Photo by Andy Holmes on Unsplash
Many years ago I met a wise counselor, an American of Lebanese descent. As usual at the end of the conversation I wished him “good luck in his future endeavors”, to my utter amazement he looked me straight in the eyes and said, “I don’t believe in luck!” Imagine my amazement that this man, who was not only very rich but was also very successful in his personal and career life would tell me this! I cannot fault myself for believing that luck had everything to do with it. He refused to explain to me why luck had nothing to do with his success because he wanted me to figure it out by myself.
At the time of writing this (years later), I realize that luck is so relative that it really doesn’t exist. One would have felt fortunate to have either got on to a flight or not have got on to the flight because of being late. In the latter case, one would most probably say, “I am so unlucky that I did not catch the flight”. Can anyone of us say with any certainty, that either situation was lucky or unlucky? The one that got on to the flight, may be considered lucky to have got on the flight, but may be unlucky as to have the bottom of the sea as the next destination, so has luck anything to do with our destiny?
I now am inclined to think that I have been misled into believing that we must be lucky to succeed in anything and everything. As a counselor, I am increasingly realizing that my American friend is absolutely right; luck has really nothing to do with anything. It is a simple word for training the mind towards manifestation of our wishes; New Age Psychology has revealed to us the wonderful world of neuroplasticity and epigenetics where we can create a new neuropathic path to achieve our wishes. We can therefore create our own “luck” can’t we?
The training of the mind to achieve this is not easy at all. It is so easy to advise someone on the need to think positively, forgetting that its far more important to teach someone HOW to achieve positivity. Right from Napolean Hills’ philosophy (1902) to Linda Ronda’s The Secret, the Power and The Magic, it was believed that just forcing the mind to think positively would be sufficient to get positivity to be autopiloted into the subconscious. Affirmations were thought to be effective. However in reality, affirmations have not really delivered. Eve St John then developed the theory of “Afformations” and claiming that afformation is the lacking ingredient in affirmation. The point I am making here is that it takes a lot of practice in mindfulness and mind training to achieve eradication of the whisperings in the mind and replacement of single focused thoughts through meditation (Effort). For the successful practitioner, his harvest was a result of hard and disciplined work, whereas, to the observer he is considered to be just simply lucky! The effort is overlooked.
Isn’t it only through effort and discipline that we get results? Is result therefore a synonym for luck or bad luck as the case may be? Positivity is truly not a simple affirmation but truly a tedious process. The process of positivity bestows upon us a productivity that doesn’t cause us to mind whether or not we have a single dollar in our pocket or millions of dollars in our pockets and we refer to this mentality as a positive mindset. It is this process of positivity leading to productivity that in fact causes “happiness”, happiness through the appreciation of moments in our lives. So, I ask myself should happiness then be a synonym for luck, or is happiness alone luck? This question then leads me to further believe that there is no such thing as luck. If we are happy we think we are lucky, if we are unhappy we think we are unlucky. Isn’t something missing here? We have to work towards being happy mustn’t we? Where is luck in the whole equation of a positive mindset allows for a positive process, which bestows upon us productivity and which makes us happy! My takeaway from this is that we should really omit the whole concept of luck from our lives but look towards what really gives us happiness. I realize I have never asked myself this question, until now, as I have always taken life for granted. I now recognize how crucial it is that we train our minds not to take things for granted but to live in the moment by appreciating our environment and everything that happens in our environment.
During my training as a Trainer and Coach, I remember seeing a video of an effective trainer who starts his training with an exercise that is very effective in making people aware of what they take for granted, i.e the very source of life. His style was to get a volunteer to cover his nose and his mouth with one hand and raise his other hand when he feels he needs to breathe, his instructions are that the volunteer is not to breathe until he (the trainer) gives the nod. After 3 attempts at raising his hand the trainer did not nod and the volunteer trainee released the grip on his nose and mouth and started coughing and splattering gasping for air. The whole process took 2 minutes. The trainer’s point… the trainee now will never ever take for granted, AIR, the crucial ingredient for the sustenance of life.
