Feel Happier By Mark Tong Isn’t that just your luck? Another year of no opportunities. Another year of Lady Luck bypassing your door. Another year of the same old same old…nothing. Some people just seem to attract good fortune. Once in a lifetime opportunities fall from the sky into their laps. Some people just have all the luck. Or do they? Can it really be that some people are just born lucky? Perhaps. I don’t honestly know the answer. What I do know is that whether you are born lucky or not, you can make your own luck. You can choose to be the person who attracts opportunity. You can have endless possibilities fall in your lap. How do I know? Because I turned my life around. I worked out how to make my own luck. And I want to share it with you because now I love my life. And I know you can too. Here’s how you can make your own luck… 5 Ways To Get Lady Luck Hammering On Your Door 1. Be a self-starter You’ll often find that the ‘luckiest’ people are the cheekiest. Cheeky will get you a long way in life. Everyone loves to help but they don’t know what you’re looking for unless you ask, and self-starters aren’t afraid to ask. Cheeky people don’t wait for luck to come to them, they go after it with a club. Sure you might end up a little out of your depth, but that’s okay. You’re strong enough to doggy paddle your way back to the shore. The honest truth is, that’s going to happen way less than you think. Because you don’t know what you’re capable of …until you try. For 3 years I was a wannabe author, writing at my kitchen table. The only ones who got to see my scribblings were me and the mice. Then one day I got cheeky. I met a guy who wrote luxury travel books and was drowning in deadlines, debts and indecision. ‘I can help you’ I shouted though we’d only just met. It came out kind of loud, like when you’re nervous, because I was. But being cheeky that day led me to co-author a book that features in bookshops and swanky hotel lobbies the world over – New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Paris and London have all seen my scribblings now. Who’d have thought it? Not me. Not the me that didn’t speak up, that didn’t raise my hand. Not the me that thought luck didn’t want me on her team. So get cheeky to get lucky. Ask for that promotion, offer your talents, volunteer your enthusiasm – the life you’ll love is waiting, just the other side of that cheeky question. I believe that people make their own luck by great preparation and good strategy. ~Jack Canfield 2. Be a rebel. Rules are great, right? Because we all have our own little rule book. One that we don’t necessarily share with others consciously, but it’s there all right. Your rulebook defines what’s good or bad. What’s allowed and what’s forbidden. It gives your life structure and surety. Rules act like a barrier round a potential hazard, letting you know what’s safe and what isn’t. Hooray for rules! Well, hooray up to a point because your rules operate perfectly in the life that you know. But opportunity is waiting in the life that you don’t know. And those same rules can also act like a barrier round a potential opportunity. That’s what makes it opportunity. It’s the gateway to a new world, even a new life. And I’ve got to tell you that to attract that opportunity, you’re going to have to bend or even break your rules. You’re going to have to be a rebel. But that’s a good thing because most of us have rules that don’t serve us as well as we think. Rules that lead us to be over-protective, over-cautious. Ones that tell us it’s still not safe to swim in the local pool in case of shark attack. Ones that are shouting so loud for your attention, you don’t hear opportunity knocking on your door. I had such a rule – ‘Look before you leap’. It seemed sensible and sounded like it would keep me safe. In hindsight, it kept me rooted in over-thinking and indecision instead. So one day I ditched that rule and said ‘Yes’ to a crazy-haired guy who asked me to spend the rest of my life with him …on the second day we met. Sensible? Nope. Safe? Definitely not. But that was 28 years ago. 28 years of adventuring, traveling, business building together. 