“I’ve found that what most people call luck is often little more than raw talent combined with the ability to make the most of opportunities.” ~ Timothy Zahn
“Some people just have all the luck!” Have you ever felt that way? Perhaps someone has even said that about you. Or maybe you’re still waiting for your “lucky break”? For many people, it’s easiest to drift through life, taking whatever comes. Waiting for your lucky break makes it easier to shift the blame to others for any failures that happen. After all, some people are just cursed with bad luck, right? Not at all! If you look at their life choices and their attitudes that prompted those choices, you’ll see why they’ve been having bad luck. You make your own luck by intentionally developing the empowering skills I’m going to share with you today.
The foremost requirement is taking responsibility for your actions. This is the springboard from which your luck-attracting mood, attitude and outlook will grow. Professor Richard Wiseman, a psychology chair at England’s University of Hertfordshire, conducted scientific research with a group of 400 exceptionally “lucky” and “unlucky” people from all walks of life. He discovered that “lucky” people possess four basic psychological traits:
- They know how to maximize opportunities.
- They listen to their intuition.
- They expect good fortune.
- They see the bright side of “bad luck”.
His conclusion makes perfect sense to me. It’s what I’ve observed in my own life, as well as, in the lives of my clients. Let’s examine how you can enhance each of these qualities in your own life…
1. Make your own luck by maximizing your opportunities.
Prepare now, so you can take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way. What do I mean? If your life is not in shape to support you as you step into something greater, you’ll tend to shrink back in fear.
Also when you build a strong network of positive influencers and supporters, you increase the likelihood that you’ll have greater opportunities opened to you. As you remain open to new experiences and enhance your curiosity you’ll see opportunities where others do not. This open outlook is a more positive and relaxed approach to life. You’ll see a difference in your choice of words, thoughts and body language, which, in turn, will attract people who can bring you your “lucky break”.
2. Make your own luck by listening to your intuition.
It takes quiet times and a practice of mindfulness to cultivate your intuitive powers. You have to be still to listen to what all your Parts are telling you. Once you do acquire a stronger intuition, it’s important that you don’t sabotage yourself by dismissing what it’s telling you.
3.Make your own luck by actively looking for the good.
What you look for is what you will see. Your thoughts become self-fulfilling prophecies. Therefore, why not always expect and look for the good, since that’s what you want to attract into your life. It heightens your expectations and broadens your focus and you’ll tend to act in a way that helps you achieve what you want. You won’t give up so easily either!
4. Make your own luck by cultivating resilience and transforming each negative into a positive.
Rather than being sucked into a vortex of bad luck, proactively turn your luck by examining each circumstance for how and why it makes you feel a certain way. Armed with this knowledge, consider how the situation was made worse by your actions or inaction and how you could have made it better. This in-depth contemplation will help you learn from each experience. It will keep you from passing a non-helpful judgment upon yourself. In this way, you shift your mood and prepare yourself to handle a similar future occurrence more effectively.
You don’t have to be manipulative to make your own luck. However, you can influence others to send opportunities your way by putting your A-game in place. Identify the goal you want to achieve and start living it! Dress like, talk like, think like, and act like it’s your reality already. Attract the right people by being of service to them. Then start specifically asking for what you want. The right people will notice you and send you “your lucky break”! No, it doesn’t happen by chance; luck happens by design.
Are you ready to make your own luck and watch extraordinary things happen in your life? I’d love to partner with you through this process. Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter to stay up-to-date on some of the training opportunities I offer…including, Foundations of Life Coaching and NLP — September 26 to 29, 2019.
“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” ~ John Steinbeck
It goes against popular thought, but I have to be honest with you — being self-indulgent is not a good basis for self-care practices. In the long run, this course leads to self loathing. Your body gets out of shape, your emotions become unruly and your spirit is stunted. The best self care practices take self-discipline, because you choose what’s good for you, rather than what feels good in the moment.
