© COPYRIGHT 2015. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. * Mountain photo by Cecilia Mortenson ACMG/IFMGA Mountain Guide/CAAL2aspiremountainjourneys.com
I remember something my sister said when she was visiting me this fall. She said, “You have such a cute face. You just always look so cute.” Now, I wouldn’t say that I am any more or less “cute” than most people, so this got me to thinking. What made me “cute?” What was the expression on my face that made me “cute” and what were the thoughts behind that expression? What I realized after a lot of reflecting, was that I almost always think about what is “good” at any particular moment. I rarely think about negative stuff. I just naturally tend to focus on the good stuff, because good stuff makes me feel good. And I LIKE to feel good! I rarely watch the news, for example, because it usually depresses me. I have no control over most of what is reported and it often upsets me. I DO have control over whether I watch the news or not. It’s not that I don’t care about others. I do. I prefer to read motivating articles or books about how we as individuals, can have a positive impact on the world. I have been part of a volunteer construction crew, putting a roof on a medical clinic in Guatemala. I donate to the British Humane Society (protecting animals). I am a professional Life Coach. I care. I just choose to focus on the good stuff.
So, my sister thinks I'm cute and my brother once told me that I am “the luckiest person” he knows. Good stuff “happens” to me. According to him, I decide I want something, and I “get” it. Now, like with what my sister said, I wouldn’t say I am any more or less “lucky” than most people. I just choose to believe that I WILL get what I want. And guess what? I usually do get what I want! I choose to focus on what I want as opposed to all the reasons why or how that could not happen. I look at the goal or desire and then I look at where I am now, and decide what needs to happen to get me to the goal, navigating around any obstacles in the process, and assuming that I will get there. And sometimes, I will admit, “miracles” happen. I just “happen” to meet the “right” person or find that car I’ve been dreaming about at the price I dreamed about (I’ve bought not one, but TWO Fiat 850 Spider convertibles, each for $850, which was cheap even way back in the day!) I “happened” to meet my partner of 30 years, but since then, I have chosen to stay in the relationship, by focusing on the good “stuff”, instead of the “bad” stuff. All relationships take dedication. No one is the “perfect mate”. We can always find fault with someone, but likewise, we can always choose to find positive things about that same person.
So where does all of this leave “luck?” Luck is a choice. Luck is where you choose to put your attention. Luck is the Universe stepping in and “answering your prayers” because you were brave enough to ask for what you wanted! And then, you stayed open to the endless possibilities and options about how to get there. Being lucky is also an art. It is the art of where to put your attention.
Have you ever heard the expression “Careful what you ask for. You might get it!” Of course you have. It refers to “attracting” what you DON’T WANT. I still remember my biggest lesson in the “law of attraction” as some people call it. I was driving my Fiat 850 Spider to Sacramento to meet a friend for lunch. I remember thinking, “Boy, I hope I don’t get a flat, because I don’t have a spare.” Just an idle thought at first, but then I began to worry a bit. What would I do if I DID have a flat? I made it to lunch without a flat, but – and this is a BIG but – when I went to pick up my car after lunch, I had not ONE, but TWO flat tires!! Well, at least I wasn’t in the middle of nowhere! I actually laughed out loud, called the tow truck, and had both tires repaired AND bought a spare!
What is my message here? That we create our own lives, either consciously or unconsciously. Either way, WE are ultimately responsible for our own happiness (or unhappiness).
To some, this might sound exciting. To others, it might sound downright frightening. Others still, get angry at this notion. “If I am in control, then why do bad things happen? I certainly didn’t ask for them!”
No one asks for bad things to happen, at least not consciously. But what about where we “put” our attention? Have you ever had the experience of “having bad day?” I know I have! Nothing seems to go right. You get all the red lights. There’s a ton of traffic. You’re late for work. Your boss is in a bad mood. You’re exhausted. Everything seems overwhelming. You finally make it through the day, go home, don’t even bother to make dinner and throw yourself into bed. Then, when you wake up the next day, for no particular reason, you’re in a good mood. You feel grateful for your life. The sun is shining. The coffee smells heavenly and you actually enjoy it for a change. You hop in your car and head for work and get all the green lights. When you arrive, the boss has brought in croissants for everyone and is whistling at his desk. What changed? Well, in “reality”, nothing. You still live in the same place, have the same job, the same commute, the same boss…and yet, something IS different. What could it be? The answer is YOU.
You woke up “on the right side of the bed”. Grateful to be alive. Grateful for the little things in life. Instead of focusing on what’s wrong, you noticed the GOOD things. And voila’, more good things happened! Or so it seemed, because that is what you noticed.
So what if you could choose between these two scenarios? Which one would YOU choose? The reality is, you CAN choose. At any given moment in time, you can choose what to put your attention on. You can choose your thoughts. You can wake up, and feel annoyed that you “have” to go to work – or – you can wake up and choose to feel grateful that you have a job and a place to live. This doesn’t mean that you have to stay at that job forever, but you can choose to focus on the “good” aspects of your job, instead of the “bad” ones. You can simply assess your current situation and DECIDE if you want to change it, instead of being a “victim” of it. And even in the midst of reassessing and changing, you have the choice to focus on the “good” things, in life.
Being “lucky” is an art. It is the art of where you choose to put your attention.
So I leave you with this question: Where are you putting your attention today?