THE LUCK OF THE DRAW
Let's start today in prayer: Father, Mother, God; I release all to you, my spirit is peaceful and free. Easily, gracefully, I release what is passed, so that I am free in this moment for all that is possible now. I trust that the helpful, useful content of my past has carried over into the present. I rest in spiritual peace and freedom. Thank you, Father. Amen
A woman's husband had been slipping in and out of a coma for several months, yet she had stayed by his bedside every single day. One day, when he came to, he motioned for her to come nearer.
As she sat by him, he whispered, with his eyes full of tears, "You know what? You have been with me all through the bad times. When I got fired, you were there to support me. When my business failed, you were there. When I got shot, you were by my side. When we lost the house, you stayed right here. When my health started failing, you were still by my side...You know what?"
"What dear?" She gently asked, smiling as her heart began to fill with warmth.
"I'm starting to think that you're bad luck."
Ok, bad, that's a very bad, joke, but it sets the tone for today which is a continuation of our exploration of the question of the month (this month of St. Patrick's Day). And that question is: "What's Luck Got to Do with It?"
And WE know that the answer to that question is "Pretty much nothing!" Well, we say we know but, do we really? Deep down inside do we really know that it's not fate or destiny or the stars or luck that determines our experience of life?
What is our connection w/Source? Our ability to be IN this world but not OF this world as we explored last week. But the world doesn't really know that, does it? Many, many, many people - and perhaps even some of us -- feel like their lives are left up to the luck of the draw, and they drew the short stick!
But this month, we are combining some fascinating scientific research with our powerful Unity principles to find that our lives are not up to the luck of the draw, but rather there are specific attitudes and precise ways of being that can cause us to seemingly draw the long stick!!
If you recall from last week, I said that our work this month is based on a scientific study done over the course of ten years with thousands of volunteers who experienced being lucky or unlucky. This research was done in England by Dr. Richard Wiseman, and he then wrote a book entitled The Luck Factor.
And out of that body of research, he concluded that there are four attitudes that are proven to help you increase your "luck"a - and remember I am always putting air quotes around the words, "luck", "lucky" and "unlucky."
We are taking one attitude a week. Today we look at the second of the four, the first of which is to have positive expectations about your future and EMBODY those positive expectations, and today's is . . .
Lucky people maximize two things:
What they already have AND
The opportunities before them
MAXIMIZE WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE
Maximize What You Already Have
You are all familiar with Jesus' miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 men (plus women and children) with just a few fish and loaves of bread.b
Imagine for a moment that you are in front of a throng of people, some of which might have been a little "hangry". You know that grumpiness that falls over you when your blood sugar drops too low!
Imagine that you ask everyone in the crowd to hand over any food that might exist and you are presented with 5 loaves and 2 fish all from one little boy.
What would you be thinking at this point? My guess is that you might be pretty discouraged!
This situation comes up in our lives all the time, so it should be nothing new for us: We have a need/a desire, and we look at what we have with which to manifest that need/desire (time, money, experience, talent, skill, etc., etc). How many times have we looked at what we already have and fallen into a state of despair and frustration because it simply wasn't enough?!
The research shows that people who have "lucky" experiences perceive things differently. The people who experience "luck" are the ones who see that whatever they have to start with is a good beginning and use that which is at in hand to the very maximum.
Jesus did not create enough food to feed all those people out of thin air. The abundant supply did not appear from nothingness. Rather, the food which fed the crowd was an expansion of the existing supply - 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. He was grateful for and blessed what he had! That's the key!
If we learn to work with what we have, more will be given to us. This is one of the great laws of the Universe.
Basic universal law applies: Form follows thought. Like attracts like. If you focus your attention on what you have (and you have so, so much more than you realize), your consciousness attracts more.
If you focus on what you don't have, you will attract more of not having.
Positive or negative, whatever you emphasize in consciousness always expands.
You cannot circumvent this principle. It works with mathematical precision. If you focus on lack 98% of the time by worrying and fretting, then try to correct the situation with a few scattered, superficial affirmations, you will reap accordingly, your life will still be 98% lacking.
Let me say again: Basic universal law applies: Form follows consciousness. Like attracts like. If you focus your attention on making the most of what you have, your consciousness attracts more.
So, Lucky people maximize what they already have through gratitude and blessing and then they engage in a very specific behavior.
Years ago when I was working for a computer company, I was laid off because the company was going through some hard times and my project had just finished.
Well not being exceptionally good at saving or looking forward to the future I didn't have a savings account. I'm basically living from paycheck to paycheck. So, I was a bit bummed about what the devil I was going to do.
At my level of pay it could take several months to land a job. What was I going to do in the meantime? I didn't know.
So, I'm sitting at my computer, working on my resume, and feeling sorry for myself. But suddenly, I realize that here I am in a wonderful apartment, I have a computer, I have heat, I have air conditioning, I have a refrigerator full of food, I have two closets full of clothes, and I have a car downstairs that I can drive. I have so much more then what so many people have and I'm feeling sorry for myself? Now that is when things started to turn around. when I started to realize how prosperous and grateful I really was.
