Saturday, May 30, 2020

Conscious Luck: 8 Secrets to Intentionally Change Your Fortune

35.  #OneThousandBookReviews

This book is by Dr. Gay Hendricks and Carol Kline.  Hendricks starts by writing, “Life is about to change for you.”

“You’re about to make a big shift in consciousness – as big as when you first learned how to speak and understand language.”

It took scientists a long time to discover that the ocean tides are caused by an invisible force a quarter of a million miles away.  “It probably took you a long time to discover a similar mystery about your life:  the visible results you experience are created by invisible forces within you.”

The father of American psychology, William James, said “The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind.”

One of the attitudes we need to change is our view that luck is something that is bestowed on us.  And not something we create.  “There are specific guidelines for improving your luck….Conscious Luck Secrets….It’s easier to become lucky than it is to work harder.”

Dr. Tina Seelig, professor at Stanford University in the Department of Management Science and Engineering, says, “The key understanding that luck is rarely a lightening strike – isolated and dramatic – but a wind that blows constantly…You need to build a sail – made up of tiny behaviors – to catch (the winds of luck).”  Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore said the same thing a century earlier.  “The winds of grace are always blowing, but it is you that must raise your sails.”

There are 8 conscious luck secrets.  The first is that you make a commitment  to intentionally change your fortune and create abundance in your life. 

The second secret is that you can reprogram your luck.  We all fell into what our society and families think and believe about luck.  We think luck is fixed and that your either lucky or not.  But that’s not true.  All you have to do is “acknowledge that your capacity to attract good luck is influenced by your old programming, wherever it came from.  Once you do that your free to install new programming.”

3rd Secret is “learning how to turn any feeling of shame you have into an attractor-field for luck.”

4th “your goals influence your luck.  Having goals that engage your whole heart and spirit and, when accomplished, serve both you and others gives luck good reasons to visit.”

Then there are 4 daily living secrets “taking bold action every day, being vigilant about influences you allow in your life, staying true to yourself and your inner guidance, and cultivating authentic gratitude and appreciation.”

“The simplest way to create abundance on all levels is by changing your luck.  The knowledge that you can change your luck consciously is one of the most valuable assets you have.”  The most successful people that Dr. Hendricks knows are also the most lucky.  When he asks them if they are lucky, they respond, “Hell, yeah!”  and “you bet!”  not one of them said, “No.”

Luck is a matter of conscious choice.  “People who believe they have bad luck create bad luck…Those who believe hey are very fortunate, that the world is a generous place filled with trustworthy people, live in exactly that kind of world.” – Chris Prentiss, The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure

Doctor Hendricks didn’t start out lucky.  His mom was pregnant with him when her husband died at age 32.  Leaving her with a 7 year old, $300 and a Buick that wasn’t paid for.  “The great blessing of my childhood is that my grandparents lived down the street.”  He spent most of his time with his grandparents while his mother tried to get back on her feet.  There was a lot of love.  But very little money. 

Everything changed when he turned 14 and went to a movie show with his friend, Danny.  There was a drawing before the show to win a watch.  They wrote their names on the back of the ticket stub.  “Moments before the winning ticket was drawn, Danny leaned over to me and said, ‘Watch this – I’m going to win!’  Then the theater manager reached into the popcorn bucket that contained the several hundred names.  He looked at the ticket in his hand and called out Danny’s name!”  Hendricks was astounded.  He asked Danny how he knew.  Danny replied he always won anything that required luck.  Hendricks asked if he were born that way and Danny laughed.  “No.  I noticed that some people are lucky, and some aren’t, so I just changed my mind one day and decided to be lucky.”  Today we call that “mind-set” and according to positive psychology research, it’s a huge determinant for luck.  “Studies show that people who consider themselves lucky are far more likely to experience luck in their lives.”

Danny added, “It’s a lot easier to change your mind and be lucky than it is to keep on being unlucky.”

When Danny told him this, Hendricks thought, “If he can be lucky, I can be lucky too.”

