Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity. ~Oprah Winfrey
Many people think that I am really lucky.
I win prizes all the time when I attend events or enter contests. I have great friends and I love my career. My kids are happy and healthy for the most part. I am super grateful for all I have and am able to give to those I love, but I am not lucky.
I don’t believe in luck—not in the traditional sense anyway. Like Oprah, I believe we create our own luck by being prepared when opportunities present themselves.
Every day you are presented with opportunity; how you respond to it depends on how you perceive the world around you. If you keep your head down, and your heart and mind closed, opportunity will keep passing you by.
But if you are truly aware of the opportunities around you and are prepared for the ones you’ve been waiting for, then though some might call you lucky, really it’s just the Universe giving you what you asked for in the first place.
That doesn’t mean that you must accept every invitation that life throws your way. It’s OK to say no, recognizing that not all opportunities are the right one.
As Jack Canfield, author of the Success Principles, and Chicken Soup for the Soul series often says, “It’s OK to say no to the good so you can say yes to the great“.
Sometimes after you truly look at something, it just won’t get you where you want to really go, and that’s OK too. In fact, concentrating on the average or just good opportunities can actually prevent the really great or awesome opportunities from showing up because you are already so busy that you don’t have the time to fit in anything else.
So, how do you decide which opportunities are simply good and which are great? And how do you prepare for them?
Here are 5 tips from Jack Canfield.
1. Take responsibility for yourself and your life. Number one rule before anything else. You are in charge of your life and ultimately everything is YOUR decision. How you respond to what life throws at you will make the difference in everything. So stop blaming others for your lack of results and opportunities.
2. List your opportunities. Seeing all your options laid out in writing can really help clarify your thinking and help you to figure out what questions to ask and what additional information you need to gather.
3. Get advice. Ask those around you for their help and advice or hire a professional (e.g. a coach) to aid you in your decision. Be sure to ask only those who support and love you though, because we all know that there are people out there ready to tear down any idea you might have.
4. Test the waters. Rather than take a complete leap of faith, and throw yourself fully into this opportunity, try a small test first. If it’s a new career path, try volunteering or working part time at it first before you take the plunge. This isn’t always possible, but when it is, it can give you invaluable information.
5. Trust your intuition. Successful people make effective decisions by listening to their intuition and gut feelings. In addition, they take steps to actively boost their intuitive abilities by, for example, meditating and clearing their mind of other thoughts. Ask yourself if you are saying yes to a mediocre opportunity simply because you can’t see any others on the horizon, OR is this truly something that will help you reach your goals and improve your life?
Whether today is the day you’ve been waiting for or the day you say no, keep in mind that there are always opportunities in life, to improve yourself, to love yourself, to live the life you have imagined – to create your own luck.
Keep your head held high, keep your heart and your mind open and you will create your luck. What could show up in your life if you said no to the good and yes to the great?