So, I sent out resumes to every place I could possibly send them. And it took a while to get a new job. But somehow, I made it through without going into debt. I always seemed to have what I needed at hand and I have no idea how that happened.
So, Lucky people maximize what they already have through gratitude and blessing and then they engage in a very specific behavior.
LUCKY PEOPLE MAXIMIZE THE OPPORTUNITIES BEFORE THEM
Lucky People Maximize The Opportunities Before Them
We must act on the opportunity that is in front of us.
One of Dr. Wiseman's experiments went like this: He had two subjects Brenda and Martin.
They had both agreed to participate in the luck project and had already completed questionnaires from which Dr. Wiseman gleaned that Brenda was plagued with unlucky experiences, and Martin seemed to always have good luck.
Wiseman wanted to see whether there was a relationship to being "lucky" and "unlucky" and how one acts or doesn't act on opportunities.
The experiment took place in a coffee shop. Television cameras and microphones were secretly placed outside and inside to record what had happened.
Brenda and Martin were instructed to go to the coffee shop at different times and wait there until they were met by someone involved with the luck project.
There were two potential opportunities for Martin and Brenda.
The first was a 5-pound note placed on the pavement directly outside the coffee shop which Martin and Brenda would have to walk past to enter the shop.
The second was that the coffee shop was arranged so that it only contained four tables. At each table, there was a person involved in the experiment. One of them was dressed like a successful business man; the others were not. All people in the coffee shop were instructed to behave in exactly the same way.
Martin arrived first, and he immediately noticed the 5-pound note outside the shop, picked it up and walked on in. Once inside, he ordered a coffee and sat down next to the businessman.
Within minutes, Martin had introduced himself to the man and offered to buy him a coffee. The man accepted, and a few moments later the two of them were chatting away.
After Martin left the shop, they placed anther 5-pound note on the ground and waited for Brenda.
Brenda arrived and walked straight over the note and into the coffee shop. She didn't even see it! She went up to the counter, ordered a coffee and, like Martin, sat down next to the businessman, but unlike Martin, she sat there quietly and didn't say a word to him or anyone.
Later that afternoon, Wiseman interviewed each of them about any lucky and unlucky events that had happened to them that day.
Brenda looked at Wiseman blankly and said that it had been an uneventful morning.
Martin, however, gave a colorful description of how he had found 5 pounds on the street and had enjoyed a lovely chat with a successful businessman in a coffee shop.c
Same opportunities. Very different experiences!
People who have "good luck" act on their opportunities! And here's the cool thing - living in this Universe of unlimited potential, there are an infinite number of opportunities available to us to act upon!
Carlisle says: "Every day that is born into the year, comes like a burst of music, and rings itself all the day through.
And thou shalt make of it a dance, a dirge, or a life march, as thou wilt." It's entirely up to you."d
The Luck Factor:
Lucky people are often convinced that their opportunities are the result of pure chance. They just happen to open newspapers at the right page, come across the right page on the internet, walk down the street at the right time or go to a party and meet the right person - but my work revealed that these seemingly chance opportunities are the result of lucky people's psychological make up. The way they think and behave makes them far more likely than others to create, notice and act on chance opportunities in their lives. . . . I discovered that being in the right place at the right time is actually all about being in the right state of mind."e
Um? Sounds very Unity-ish, doesn't it?
Here's a great new definition of luck: Preparedness meets opportunity And in preparedness, mental preparedness is all important!
So, my friends . . .If it is more financial resources that you desire - be grateful for, bless and use wisely what you have and be open to opportunities to create more that present themselves to you;
If it's greater physical health and vitality you want - acknowledge and nurture and be grateful for what health you have right now and be open to opportunities that present themselves to you;
If it's a new home - love and bless and treat with TLC the home you currently have (even if it's your car or the bedroom of a friend's apartment!) and be open to opportunities that present themselves to you;
A different job - be the very best you can be at your current job and [what?] and be open to opportunities that present themselves to you;
A love relationship - be kind, loving, considerate, compassionate to your current friends and, you get the drift!
You have an assignment this week. Be open to seeing opportunities in front of you and act on at least two! Take a chance and see where it might lead you!
I want to close this morning with a meditation. It will serve as our closing prayer: Father, Mother, God; I know that my opportunities are unlimited. There is a Divine Urge to express. It permeates me and fills all space and all people. All of my affairs are in Its hands. To It are clearly visible the best ways, methods and means for my greater expression. I leave my affairs in the hands of this principle, and I cooperate with It. Today the possibilities of my experience are unlimited. The Spirit flows through me, inspiring me and sustaining that inspiration. I have ability and talent and I am busy using them. This talent is divinely sustained and marketed under a Universal plan of right action. Life lies open to me - rich, full, abundant. My thought, which is my key to life, opens all doors for me. I am one with Infinity, Divinity. I realize this unity. I proceed on my way, knowing that God goes with me into an eternal day of infinite opportunities. I have only to open the portals of my soul and accept that which is ready to express through me. Today I fling these portals wide; today I am the instrument through which life flows. AMEN
aDr. Richard Wiseman The Luck Factor
cDr. Richard Wiseman The Luck Factor pp. 59-61
eDr. Richard Wiseman The Luck Factorpp. 38