A couple of weeks later Hendricks was at a local magazine shop.  He was killing time before he went to see a Tarzan movie.  There was a coin collector section for rare coins.  He’s just taken up the hobby and loved it.  When he left the store he saw an expensive looking briefcase next to the parking meter.  He looked up and down the street and saw no one.  He took it back to the store and asked, Ned, the owner.  Ned practically pounced on it.  The briefcase belonged to an elderly man who’d just been in the store a moment before.  He was a famous coin dealer and it contained coins he’d been discussing with Ned.  Ned saw the man’s car was still parked outside.  And Hendricks went to the Tarzan movie. 

Meanwhile there was drama.  The man was at the restaurant next door and thought someone there had stolen his briefcase.  He called the police and had the doors of the restaurant locked.  He retraced his steps back to the store and Ned gave him his briefcase.  The man almost had a heart attack.  There were several hundred dollars of rare stamps and coins in it.  Ned told him Hendricks brought it in.  And the man wept in gratitude and wanted to present him with an award. 

They mounted another search…This time for him.  After the movie he went back to Ned’s store.  Ned was like, “Where have you been?  We’ve been looking all over for you?”  The man had left for his home in Tampa a few hours away.  Hendricks name made it into the paper the next day extolling his virtue for not swiping the briefcase and returning it.  A few days later a gift was left for Hendricks at Ned’s store…a coin collection worth several hundred dollars…probably several thousand in todays money.  “It was definitely more money than I’d ever seen in my life.”  And all this happened after he decided to change his luck.

When Hendricks was in Grad school he mentioned to one of his teachers that he wanted to self-publish a book on exercises to help kids relax.  The teacher told him he was a scout for Prentice Hall and that if he wrote a proposal he’d show it to them.  He did and the book got published.  There was some yoga exercises in them.  And right wing extremists went crazy saying he was trying to bring Hinduism into public schools.  One group of right wing extremists put him on the list of “250 Most Dangerous Thinkers in American History”.  And one group literally burned his book. 

Hendricks writes, “If fellow authors are reading this story, I say to you:  Do whatever you can to get your book banned by extremists!  If possible, say at least one thing in your book that could even get it burned.  I can testify that the publicity value of having your book burned is immense.  The publisher thought it would only sell 10,000 copies the first year.  It sold 60,000.  And continued to sell steadily for the next 20 years.  This became of series of centering books that Prentice Hall published for him.

This is also how he met his wife.  Katie was a dance/movement therapist and had bought the book to use in her classes.  “Several years after she bought the book, she saw a poster advertising an upcoming talk I was going to give nearby.  She was the first person to sign up!  At that event our eyes met across a sea of people, and that led to a heartfelt conversation of less than one minute, which resulted in a lunch date and a lifetime together.  For that alone I consider myself the luckiest man on earth.”

The first secret:  “You change your luck the moment you make a conscious commitment to being lucky.”

He says the first step is to take a pen and paper and write:  I_______________, make a sincere commitment to be lucky, now and forever.  Right it with your dominant hand and then with your non-dominant hand.  It is important to do this with your non-dominant hand because it is “connected directly to your subconscious mind.”  Then write it with your dominant hand again.  Then your non-dominant hand.

“If you can create your life one way, you can create it another way.”  He had this major realization with a woman he’d been on again and off again for 5 years.  They were having their 500 argument of the same argument.  I was committed to being criticized, committed to being betrayed, committed to arguing and lying.  I was more committed to my established pattern than I was to having a great relationship.  The commitments were obviously unconscious.”

“Try on the same radical realization for yourself:  If your lonely, it’s because on an unconscious level you’re more committed to being lonely than you are to being connected.  If you’re overweight, it’s because on an unconscious level you’re more committed to being overweight than being a healthy weight.  Your unconscious commitment to being overweight literally “outweighs” your conscious commitment to being at your ideal weight.”

“I acknowledge that through the power of my commitments – both conscious and unconscious – I’ve created my life as it is now.  I now choose to use this power to create my life the way I consciously want it to be.”

“let yourself want to be lucky.  Say aloud, “Yes, I, ______________, want to be lucky.”

The next step is to go public with it.  Tell someone later today that you’ve made a conscious commitment to being lucky.

“the type of commitment that changes your life is one that is made freely, to support a worthy goal of your own choosing.”  Say aloud, “I freely and joyfully commit to crating luck and abundant good fortune in my life, now and forever.”