28 years of a life I love. But only because I broke my rule. So be a rebel and you can open the door of opportunity to a whole new, lucky life. The golden rule is that there are no golden rules. ~George Bernard Shaw 3. Be a trailblazer. Just because there is a common path, it doesn’t mean you have to, or should, follow it. In fact, it’s often the worse thing to do. It’s usually very over-crowded anyway. Think Yosemite Trail on 4th July, a nose-to-tail line of people hell bent on walking the same path, even though there are over 800 miles of other trails in the park. And with so many people walking the same path, it soon becomes a deep rut. And luck hates ruts. The best way to create opportunity is to ignore the signposts and take another path – your own. Sure you’re going to end up at a few dead ends, staring at a few daunting drop offs, wondering how on earth to take the next step. But you’ll regroup and find a way. I found my own path in my career and cut out the five years all my fellow students took to get to the same place. Simply because I didn’t look at what they were doing or what the ‘proper’ path was. I wandered off on my own and found the road completely empty, no crowds, no obstacles. I discovered all opportunity was looking for was enthusiasm, dedication and the courage to experiment. It saved me five whole years. Opportunity picked me because I stood out, not from the crowd because there wasn’t one. I stood out because I was the only one on that path. So be a trailblazer – the more you make your own path, the luckier (and happier) you’ll become. We have to be continually jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down. ~Kurt Vonnegut 4. Be an action hero ‘Lucky’ people may appear to have everything nailed and sorted. They seem so sure of what they want and how to get it. Yep, that’s actually Hollywood, TV and magazine hype. That image is one of the biggest reasons you think that luck can never come your way. Because you don’t fit that image. Well I’m here to tell you that there’s one real life characteristic you share with ‘lucky’ people that no one ever includes in those made up images. In real life the ‘lucky’ people have ideas. And so do you. The difference is they act on those ideas. I learned that via a harsh lesson. Years ago vegetarian snacks were rarer than an honest politician. Frustration led me to have a killer idea – flavored rice cakes! A killer idea… that I didn’t follow up through lack of belief that I could be the one to invent something the world would love. Yeah, I know. My lucky break that I didn’t take. Someone else also had the same idea three years later. And the belief to follow it up. Those exact rice cakes I envisaged are now on sale in supermarkets the world over. Some days I buy a packet just to remember how good my life can taste if I follow all my ideas. Do you know why ‘lucky’ people act on their ideas? It’s because they know that trying something to see if it works is the only way to achieve anything. When you look at starting something new, a venture, change of career, reinventing yourself, there seems to be so many things that could wrong, that could end in disaster. And you’re absolutely right. There are. But here’s how to be lucky. Stop seeing those things as ‘failures‘. Instead choose to see them as experiments, as stepping stones to finding what does work for you. ‘Okay, so that didn’t work. What if I changed x and tried y..?’ That’s how ‘lucky’ people think. And succeed. So be creative, be experimental and be lucky in finding the life you’ll fall in love with. The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones. ~John Maynard Keynes 5 . Be an imperfectionist Oh boy, chaos! That feels like your world’s falling apart and no matter how fast you shove the stuffing back in, it’s never going to fit. That’s normal, and it’s okay too. After all, chaos is a lot of stuff happening at the same time. There are multiple options and decisions to consider and make. There’s ideas to juggle, new experiences to adapt to. And, perhaps hardest of all, there are new rules to write in your rule book… to replace the ones you’ve now crossed through because they didn’t serve you. But if you want those juicy opportunities to come your way, you’re going to need to invite chaos onto your team every now and then. Forget your perfectionist tendencies and embrace imperfection. Which will feel a little out of your comfort zone. Excellent! Great opportunities happen outside, not inside, your comfort zone. So embrace chaos. It means opportunity picked you to be Captain of the team. Congratulations! Chaos in the world brings uneasiness, but it also allows the opportunity for creativity and growth. ~Tom Barrett Love Your Lucky Life Sick of feeling unlucky? Tired that it’s never you that gets picked by opportunity? Fed up with not loving your life? Well, the fantastic news is that’s going to change for you, right now. Because now you know the secret. You can create all the opportunity you want. All you’ll ever need. Opportunity is desperate to have you on it’s team. It always was.You’re just the right kind: you’re plucky, cheeky, an intelligent rule-breaker, up for a little chaos. Oops, there’s Opportunity knocking at your door. I’ll let you go answer it. And open the door to a life you love. What is your sense of making your own luck?