Val is a life-long practically oriented student of effective emotional and attitudinal responses to the many challenges of life.
When it comes to luck, you make your own.
-- Bruce Springsteen
An Instant Champ
How could I ever forget my father-in-law on that day when he was teaching me how to play a card game which required some combinational skills, and which was popular in their family,
Not that it was to be a part of my official initiation as a new family member, but it could have been useful to know how to play it, at least for those days when I would be a passive observer.
Well, he was undoubtedly an expert, but after having learned the basics of the game, I happened to be dealt a strong hand, and all his expertise didn't help him at all -- so he lost to this beginner.
And then I beat him again, and again. Of course, it must have been a fluke, at least in his mind, as he kept insisting that we play some more -- while obviously resenting the idea of leaving the table as a loser against a lucky beginner like myself.
What can I say, but he had no luck with cards, and then running out of patience he demonstratively threw cards on the table walking away and mumbling something which probably didn't contain one single compliment to me.
The mind has a powerful way of attracting things that are in harmony with it, good and bad.
-- Idowu Koyenikan
Allegedly, in gamblers' circles it's called "beginner's luck", and there must be something to it, because some decades and an emigration later, it repeated itself at my first visit to a casino.
I am not a gambler by mentality, if that doesn't mean taking some big chances in life now and then. However, on some rare occasions I played on two cents slot machines just for fun and curiosity, and I was winning pretty steadily -- of course not much because, like I said, those were only two cents machines.
As I am thinking now about some other times when Lady Luck smiled at me without any effort on my part, I remember how in my teen years I was almost regularly attracting those girls that I was not targeting. While entertaining a group of neighborhood friends with my guitar and my romantic Pat-Booneish voice, I would hear sighs from all other girls except for one that I wanted to be affected by horny, begging cries of my guitar.
It was too early in my life to see any regular causality there, so I kept "trying hard" reaping the same mediocre results. How could I have noticed that "easy does it", and the more we strain, the less of good outcomes we get.
I don't wait for luck, I make my own.
-- Matshona Dhliwayo
One Capricious Lady Luck
Now, fast forward a few decades, and here I was in Canada, sitting in my car in front of a small manufacturing business and wondering if the owner could possibly invent a reason to hire me. With my limited experience as a junior machinist I hads toi give up any serious ambitions in that field.
And yet, there I was gathering some fake to step in and try my luck, because it was only luck that would get me that job. As usual in similar situations, I started rehearsing what to say, and after no version of it that sounded convincing enough, I just shrugged and decided to be myself, so whatever happens -- happens.
My inside connection was right, the owner looked like one humorless, almost depressed dude, and it came as great relief to me when that raspy voice said how he didn't need any junior machinists at the moment.
Totally unburdened I almost danced to the door, when that voice spoiled it all by calling me back.
To this day I didn't know why he changed his mind, but with this new line of thinking I am beginning to understand the whole deal. Namely, at that moment of my total indifference about the outcome, that short interview had to take a turn.
It's bad luck not to believe in luck.
-- R.B. Lawrence
Against the Grain
O.K., where am I going with all this? Am I, by any chance, trying to tell you how you can get ahead in life without working hard, without putting your best foot forward, without a willful mobilizing your talents and skills, and without a confidence to provide the wings to your life ambitions?
Yes, your honor, I am guilty as charged of this terrible heresy -- with an explanation, if I may. Now, needless to say, I have already been found guilty in many other forms of heresy, so by now I am a veteran -- and just watch me how I am going to wiggle out of this sin without getting stoned.
Trying hard in life doesn't work -- unless you are planning to get rich and prematurely old with a few serious diagnoses as a reward for all that. Look at billionaires and other high achievers -- can you spot one healthy looking one glowing with happiness?
Back in seventies I picked a few smart truisms from that short-lived "psycho-cybernetics". It basically stated that our executive subconscious is a goal striving mechanism, and our conscious role is very short -- to supply a goal with a mind's vivid picture of what end result is going to feel like. Then we are supposed to let go of any concern about the outcome, allowing the subconscious mind to work it out. So much was written in those years that under a different name is flooding nowadays inspirational market.
Funny, but now popular "Law of attraction" is supposed to work the same way. Even Napoleon Hill in his "Think and Grow Rich" gave the same formula for success -- whatever a success may mean to different people.
So, the harder we try, the bigger are chances that something may go wrong. Indeed, as soon as stress comes into picture, it spoils everything.
You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.
-- Cormac McCarthy
Letting It Happen Vs. Making It Happen
Indeed, the whole mindset of controlling every step of the way is counterproductive. Back in your teens did you ever rush down a stairwell stepping on every other stair? I did many times, and interestingly enough, I could only do it if I let my feet do it -- for as soon as I became "careful" where I was stepping, I almost sprained my ankle confusing my feet.
While I was learning meditation and self-hypnosis, the instructions of those days were so straightforward -- but so much harder was learning this art of getting out of my own way. All that self-coaching about how to breathe, what to think, what to stop thinking, and how to relax my body -- was simply "trying hard" instead of just allowing it to happen.
It was like sitting behind the steering wheel for the very first time -- well, maybe after the tenth time -- and as you were thinking about steering, your foot was not at the right place, and you still had to register everything about the configuration of traffic around you, and obey the signs.
Likewise, during my alpha-training of producing blissfulness at will, I was encountering the same problem by giving an undue significance to my resistance to a new mental skill. Also by spying on my progress and being impatient to feel results, -- instead of just allowing myself to do that ecstatic emoting, since I had a mental sample of what it was supposed to feel like.
If you are lucky enough to find the way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.
-- Bette Davis
Like Attracts Like
To round it all up, winning in life is much more about minimizing the strife and allowing that creative part of self to assemble and mobilize that best in us toward that goal -- than consciously driving ourselves up the steeps of success and happiness.
In my own life experience, it was even true for those spooky instances of a metaphysical intervention when Lady Luck would solve my problems only after I surrendered it all into hands of the unknown. By the way, "metaphysics" of yesterday is increasingly being called "quantum mechanics" these days.
I never pray. If I did, I would pray for not losing what I already have, not for gaining something that I don't have. Praying, to me, looks pretty much like tuning to my higher self, that is connected on quantum level with everything and everybody.
It may be good to mention how we don't always get what we wish for from the "universal warehouse", but it may come in a form of some other blessing which is more important as the next step to our achievement of that goal.
Thus, we might as well go a little loose about this American Dream thing, not to end up with an American Nightmare if we keep pushing ourselves. Self-pushers, at their best get to have one of those more impressive tombstones at cemetery -- with an epitaph that should read: Do Not Disturb, This Man Needs a Lot of Rest".
Indeed, what's the use of fussing too much about winning -- it will come when we live our life feeling as if we have already won big. Like attracts like, and happy-goes lucky.
Can we attract good luck? See the Video Below
© 2020 Val Karas