The second secret:  Release your personal barriers to good fortune.  The first barrier is your conditioned mental patterning.  Old mental patterns are “a default position that we slip back into quickly if we’re not paying attention.”  Everytime you start thinking of yourself as unlucky.  Bring your mind back to your new commitment and say it.  “The trick to making this commitment is to be as gently and accepting as you can.” 

You get rid of the old patterns of thinking by not trying to get rid of them.  When you try to get rid of them you end up running around in circles, like a dog chasing it’s tail.  “Only the act of benign observation can free us form doing  these futile laps around the perimeter of our unconscious.”

Greet “your old ‘I’m not lucky’ pattern with loving attention rather than any form of condemnation.  For instance when you’re sitting in a traffic jam don’t get angry…just observe.  Observing relieves the pressure built up between your ears.  And realize it is the experience you’re suppose to be having.  Because it is the experience you’re having in that moment.

This reminds me of a quote in a book of Mother Teresa’s meditations.  I can’t remember the exact quote but it goes something like this, “God is involved in every detail of our life.  Every detail is planned by the loving heart of God and is meant for our sanctification.  Sanctification is union with God.  And union with God is our vocation in life.”

The second barrier is curses.  He says a curse is simply a limiting belief about our abilities or ourselves.  Some people are born with the curse of being unwanted by their parents.  Others are cursed with being the wrong gender their parents preferred.  “You’re biggest barrier to being lucky is the belief that your not.” 

Hendricks tells a story of one of his clients who inherited 2 million dollars from his father and since then he’d gone on a spending spree and couldn’t stop spending money.  He only had $250,000 left.  When Hendricks questioned him he learned this man’s father had hated him and told him he was stupid and would never amount to a hill of beans.  Hendricks explained to the man that his Upper Limit problem was that he was living under the curse of what his Dad thought of him.  And was therefore living out what his father thought.  He had him do a specific exercise where you write down on paper his Dad and what he’d done to him.  And then you point to it and say, “That was him.”  And then you point at yourself and say, “This is me.”  And you do that 10 times.  After getting therapy the man was able to get better.  And he had a $250,000 nest egg!      

The 3rd secret is to transform shame into a magnet for abundance.  After Hendricks Mother died he and his siblings went to her house to get it ready to sell.  Behind a picture frame he saw a card given to his mother by a member of her church.  It said that she shouldn’t be feeling shame over her husbands death.  Hendricks asked himself why she’d feel shame.  He’d never known she had.  Then he thought of his father’s death and realized it had been a suicide…probably through poisoning…kidney failure.  His mother had been pregnant with him at the time.  And he says he’d been literally soaked in the biochemicals of shame in utero. 

Shame is a barrier because it makes us feel undeserving of good fortune – love, happiness, and success.  It limits luck because it keeps us living in the past.  He was able to get over his shame by letting himself realize what he felt physically in his body over it.  And he would transform those feelings and use them as a spring board for the opposite.  He explains it very well.  But I don’t want to write about it forever because this review is going to be VERY long.  LOL  I’m only 28% of the way through the Kindle book so far. 

“Guilt is feeling bad about something we’ve done.  Shame is feeling bad about who we are.”

“What you resist not only persists, but will grow in size.” – Carl Jung 

“Shame gets to stay in charge as long as you’re trying to get rid of it….Don’t declare war on shame.  Just acknowledge that you have it and quit trying to eliminate it.  Say ‘hello’ to any shame you feel and then simply let it be.”

Hendricks gives a 6 step meditation excerise for how to transform shame into abundance.  You close your eyes and let yourself feel physically in your body where you’ve felt shame in your life.  It could be your face or wherever.  Allow yourself to feel the shame deeply.  Then let it go and imagine that space filling with light.  Then think of someone you love the most and let yourself feel that.  Take that feeling and let yourself feel self-love.  He explains it better than this.  But it’s kind of really long to explain in more depth. 

The 4th secret – Have luck-worthy goals.  “To create luck on a consistent basis, you need to give it plenty of reasons to visit.  Luck chases worthy goals.”  Ask yourself this question:  “If I were totally, completely lucky, what would I be doing or what would I have that I’m not doing or don’t have right now?”  Goals that are luck-worthy are : “Deeply meaningful to you.  Light you up and allow you to do what you most love to do.  Are beneficial to you personally and to other people at the same time.”