But getting tough with yourself is only part of the equation. When it’s your sole focus, it’s too easy to go to the extreme of getting down on yourself. That’s not helpful or healthful! We’ve had a lifetime to get where we are today. No doubt you’ve picked up some “baggage” along the way, like I have. It takes time to change your previous patterns, to create new ones that are in harmony with your higher purpose.
If nothing else, please take this away with you: The best self-care practices depend on self-compassion. Encourage yourself, not guilt yourself! Try to see each small step as progress and quit expecting perfection. It’s that negative, harsh self-talk that makes you want to quit, and you don’t deserve that. You wouldn’t talk that way to your best friend, would you?
The best self-care practices are also intentional. They don’t just happen. In your mind, consciously label an activity as self care — that it’s part of your “prescription” for wellness. After all, when a doctor prescribes a medication or course of action, you take it seriously, right? Well then, put your self care practices on that same level of importance and urgency, because your well-being depends on it!
When you truly care for yourself, you’ll have the energy to give of yourself and to live joyfully. As Steve Maraboli puts it so well, “Allow yourself to enjoy each happy moment in your life.” Perhaps the following list will give you some new ideas:
- Listen to your body. When you need down time, take it without feeling guilty.
- You don’t have to put up with stress triggers and Debbie Downers.
- Move, stretch, and breathe deeply often.
- Check in with your emotions. Sit quietly and name what you’re feeling, without judgment.
- Enjoy at least one hour of intentional silence every day; split it into 15-minute increments if that works best for you.
- Completely disconnect from your phone by a set time each day — no surfing the Net, no YouTube, no social media, just peaceful reflection on how this day has made your life richer.
- Learn to say no kindly, but firmly.
- Quit “making do” with that worn out shirt, broken can opener, or whatever it is you’re putting up with. You deserve something new.
- Do a mini-declutter and get rid of what doesn’t “spark joy” as Marie Kondo says.
- Dress up and admire yourself more often.
- Make a monthly “play date” with yourself and just enjoy your own company at the coffee shop, library, boutique, museum or whatever you fancy.
- Reconnect with something that gave you pleasure and filled your soul in the past – hiking and camping, listening to tunes, lighting candles, dancing around the room, a hobby.
- Take a blanket outside and do some cloud watching or star gazing.
- Create a new personal or family tradition.
- Make a new friend.
- Expand your mindfulness practice to eventually encompass all aspects of your life, by intentionally adding one new category per month, like driving, brushing your teeth, shopping, eating, breathing, walking, listening, etc.
- Read at least one book per month.
- Walk 15 more minutes than you usually do.
- Sign up for a course you’ve always wanted to take.
- Join an exercise class designed for your fitness level, so you don’t injure yourself or become discouraged.
- Hire a coach to keep you motivated toward a personal or professional goal.
- Join a community to get you out of your rut and meeting new people.
- Intentionally mix things up — lunch in the park, drive a different route to work, buy fresh veggies at a Farmer’s Market, etc.
- Reconnect with people who matter.
- Feed your inspiration.
- Look for five beautiful things each day and fully feel gratitude for them.
- Start a Kudos File, collecting and appreciating every compliment you receive.
- Do something special to enhance important relationships; within healthy relationships you’ll find that the more you give the more joy you receive.
- Do acts of kindness; what goes around comes around.
- Play and laugh — keep your inner child alive.
The best self-care practices are whatever you do deliberately to take care of your mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health. Do you have any self-care practices you’d add to this list? Please visit my Facebook page and share them. And remember to sign up for my Newsletter. I may be biased, but I think that reading it is one of the best self-care practices you can have.
“Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.” ~ Chinese Proverb
Daily we’re confronted with new things to learn — about ourselves, about others, about life on this beautiful planet and, yes, about business and technology, too. Some things we enjoy learning; other things are more of a chore. In fact, it can feel overwhelming at times trying to keep up with all of the things we have to learn. However, I am firmly convinced that lifelong learning is imperative for survival — our finances, mental health, and physical well-being depend on it! Besides, it just makes life more interesting.
