Luck takes more than a few clovers, but of course they can't hurt, can they? Learning to embrace your opportunities and create your own happiness can mean the difference between living a successful, fruitful, and happy life, or passively waiting for something good to happen. Stop waiting. Make your own success. Get lucky by learning to set firm goals and meet them by working smarter, not harder.
Part 1 of 3: Make your own luck
Step 1. Define what happiness means to you
We usually think of happiness as something beyond our control, and we expect something or someone to come down from the clouds and make life better for us. But fame and fortune are not bestowed upon those who stand idly by. Waiting for happiness to come along, rather than creating it yourself, can lead to negativity and envy, leading you to see other people's prosperity as the result of dumb luck rather than making good choices.
Think of happiness as an emotion, rather than as a ticket that gives you access to some exclusive club. Just as you decide to be happy, you can decide to be more fortunate, and be willing to change your behavior and create opportunities for your own success, instead of waiting for changes
Step 2. Seizing opportunities
If you are busy waiting for things to be perfect, you will have to wait a long time. Learn to recognize opportunities when they arise and improve your chances by embracing the opportunities you do have.
If you are assigned a big project that you feel you are not prepared for, you can view it as a setback, whine to colleagues, and make excuses, or you could see it as an opportunity to to play in the spotlight. Think of it not so much as an unfortunate thing, but more as an opportunity to succeed
Step 3. Be open to changes
As you get older, it's easier to get stuck. Repetition and habit is safe, but learning to accept that there is an opportunity for change, even a small change, will keep you receptive to opportunities and happiness that may arise.
- Learn to take criticism, and to use it as an opportunity for improvement. If your boss criticizes something you've worked hard on, consider yourself lucky. You know how to do better next time.
- If a date went terribly, use the experience as a dress rehearsal for the next date. What seemed to go wrong? What can you do differently next time?
Step 4. Appreciate "the little happiness
"If there's something that's going really well for you, embrace it. Stay humble, but learn to enjoy this little happiness, and little successes, to stay positive, motivated, and happy."
- "Happiness" doesn't even have to be something big. Maybe last night you made the best spaghetti Bolognese ever, or maybe you're proud that you went for a run when you didn't really feel like it. To celebrate!
- Don't compare your own success with the success of others. It's easy to get upset by marginalizing your own successes, saying, "Yeah and? I got a bonus. But Bill invented the most popular iPhone app of all time." What does that have to do with you?
Step 5. Avoid automatisms
Over the course of your life you have learned to make automatic decisions and respond, which keep us in the same behavior. We are often unaware of the decisions we make, and certain elements in our lives that seem unchanging can in reality be easily changed once you recognize your own behavioral patterns.
Maybe you always say no to company drinks. Try it next week. If you always feel the need to go home as soon as possible after work, go to the gym and gym for half an hour. Recognize your patterns and dare to break them
Step 6. Be positive and generous with your time
Happy people are people we love to be around because it seems to reflect on other people. Try to become such a person yourself by being more positive and generous with the success you have.
- Make it your goal to congratulate others when they do a good job, or when something good comes their way. A congratulations can make a big difference
- Use your skills to help others, even with small things. If you're wondering why no one knocks on your door to help you move, try to remember all the times over the years you've declined a call for help. The next time volunteer, sacrifice your free afternoon and your van and maybe luck will smile on you at some point.
Part 2 of 3: Setting goals & working hard
Step 1. Set your own deadlines
Whether it's work or a social cause, learning to set tight deadlines for yourself can make a huge difference. Even if no one is looking over your shoulder, learning to persevere and complete a project will make you more productive and happier. It then feels as if self-steering instead of constantly catching up.
Make a list of small steps towards achieving certain goals. If you want the house cleaned, or you want to lose weight for the high school reunion, decide what you want done by the end of the week. It won't all work out at once, so increase the chances of small wins and keep looking for that win until the bigger goal is achieved
Step 2. Believe in your goals
In order to complete things you have to understand the importance of the goal, it is the most important thing you have to do at any given time. Treat that backyard project like your own personal Super Bowl. Start that YouTube channel you've been talking about all the time this afternoon, not "tomorrow."
Step 3. Finish it
"Good enough" will never bring lasting success and happiness. Rise above and go further, doing more than just the necessary, will take care of that.
Spend less time worrying about whether or not you made a good impression on a first date, or if your boss is mad at you for a hard-to-interpret email. Talk to them. Have open communication and be open about your confusion and feelings. Then let it go
Step 4. Raise your expectations
Push yourself up. Be the best you can be. What's good enough for you? Could it be that your answer is more? By striving for the things you really want, you pave the way for happiness instead of excuses.