“Your true goals bring you closer to why you specifically are here on this planet – your contributions to make, your lessons to learn, your talents to develop and share, and the unique experiences your soul craves.” 

Write down 3 goals on your horizon.  Ask yourself “If I had all the time and money in the world what would I do then?”  “Answering this question will help you identify your deepest motivations, passions, and causes and will point the way to your true goals – the ones that give luck good reasons to visit.”

Hendricks explains a heart meditation to do to see if your goals light you up or if they’re just something others want you to do.  You sit down and close your eyes taking 3 deep breaths.  Say your first goal and pay attention to how it makes you feel, especially in your heart area.  “Do you feel expansion or contraction in your chest?  Do you feel like laughing?  Do you feel excited?  Bottom line, does your goal light you up?”

Whichever goal lights you up the most is the one you need to give priority to.  Do one thing each day that brings you closer to your goal. 

The 3rd requirement of luck-worthy goals is that it benefits you and other people.  “Selfish goals don’t attract as much luck.”

“When the positive effects of achieving your goals ripple out beyond just you, you put yourself in the flow of larger, unseen forces that uphold the natural growth and order of the universe.”

“One of those unseen forces is the evolutionary advantage of compassion, empathy, and kindness.” 

Darwin’s book, The Descent of Man, “describes how natural selection favors those who show greater compassion and kindness because it leads to more cohesive and supportive communities, which are more likely to flourish.”

“Survival of the kindest” paints a more accurate picture of Darwin’s philosophy.

The 5th secret – Take bold action consistently.  “You create an opportunity for luck to appear in your life by taking bold action:  trying something new, being more spontaneous, taking risks, and asking what you want – in short, getting out of your comfort zone.”

Mix it up a little…don’t do the same thing every day.  It’ll put you in a rut.  “Go to a different grocery store, try a new style of clothing or hairdo, go to an unfamiliar restaurant, sample an ethnic cuisine you’ve never tried, or pick a new vacation destination.  Breaking out of your familiar routine increases your exposure to different people, ideas, and outlooks.”

One of the things Hendricks did to mix things up was brush his teeth with his left hand instead of his right.  “It was amazing how much it woke me up!”  Another thing he did was try to take a different route to the office every day.  “I found it valuable for coming to my day in an awakened state.”  It creates more mindfulness.  “You’ll not only see new things, you’ll see with new eyes, with a heightened perception of the world around you.  This increases your luck by allowing you to spot chances and openings you’d likely have missed while on autopilot.”

Lucky people are more relaxed and open.  They don’t focus so intensely on what they’re doing, or what they’re after that they miss opportunities that present themselves.

Do things you’re afraid to do.  Strike up a conversation with a stranger.  Attempt a new skill.  Venture out on the dance floor.  If you’re afraid take 3 deep breaths.  Studies show this will work at calming you.  Or it will change your fear to excitement. 

Carol’s (co-author of this book) husband, Larry watched King King when he was 8.  And it terrified him.  That night he snuck out to the Colorado foothills where he lived.  Staring up at the mountain, waiting for King Kong to fight him.  He never did.  And Larry went back to bed no longer afraid of King Kong. 

Hendrick’s wife, Katie was afraid of flying.  So she went sky-diving.  And she is no longer afraid to fly!  Shakespeare says, “The coward dies a thousand deaths, the hero only one.”

The next thing is that you need to give and help people.  Help others flourish in any way you can.  “What happens when I do this almost seems magical.  As I help others, I help myself.  When I make someone else happy, I become happy.  My day brightens as I brighten someone else’s day.  And then the dam breaks.”

“Wahtever was holding me back, disappears.  Referrals start calling me ‘out of the blue’.  People call whom I’ve never met, referred by people I’ve never met!  Money and good start flowing to me again.” – Chellie Campbell, The Wealthy Spirit

The 6th secret- Find your lucky tribe. Don’t hang around unlucky people.  People who have a bad-luck conspiracy like to tell victim stories.  We need to have a positive attitude and hang around positive people.  “Find people who help you feel more at home in your heart, mind, and body and who take joy in your joy.  Find people who love you, for real, and who accept you, for real.  Just as you are.  They’re out there, these people.  Your tribe is waiting for you.  Don’t stop searching until you find them.” – Scott Stabile, self-help author writer and speaker

“Look for people around whom you breathe easier.  Look for people who make your eyes light up, like a true smile.  Pay attention to how you feel in your solar plexus…the area between your heart and belly button.  Those are your gut feelings.”

