“Life Lessons: The five secrets of lucky people: Here’s why happiness is in your hands, not in the hands of fate”
By: Claire McIntosh
Mc Call’s, March 1994, pg. 75
“When we think of luck, we think of serendipity-a random act of fate,” explains Peter McWilliams, best-selling *co-author, with John-Roger, of You Can’t Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought. While it’s true the hands of fate never tire of doling out surprises, good and bad, the people we call lucky are actually those who, through action and attitude, do whatever they can to prepare for the best and to ensure against the worst-because sooner or later both are going to happen.
“In reality, serendipity accounts for 1 percent of the blessings we receive in life, work and love, “ says McWilliams. “The other 99 percent is due to our efforts.”
..Positive thinking has steered many through the shoals of adversity. McWilliams cites an acquaintance’s story as one dramatic example: A father of five living in Northern Ireland twice saw his home burn to the ground amid the conflict between religious factions. Determined to deliver his family from danger, he sold every possession he could salvage to buy a single airline ticket to the United States. While his wife and children stayed with relatives, he worked double shifts in a New York City pub, earning enough money in two months to send for his family. He did so even though he knew that, as illegal immigrants, all could be forced to return. One evening he explained his predicament to a stranger in the bar. The customer, a congressman, became a champion of the legislation that gave certain Irish immigrants favored status and easier access to visas.
This man didn’t let the fact that he was expatriate, broke and undocumented deter him from taking steps towards his goal. And if he just sat around in his own country waiting for luck to happen, “that congressman certainly wasn’t going to find him overseas and knock on his door,” says McWilliams. “There’s a big difference between luck and miracles.” Even if you’re Irish.
5 Steps that will make you lucky
“Through certain attitudes and actions, we can actually attract blessings into our lives,” says McWilliams. Here’s how:
1. If you want to receive, give, explains McWilliams in his new book, We Give to Love. If you want a new spring coat, give the old one away. This creates a space (mental and physical) for the new and sets the whole process in motion. One woman, now married, says she used to get her best dates through connections made at parties she herself gave while single.
2. Make choices. Realize you can have anything you want, but you can’t have everything you want. Narrow your goals. This frees up time and energy so you can obtain what you want and also maintain the blessings you now have.
3. Do something every day to pursue your goal. Never mind you can’t afford new wallpaper now. Browse the stores. You might find a discontinued pattern that’s perfect-and dirt cheap.
4. Say “want,” not “need.” If you believe you need that ‘94 Honda, you’ll feel relieved, not joyful, when you get it.
5. Be thankful. “You’re already very lucky,” says McWilliams.