I’m not a lucky person. I see good things happening to other people who are not always so nice but I try to do good things and still I keep having bad luck. I feel like there is no hope.
Hope sounds good when you first hear about it, but when you really meditate on it hard you realize that hope necessitates suffering. Hope is essentially a dream of how you want the future to turn out. But since those thoughts are just words you’re saying to yourself in your head they actually have no impact on the world.
This is what they mean when people say don’t build castles in the sky. Because then you try to live in those hopes and dreams and that’s impossible. But because you’ll compare what Is to what you dreamed, your hope does nothing but set you up for disappointment. Hope demands that we imagine a specific future, but a truly satisfying, rewarding and meaningful life emerges by anticipating general good fortune moment by moment. So don’t be worried about having no hope. That’s actually a good thing. Don’t want anything specific. Just be grateful for whatever comes.
Secondly you say you’re unlucky. How exactly is this calculated? For instance, if you’re in a serious car accident but you survive with surprisingly minor injuries that still keep you in hospital for months, were you lucky to have survived and recovered, or were you unlucky to have had the accident? We’re you unlucky to get injured, or were you lucky that you’ll recover? Or are both of these things true at the same time? I’ve written about it before in other postings but you would benefit from really thinking deeply about this when you’re waiting in your next lineup. Because if you do you will realize that luck exists strictly in the human mind. Your post-event-analysis is a flexible thing, so it is forever impossible to call yourself truly lucky or unlucky.
The day I’m answering your question, the current pop star Justin Bieber was arrested for racing a Lamborghini while drunk. For anyone over 30 this is a common pattern we’ve seen many times, just the name of the star changes. Young celebrity gets access to too much money early in life, they end up estranged from the normal limits that daily parenting would encourage, they’re surrounded by people who can benefit greatly from the star being dependent, and they have no one really saying “no” to anything. In essence they are insulated from plain old cause-and-effect reality. This leads to behaviours that the star thinks they can get away with whereas the rest of us have the necessary experience to be able to extrapolate what will happen. So child stars that end up in trouble with addictions and behaviour issues are hardly surprising. They’re almost inevitable.
So now my question to you is, was Justin Bieber lucky when Usher heard him sing on YouTube, or was he unlucky? Because that chance encounter did turn Bieber into a “star.” But like many people before him, that very stardom is the root of all of his biggest challenges. And that’s no small thing because he is currently lining up to experience some of life’s steepest challenges. Ask an addict how easy it was to quit. Ask a rich and famous addict if they felt lucky because they had lots of money or fame. A life is a life is a life. How many people are watching you live it is irrelevant. Justin Bieber’s life is made up of his moment to moment experiences, not how he appears in the temporarily conscious thoughts of fans he’ll never meet or know. So he was lucky on the day he was discovered. But he was unlucky too. It all depends on how you look at it.
I’ve written it before—guaranteed that if I stood on your neck you would fight like crazy to get me off you so you could breathe. How come? What are you fighting for if your life is so unlucky? Why wouldn’t you welcome death then? It’s because in those moments your blessings would rush into your awareness. Well you don’t need me to stand on your throat to have that happen. You can just choose to entertain in your conscious thinking the things that generate pleasant feelings for you. You can focus on appreciating what you already have rather than using words in your head to plead for what you want. You day is not made from being lucky or unlucky. Your day is made of whatever thoughts you choose to place in your consciousness. This is wonderful news because that thinking—as tricky as it might at first seem—is entirely and completely within your control.
You can start right now. The more you do it the better you’ll get at it. Do not focus your thinking on wants. If you want to feel better, focus your thinking on appreciating your current blessings. This is what a spiritual practice is—it is you constantly practicing the act of focusing your consciousness intentionally. If you focus it on hopes that did not materialize, you will feel unlucky. If you focus it on all of your many blessings, you will feel extraordinarily lucky. It’s ultimately a choice, and no one makes it but you.
I wish you every good fortune as you endeavour to change your habits regarding your thought patterns. Now go create yourself a lucky day. 😉
Following a serious childhood brain injury Scott McPherson unwittingly spent his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and the self. This made him as strange to others as they were to him. Seeing the self-harm people created with their own overthinking, Scott dedicated part of his life to helping others live with greater awareness. He is currently a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB, where he finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.