Another thing is to work on personal growth and development with your lucky tribe.  Listen to personal development audio programs, videos and books of people you love.  Soak up the wisdom available in libraries, bookstores and the internet.  “anyone can take advantage of the support this universal lucky tribe offers.”

“If you’re fortunate to have a flesh-and-blood lucky tribe in your vicinity, then we suggest finding a mentor, forming a mastermind/support group, choosing an accountability partner, or all three.”

“Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.” – Mark Ambrose 

Who is fanning your flames?  “Set your life on fire.  Seek those who fan your flames.” – Sufi mystic Rumi 

And Will Smith says, “The people you spend time with are going to make or break your dreams.  Not everybody deserves to be around you.  You gotta defend your light with your life.”

The 7th secret…Learn to be at the right place at the right time.  A large part of it is being in the right place at the right time.  Moving at your “essence pace”.  Being present physically and mentally.  When you do that you’re not stressed and anxious.  It makes it more likely for you “to arrive at the optimal spot at just the right time.”  When you find yourself worrying, or rushing, take a few deep breaths and “course-correct”. 

Be true to yourself.  When you are on the inside what you do and say on the outside…that is very important for luck.  “Whatever your intentions, if your actions aren’t aligned with your personal values and integrity, you’re setting yourself up for a world of hurt.  To maximize your good luck, always move in the direction of your personal true north.”  Honor what is most important to you…your values, your passions, your priorities. 

The 8th secret…practice radical gratitude and appreciation.  “Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” – G. K. Chesterton 

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” – Melody Beattie

“Feeling lucky and feeling grateful are closely related.  To understand their relationship, take a moment now to remember a time you felt  lucky.  If you’re like most people, you felt elation, awe, upliftment, a sense of being taken care of, protected, or blessed, as well as a stron, overarching sense of gratitude for your good fortune.  Similar to a Russian nesting doll, feeling lucky has many qualities within it, but unpack the layers and you’ll find gratitude at it’s center.” 

“You feel grateful when you focus on what you have that you want.”

“The immediate antidote for victimhood is to switch your focus and lean into gratitude whenever you’re in the throes of grumbling and stewing about your bad luck.”

“Gratitude, warm, sincere, intense, when it takes possession of the bosom, fills the soul to overflowing and scarce leaves room for any other sentiment or thought.” – John Quincy Adams

Feeling lucky is more important than being lucky.  There are plenty of poor people who are very happy and feel lucky.  And there are plenty of wealthy people who have everything and feel very unhappy and unlucky.  Being grateful will make you feel lucky. 

If gratitude is something you struggle with practice appreciating people, places, or objects, “because the act of appreciating is the gateway to feeling grateful.”  Notice the way your body feels when you appreciate something.  “The first thing appreciation does is open the body: your breath is fuller, and you perceive more – colors are brighter, and all your senses are more acute because your giving attention to them.”

Expressing appreciation is very important.  Saying thank you and sending thank you notes…It fosters deeper relationships and collaboration, and helps you stand out.  “People remember people who appreciate them and are more likely to be helpful and supportive as a result.  All these benefits contribute directly to experiencing more luck.”  But your appreciation must be sincere and appropriate or it will backfire and have the opposite effect.  People “can smell BS”.  And they don’t like being sucked up to. 

Entitlement is a “buzzkill for Conscious Luck”.  Being grateful kills the entitlement. 

Practicing Radical Gratitude is very important for luck.  Being grateful for good as well as bad things that happen to you.  Hendricks says we need to allow ourselves to feel all our emotions.  And then ask with curiosity and no judgement, “Can I be grateful for this too?”  This question will shift the way you think. 

When that doesn’t work, look at the long view.  “Lemons often have a way of turning into lemonade.”

“Lucky people are resilient, which comes in part from their ability to be grateful in the face of adversity.”

Hendricks suggests that we write the secrets out long hand so as not to forget them.  And put them under our pillow.  And tape them to your bathroom mirror.  “Do whatever it will take to make them a living reality in your everyday existence.  They’re that important.”

5 stars for this book!    

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