There are different styles of learning. In school, we relied on memorizing facts until we took the test. Then we promptly forgot it. While memorization and gathering facts exercise the brain, the lifelong learning that serves us best is being able to see and implement the practical application of the information we’re receiving.
I’ve found that a mindfulness practice really assists me in assimilating information. It helps me to slow down and focus. I’m able to compare new information with what I already know and connect the dots. Then I can see how the new information can be used in many aspects of life.
Are you a lifelong learner? Lifelong learners have a number of characteristics in common.
- read books every day.
- skip TV and do something creative instead.
- exercise regularly because physical fitness makes them intellectually dynamic.
- like to challenge themselves and reach new goals.
- have diverse interests.
- never feel too old to learn.
- embrace discomfort, because they know there’s always a solution if you keep looking hard enough.
When lifelong learning is your way of life, you’ll have a competitive edge in today’s job market. You won’t feel stuck in your profession, because you know you can learn new skills that will advance your career and make you highly sought after as an expert in your field.
Being a lifelong learner slows down cognitive decline. Just as your body needs exercise, your brain does too. That’s why learning a complex skill like a new language or a musical instrument, is so good for you.
Lifelong learning makes you a happier and more interesting person. Boredom won’t rear its ugly head. You’ll always have something to talk about, so your conversations can be more deeply meaningful. There are so many benefits from lifelong learning.
As Leonardo da Vinci said,
“Learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears, and never regrets.”
The only downside to being a lifelong learner is if you hoard the information and never use it. That would be like having millions of dollars, but you’re homeless and starving. For example, you can use your learning to reinvent yourself in the following ways:
What changes would you like to make? Sometimes it can be challenging to take the leap from knowing information and using information in a positive and productive manner. I invite you to contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). Let’s talk about the skills you have and the skills you still need to acquire to create the life you’ve always wanted.
Would you like to read more on this topic? Here are some of my other blog posts about lifelong learning:
Great Leaders Never Stop Learning – Have You?
Interested in Continuous Learning? How Adding Slack to Your Day Helps
Embodied Learning – A Lifelong Practice that Leads to Excellence and Mastery
And sign up for my newsletter to stay up-to-date on some of the training opportunities I offer…including, Foundations of Life Coaching and NLP coming up September 26 to 29, 2019.
“Authenticity requires a certain measure of vulnerability, transparency and integrity.” ~ Janet Louise Stephenson
Dee wanted more than anything to be a leader at work. She read every personal development book and took night courses to improve her speaking ability. She took weekend seminars to learn coaching techniques. She even did online NLP training, because she knew it would give her a competitive edge. As a team leader, she had all the right moves, but they were too practiced, too polished, too mechanical. In all of her training, she never acquired enough self-confidence to let her own personality shine through, to be vulnerable enough so people could see who she really was. As a result, she wasn’t able to connect with her team. She just hadn’t learned the knack of being genuine.
You and I both know that there’s a huge difference between someone acting like they’re interested and truly being interested. Putting on a show, going through the motions feels manipulative and off-putting. Leaders are far more effective when they are being genuine and can inspire trust and respect through their every-day actions.
If you tend to be defensive or guarded because of past hurts, being genuine can be a real challenge. But you have nothing to lose and everything to gain! Take a look at some of the ways being genuine will enhance the quality of your life…
Being genuine means you realize not everyone will like or agree with you and that’s okay. Being popular and getting praise isn’t your motivation — doing your best is!
Being genuine means you know your values and ethics. You’re kind and willing to let others live as they want to live, but they’re not going to shake your convictions.
Being genuine means you have the strength to make unpopular decisions. You trust your gut even when the majority are on a different path.
Being genuine means you’re approachable. People can sense that you’re truly interested in them.
Being genuine means you walk your own path, not someone else’s. You don’t have to pretend to be someone that you’re not, just to please others.
Being genuine means you recognize the good in others and see their strengths. You don’t have to hog the limelight, but you support and give generously of your knowledge and resources so they can excel at what they do best.
