! I don't even have to say it. If we expect and feel and think the best, it's better than just wishing for the best. Even if the outcome isn't that we win, or we bag that job, we might just forge a great connection which leads to another job! Being lucky isn't about believing in the impossible but truly believing that favour is on our side, whereever we go, whatever we do.
I am making a commitment to grow in all of these areas, every single day. And sure some days I may fail miserably, but the more I practice, the more I can get better at it. And at the end of the day, everyday is a new opportunity to get better.
Don't miss this great conversation!