As I sit back writing this article I consider myself very happy in being able to breathe and breathe clean air at that. Am I lucky? I think not. One could of course say that I am lucky to even be breathing but that would take these thoughts to a different dimension.
Apart from Air, Knowledge is also something that will give us happiness, which we simply assume, and not ponder upon. Many a time have I said to myself, I am lucky to have known this because knowing this saved my life? Where is the element of luck in the acquisition of knowledge? Isn’t Effort the driving force in the acquisition of knowledge? We are happy when we can overcome challenges and we need to realize that to overcome challenges we need knowledge, and to have knowledge, we have to acquire knowledge, and the acquisition of knowledge is an effort, yet, to us and the onlooker we say we are lucky!
In hindsight therefore whether or not we feel happy is dependent upon ourselves; the more effort we take towards exercising and training the brain, the greater our depths of happiness. I talk about happiness because I deal with the issue of happiness almost everyday, there is so much unhappiness in so many of us, so much grief, so much sadness, so much anxiety, so much fear that its difficult to even have an iota of happiness. From my Counselor’s chair, including my personal experience (2 near death experiences) I realize that I needed to pay more attention to my mind and in particular, my subconscious mind. It is an accepted fact that our actions are influenced by our subconscious 90% of the time. It’s a fact that our conscious self cannot deliver. What we need to do is to look at our conscious self and see our wishes and aspirations and transfer this to our sub conscious, and with the right process, it becomes part of the subconscious and this is where the manifestation of our wishes comes true, because the subconscious is autopilot and our wishes become autopilot, Nothing to do with luck.
I was at a lecture where I was very impressed with the lecturer who said that we have fear, sadness, anxiety, depression and ego because we have allowed our subconscious to be totally influenced mirroring the image of the ugly environment surrounding human beings i.e. the world! The only way we can face the challenges of the world would be to be on top of the challenges and not within the eye of the storm of the challenges. Isn’t it remarkable that salt-water fish lead their entire life in salt water yet their flesh is nice and sweet unaffected by the salty environment? We really have to learn from the fish.
It’s not simply enough, after afformations and the achievement of productivity, mindfulness, and happiness, which we rest on our laurels. Once we do this, our direction will be southwards. This explains have beens who say, “I was lucky for the first 25 years of my working life and now lady luck is not with me”. In reality, happiness could not be sustained. Sustainability must succeed successful afformation and this in itself is a brand new challenge, (May I take a minute to digress to where my mind has mischievously taken me on the question of why is luck often referred to as a lady?) now, back to sustainability.
To sustain happiness, we must ask ourselves did we invite happiness to our lives or did we search for happiness. There is an important distinction here because if we are in search of happiness it is quite likely that we wont get it because we will always remain searching. Inviting happiness is where we recognize who our guests are and we open our doors to our happiness guest. We all know what happiness is in our conscious self, to open the door and invite them in would be to get happiness in our subconscious; Hence the affirmation of “I am happy” and the afformation of “Why am I happy?” In the former, I am happy because I have happiness as opposed to I want to be happy. In the case of the afformation of “Why Am I Happy?” The subconscious is aware that I am happy because I am happy and happiness is auto-piloted in my life is “ I have and a happy mindset”. I have had counselees who mockingly laugh at the statement I am happy because I am happy not realizing that it’s a statement of recognition of proprietorship of happiness. Sadness comes from those who want to be happy, but whose negativity eradicates any proprietorship of happiness!
The invitation of happiness revolves around a mindset of mindfulness and meditation followed by satisfaction with oneself. I advocate to my counselees that every day they have to go through what I call the HFGS ritual; H is for Humility, F is for Forgiveness, G is for Gratitude and S is for Surrender to the Universe so that the Universe can take you where you should be i.e. paradise in this world. For purposes of this sharing of my thoughts on luck, suffice that I conclude that it is not luck that should motivate us, but it is happiness and it is in the search of happiness that we get happiness, but in leading our lives, not taking anything for granted, being humble at all times, forgiving yourself and others ever second of every day, being grateful for everything that you have even though others have got more and surrendering yourself to the flow of Universe happiness, thereby constantly floating in the river of happiness!
Continue being happy.