Being genuine means you treat everyone with respect no matter who they are. It’s important for you to dignify each person you meet, whether it’s family, friends, co-workers, or the stranger in line in front of you who’s taking “hours” to make their coffee selection at your local coffee shop.
Being genuine means you’re living in harmony with your purpose. This grounds you so you’re not swayed by the latest fad or craze.
Being genuine means keeping your word. You don’t tell people what you think they want to hear. Nor do you promise something, knowing full well you never intend on following through.
Being genuine means you see things for what they are. You don’t sensationalize comments or actions, adding meanings where none were intended. You don’t imagine slights where there are none. You give people the benefit of the doubt. And you positively look to learn from any feedback you receive.
Being genuine means you improve yourself, not try to “fix” someone else. You realize you are the only one who can change you; you’re not waiting for someone else to improve a situation.
Being genuine means you don’t hide or hold back. You’re not afraid of intimacy or connecting deeply with people. Yes, some people might disappoint you. But your life is richer for the good connections that you do make. It’s okay for people to see your vulnerabilities.
Being genuine takes a great deal of self-awareness and self-acceptance. I’ve found that a practice of mindfulness really helps. It leads to confidence that can’t be shaken. And it helps you excel at your chosen endeavors. It grounds you in reality. It lets you enjoy life to the full. It speaks to others and draws them to you.
Sometimes we can’t see ourselves clearly. We can either under-value or over-estimate ourselves. If you’d like some impartial and extremely helpful feedback, please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). I’d love to help you discover hidden strengths you can build upon to achieve the life you desire and deserve.
“We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead.” ~ Beyoncé
No matter what we’re trying to achieve, there always seem to be an in-between stage that gets us stuck. For example, you hit a plateau when you’re losing weight. Or you have to spend money you don’t have to make money. Or you’re working on developing leadership skills, but you have no one to lead. Or you want to build your coaching business, but you need coaching experience to attract new clients.
That in-between place isn’t comfortable, because it tests your faith in your dream, your belief in yourself, and your commitment to growth. These growing pains are a natural part of life and aren’t to be avoided. Rather embrace them as indicators that you are ready for the next level. Get excited about them. Don’t dread them.
Louise Santiago, Niina Gullsten and I have just completed this year’s Women: Bring Forth the Leader Within Retreat. I am feeling grateful, inspired and blessed! It was amazing and awe-inspiring to watch the women attendees courageously face and overcome doubt and indecision, as they worked on developing their leadership skills more fully.
Over the course of our time together, a common theme kept appearing: A person succeeds when developing leadership skills becomes a daily practice. Here are some tips we discussed:
Become more intentional. Whether it’s in regard to your relationships, business, or personal well-being, the more intentional and thoughtful your decisions become the better outcomes you will experience. Mindfulness is foundational to being intentional, for it builds within you a strong sense of identity and purpose. If you find yourself just drifting through life, take some time to mindfully reflect on where you really want to go and who you want to be.
Expand your circle of influence. Cultivate conversations and relationships with people who have different experiences and backgrounds. This diversifies your view of the world and lets you learn valuable lessons about yourself. It will reveal your strengths (e.g. patience) and your weaknesses (e.g. prejudices). Your communication skills will be tested, since you’ll be out of your comfort zone and you’ll want to pay closer attention to what’s being said and how it’s being said. But testing your conversation muscles is a win-win, because communication skills are paramount for developing leadership skills.
Step into leadership opportunities, as they come your way. Volunteering in your community is a great way to gain experience. Mentoring young women is a wonderful way to ensure our future is brighter. Even if you only lead one person toward achieving success, you will have accomplished a lot.
Developing leadership skills becomes more organic and intuitive, and less painful, when you look for opportunities in your daily life to practice them. Don’t be afraid to step up. Our recent retreat reminded us that women are amazingly powerful, beautifully humble, and awe inspiring as they support each other and step forward in all aspects of their life! Make a commitment to yourself and join us in 2020 for another great adventure.
Or if you’re ready to get started right now, please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). I’d love to share with you some of the new insights I’ve gained from this fabulous group of women.