Create space in your life and you invite the possibilities that shape a new reality around you.
Let’s focus on the middle statement: how you can invite possibility into your life.
Know any lucky people? They live charmed lives. They win stuff, receive plum opportunities, get more than their fair share of lucky breaks and always happen to be at the right place at the right time.
What about unlucky people? Amongst the many, they alone get selected for freak accidents, weird medical conditions, strings of appliance breakdowns and coincidental financial disasters.
Do we come into this world favored or cursed?
“People are not born lucky,” says Dr. Richard Wiseman, author of The Luck Factor. His research indicates that people make – or unmake – their own luck.
I prefer the word possibility over the word luck. Exploring what’s possible leaves my sense of agency and choice intact. Luck feels too capricious – too much like pixie-dust to me. But I’m clear there are valuable lessons we can learn from those who behave luckily – lessons that position us to invite possibility into our lives. Here are my thoughts, and some of Wiseman’s, on how you can invite possibility by behaving like you’re lucky:
- Crave possibility – desire is paramount. Possibility doesn’t seem to muscle in and force itself upon people. It comes where it’s wanted, where it’s invited. Nurture your desire by asking, “What’s possible?” in the situation you find yourself in.
- Expect possibility – when you have a sense for what’s possible, begin to expect possibility to emerge. Your beliefs shape your behaviors and you get to choose what you believe. So believe possibility will come. Be confident it will occur. Dream about what’s possible, anticipate it, be attuned to what Wiseman calls “chance opportunities.”
- Connect for possibility – Possibility may come to you out of a clear blue sky, but that would be uncommon. It emerges through the relationships between things and people. Lucky people build those relationships and maintain strong networks, Wiseman observes.
- Ready yourself for possibility – when possibility shows up, you’ll need the freedom (time/money/energy) to respond. Ready yourself for possibility by creating the space/buffer you need to say yes and to act.
- Open yourself to possibility– Being ready is one thing, being willing to respond is another. As Wiseman recommends: “Open yourself to new experiences.”
- Intuit possibility – learn to listen to your hunches and gut feelings. Be the kind of person who notices the opportunities that others dismiss. Possibility does not run along the lines of statistics, probability and survival thinking – it often defies them. Grow your intuition by exercising the power of your mind’s eye, imagining what’s possible as if it was a current reality.
- Risk possibility – find just enough courage to make a small bet, to take a measured risk. Create an early prototype of what’s possible that can grow and be socialized.
- Persist for possibility – make the unpopular decisions and plod on when possibility no longer seems sexy. Know, and do not fear the face of failure. Many voices of resistance will say “No” when possibility is still saying “Yes”. Learn to love the “No”, discover what’s behind it, what it’s teaching you and how you can intelligently challenge it to ultimately prevail.
- Resile (leap back) to possibility – allow misfortune, disappointments and setbacks to transform you. Lucky people, Wiseman notes, “imagine how things could have been worse, don’t dwell on the ill fortune, and take control of the situation.”
Read more in the Create Space, Invite Possibility, Shape Reality series:
Create the possibility field to energize your work (and life)
Are you too impulsive? How to get more brain space for new possibilities
Is your work culture fractured? Create space for stories to be told and acknowledged