Step 5. Work smarter, not harder
Learning to be more efficient with your efforts will keep you enthusiastic and energized with regard to your goals. You stay in the mood to do more when the work you do is as simple as it could be.
Get a mate. Learn to delegate and ask for help when it makes the job easier
Step 6. Be proactive
Make things happen yourself. If everyone is complaining about the lack of hot dog places in your city, then you can of course wait or start cooking yourself.
Do it now. Don't plan for a dark, future scenario. Get started now. Five minutes ago. Today
Step 7. Be assertive
If you want something, don't be afraid of it. You stand in the way of your own success if you lower your expectations and duck the terrifying opportunity. Take your chances.
Ask for raises, end your relationship, and make the changes you need to make before someone else makes them for you. Don't wait for your superior to notice the good work you are doing, but claim it for yourself. If your job doesn't make you happy, don't hide from your discontent and aim for a brighter outlook
Step 8. Be excited
You live on planet earth. You could also be a weird, mindless slug, floating on a piece of space debris. Think how boring that would be. Learn to be excited about what's going on in your life and the opportunities you have. If you're dissatisfied with the way things are going, use that dissatisfaction as an opportunity to do what you want. Start a band. Learn to play billiards. Go mountain climbing. Stop making excuses and start making happiness.
Step 9. Surround yourself with supportive people
Needy people who need emotional support from you or who dominate your time with their own problems suck all the emotional energy and strength out of you. Learn to give and motivate your friends and support each other. Create stimulating relationships and stay happy and healthy.
Part 3 of 3: Using symbols and talismans
Step 1. Look for lucky critters
In many cultures, insects and other critters are considered signs of fortune and prosperity. Sometimes killing these insects can be considered bad luck, so it's a good idea to leave them alone.
- Landing a ladybug on you is often considered a lucky sign, and is sometimes considered to have healing properties. Try wearing a ladybug amulet to channel the ladybug luck.
- Dragonflies are often associated with water and the subconscious. Some people think that a dragonfly sitting on you means that something important is going to change in your life.
- When crickets stop chirping, something is about to happen. Maybe something unfavorable. Some Native Americans once thought crickets brought good luck and crickets are often seen on jewelry and other amulets in the Middle East and Europe. The sound of crickets is widely considered to bring good luck.
Step 2. Look for lucky plants and signs in nature
In many cultures, finding certain plants is considered a lucky omen. Always keep a lookout for lucky plants.
- Four-leaf clovers are often collected by school children as a sign of success and prosperity.
- Finding acorns was an Old Norse tradition, as oaks attract lightning, the sign of Thor. Holding acorns was a way to keep yourself safe from Thor's frenzy.
- Some cultures value bamboo as a support for spiritual growth.
- Growing and growing basil is sometimes thought to awaken passion. It also has antibacterial properties and a lot of nutritional value.
- Honeysuckle, jasmine, sage, rosemary and lavender are many picked plants and herbs that have a variety of nourishing and therapeutic properties. They smell wonderful and can be used in a variety of dishes, in soaps and also in teas, making them both useful and auspicious.
Step 3. Wear a totem of a lucky animal
If you have a special bond with an animal or spirit of an animal, carry a small toy or other item that channels their energy and happiness. A rabbit's foot is a well-known talisman, related to fertility.
- Early Christians viewed the dolphin as a protective animal, and sailors often used the dolphin's presence to foretell good news or a quick and safe journey home.
- Frogs are considered lucky animals in many cultures, including ancient Rome and Egypt. The Mojave believed that the frog brought fire to man. Frogs symbolize inspiration, wealth, friendship and prosperity.
- Tigers and Red Bats are often considered lucky animals in China.
- Turtles are common in creation myths in many different cultures, and are popular lucky animals.
Step 4. Decorate your home with talismans
Surround yourself with totems, a common way to make yourself feel prosperous and comfortable in your home.
- Dreamcatches, kachinas and feathers are often considered lucky symbols and objects in various Native American cultures. In America, these are common household items, used to bring good luck.
- Statues of the Buddha, a staple of many Chinese restaurants, are usually considered good luck charms.
- Use feng shui to bring happiness and harmony into your home or office.
- Christopher and Mary statues are common in Catholic homes. Other talismans include prayer candles; these are considered sources of spiritual peace and happiness.
- Horses are loyal animals and horseshoes are often considered good luck charms. Horseshoes are often hung over doorways, keeping luck in the house and bad luck out
- If you have a skill, use it.
- Hard work does not necessarily lead to success, but combined with intelligence it is proportional to happiness.
- A third of your life is based on happiness. A third depends on how you handle whatever comes your way. Look for a life with two-thirds happiness.
- Wear a bracelet or necklace as a talisman.