I wish people, “Good Luck!” as a vote of confidence, a hope for success, but I only have a limited belief in luck. Instead, I believe we make our own luck.
Two people could be handed the same situation, the same resources (or lack thereof) and can create completely different outcomes. Some might dismiss it as “lucky” or use it as and excuse, “I’m just unlucky,” or “She’s luckier than me.” I don’t believe that’s luck, it’s attitude, how you choose to look at the world and interact within it.
These are lessons Nick and I work to instill in our kids at every opportunity. We believe in these principles in our own lives, as parents and contributors to society. Let’s call it “The Luck O’ the Italians,” since we don’t have a lick of Irish between us! It’s a recipe to make your own luck!
Here are LUCKY NUMBER 7 Ways to Make your Own Luck!
7 Ways to Make Your Own Luck
1. It all begins with attitude.
Attitude is everything in life. How you view the world and your corner of it, is up to you. No one says it better than Charles Swindoll in his Attitude poem. Every moment of every day provides you with a choice. How will you approach it? Will you embrace it, run from it, complain about it, greet it with joy? You can bemoan your lot in life or you can do something about it. That takes me to tip number 2.
2. Do the work.
Even when it seems like things come easy to some people, they’re working for it. Sure we all have our talents and skills that make certain things more pleasurable or easier for us. Even when using our gifts and strengths, making our own luck takes forethought, planning, effort, and a go-for-it spirit. Dreaming alone doesn’t do it, it’s the action that gets you to your goal.
It takes work – hard work – to be the parent we want to be. Thinking about it, reading about it, hoping for it won’t do it – they’re tools and can help – but we need the action. It can take a lot of work to reevaluate what we’re doing that’s not working or to reflect on why we keep getting the same unwanted behaviors from our kids.
3. Make the tough choices.
We always tell the kids that almost always, the right thing to do is the harder thing to do. And so it goes, I see examples daily. As parents, it’s easy to take the path of least resistance, to give in because you can’t take any more whining and begging. If your end goal is well-behaved kids, then letting things slide or walking away from a moment needing clear discipline won’t get you there.
It’s tough to keep a child home from a birthday party because of backtalk. It’s tough to walk your child back to pick up his toys for the 28th time or to apologize for grabbing. It’s tough to stick with your “No” answer when there’s a melt down in public. They’re all tough parenting choices, but people with well-mannered kids aren’t lucky. They made those decisions and they worked and followed-through to teach their children respect and courtesy.
4. Be ready, even if you’re not ready.
People who make their own luck don’t wait around until they’re ready. They have their eyes open for an opportunity and accept a challenge when it comes their way. They also make their own opportunities by building contacts, relationships, and taking actions to position themselves where they want to be. Then they jump in even if they don’t feel quite “ready.”
This means, don’t wait to grab that job until you have another credential, sell them on you! Are you thinking of writing a book but don’t know where to begin? Start writing (see tip number 2).
Is someone offering to take your kids for the weekend but you have a million excuses as to why you couldn’t possibly take them up on it? Pack up and be ready for some guilt-free, self-nurturing time either alone or with your spouse. Grab opportunities. Ready or not – here they come.
5. Trust your instincts.
Do you justify away a feeling? Do you talk yourself out of believing what your heart is telling you? People who make their own luck trust their instincts. It may not always be logical or practical, but their intuition guides them – and they listen to it.
Even though parenting is a learned behavior in so many ways, our instincts play a strong role. Even for those who feel naturally inclined to the job or had good parental role models, parents still need to seek out help, advice, read books and blogs. There are times to dig deeper to find ideas for your current parenting dilemma or to spark better ways to manage everyday parenting life.
Within that context, trust yourself. Trust that you know your child best. Trust that feeling when you think your child needs extra help and be his advocate. Trust when you think he’s in trouble at school, doing drugs, being bullied, in over her head online. You get a gut feeling when you’re not on the right path in a parenting decision (see tip 3) and let that feeling direct your actions.
6. Believe in yourself.
To make your own luck you need to believe that you can. Confidence. It’s the key to being able to handle whatever comes your way. Believe that you can handle it, that you can find solutions, get support, figure it out. It doesn’t mean you need to do it alone, but believe you can put the right team in place, that you can sleuth out answers, that you can problem solve effectively.
Believe that you are a good mom. Believe that you can teach and guide your children to become happy, confident adults. When you believe in yourself, you are giving your children an incredible gift by showing them how to believe in themselves. All the self-esteem boosters in the world won’t be as effective to a child whose parent doesn’t believe in herself.
7. Be generous and giving.
Open hands can receive more than fists. Sharing, serving, giving through acts of kindness, community service, or just a thank you note help to make your own luck. The intention behind generosity must be genuine, meaning you don’t give in order to get. Call it karma, call it the Golden Rule, call it the Law of Attraction. Giving feels good, sets a positive example for kids and helps others.
Make your own luck by being generous of mind (share your knowledge), of body (spend time with the elderly, your kids, your family, volunteer), of gifts (small, large, goods, or money), of spirit (give your heart, your caring, your love, give YOU)!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Go on and make your own luck – you don’t need a leprechaun or a rainbow!
© Copyright Leah DeCesare 2013