The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment; it is not in luck of chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone.
~ Orison Sweet Marden
And when things go right: “How did I get so lucky?”
It’s something I noticed in the people I worked with over the last few weeks. Over and over again people pick apart what they did when things went wrong and gloss over what they did when things went right. “I was just lucky.” they say. “The right person just happened to show up at the right time.” they say.
I for one believe we create our own luck. The problem is we don’t know how we did it so we don’t know how to repeat it.
(If, on the other hand, you think everything that goes wrong is somebody else’s fault and everything that goes right is because you are wonderful, you have a whole different problem that I won’t even try to address here).
So here are some questions you can ask yourself when things go right or wrong (realizing right and wrong are just judgments! It’s really about what you want more or less of.)
What was my attitude leading up to this event?
Our attitude affects more than we realize. Just as we know a dog can smell fear, people around us pick up our attitude even when we try to mask it with a happy face. Our attitude does affect the outcome.
What were my beliefs going into this situation?
We can only see what we believe. If we believe someone is going to cheat us we’ll actually unconsciously set up the circumstances for that to happen – same if we believe people are out to do us good.
What are the things that worked?
Be sure to list all possibilities. What did people compliment you on? What did you feel good about? Look at the event as though you were the evaluator rather than the participant. What would you have seen you do right? Write it down. Even if you can’t find the paper you wrote it on later the very act of writing reinforces it for you.
What are the things I would do differently next time?
We can waste a lot of time moaning about what we did or didn’t do. The way to make our lessons valuable is to look at what they taught us and how we can use what we learned in the future. Again writing is useful.
What are the things I will repeat?
Some of what you did right is repeatable, other pieces will come as your confidence rises in affecting outcomes.
Knowing what you did that you want to repeat builds confidence and assurance. You know you affected the outcome and you know you can do it again. Interestingly, with your new confidence you also see what you don’t want to repeat more clearly, as well as how to correct them. They become part of the learning experience rather than problems. You start fixing them and do more and more the way you want. You’re on the way to having the life you want – lucky you!