Making it happen?

Some time ago I came across an article that explored the nature of luck. We all know someone who we consider “lucky”, but what does that mean? Do they have something that the rest of us don’t? And what about “unlucky” people? Are they simply condemned due to a sadistic god, bad childhood, or personal flaw? The article I read attempted to put some of these questions to rest by placing “luck” under the microscope of scientific inquiry.

The set-up was this. Study participants were asked whether they considered themselves “lucky” or not. After this self-reporting was conducted, the participant was directed to simply take a walk down the street and enter a storefront. The catch is that there were little “opportunities” seeded along the route (a five-dollar bill, a potential business contact, etc.) After the study was concluded, the result showed that those who considered themselves “lucky” picked up on more “opportunities” while those who considered themselves “unlucky” picked up on less.

The factors that shape a persons self-concept (specifically “lucky” or not) are innumerable and beyond the scope of the study and this blog, but I personally took away a kernel of goodness from all this. The message to me was that the qualities of openness and proactiveness combined with opportunity create “luck”. When presented with equal chances for money and success, the “lucky” ones capitalized to a much higher degree. Of course, not all individuals are presented with equal opportunities and this is an unfortunate fact, which, barring revolutionary socio-economic changes, is outside of our individual control. However, on the personality side, we can cultivate openness and proactivity; essentially training ourselves to be lucky.

Changing our personality and self-concept is easier said than done, but it is available to us nonetheless. I think that this has a lot to do with the whole “law of attraction” idea that came into greater cultural awareness following the release of the book and movie “The Secret”. While mansions and millions of dollars are not necessarily within the reach of every person with a “dream board”, perhaps there is a greater level of personal satisfaction that is to be had.

In my own experience, I have found many doors opening up simply because I was willing to knock. This process of recognizing an opportunity to fulfill a desire and then actually going out and acting upon it, is one that draws fears, doubts, and self-limiting beliefs to the surface, but at the surface they can at least be exorcised.

Just this past week I was faced with just this sort of situation. I was interested in a local boxing gym (Gym Rat Boxing) for the sake of improving my own striking skills and possibly gleaning material for a future article. When I arrived for my first class, the owner (coach Todd) asked me if I was here to apply for the personal training position that he had advertised on the gym’s Facebook page. I wasn’t of course, but I quickly decided to go for it anyway. There was a spare resume in my car so I made sure to give him a copy after class was over. We then discussed what he was looking for in having a new trainer at his gym and I made my case for why I would be a good fit.

I hadn’t received a call or an email regarding the position, which gave my mental demons an opportunity to pounce. “It’s not going to happen, so don’t get your hopes up,” they whispered. At that moment I questioned whether I should keep my mouth shut about the job the next time I saw coach Todd, but just as swiftly as the thought entered my mind I recognized it as the voice of my fear. Determined to throw-down with my self-doubt I returned to Gym Rat and after class approached coach Todd and mentioned to him some ideas that I had that may be helpful in promoting the gym as well as whether or not he had thoughts on me working with him. “I looked over your resume, and yeah, I think you’d be good” he said.

Now it would be simplistic to solely give credit to my own personal gumption, courage, and the aforementioned qualities of openness and proactiveness. Of course they played a part, and that’s the point. There was a tremendous convergence of circumstances that led to me being at the right place and the right time but when it came down to it, I said “yes” when it counted. That “yes” moved me one step closer to my personal goals and dreams and that feels damn good.

So maybe we all don’t have the same opportunities, or for some, the “door” appears more or less frequently, but hopefully when opportunity knocks, you kick that door open and say “YES!”

Combat Conditioning Circuit (C3)

Purpose: Build explosiveness and prevent “gassing”

Burpees x 10

Squats (very fast tempo) x 15

Split Jumps (start with feet split as if you just stepped into a lunge, bend your knees and leap up switching your feet in mid-air) x 20

Dive bombers (start in a yoga “down dog”, bend your arms so that your chest comes close to the ground and then sweep up. Reverse the motion to complete 1 rep) x 10

“V” ups (lie flat on your back, then bring both arms and both legs together crunching your abs) x 15

Bridge with reach (lie flat on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor, quickly extend your hips and reach one arm across your body to touch the ground above your opposite shoulder) x 20

Shadow box x 30s

Repeat the whole circuit 5x without stopping

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About Unknown

Tony is the host of the Paleo Magazine Radio podcast, author of "Paleo Grilling: A Modern Caveman's Guide to Cooking with Fire", and Cofounder of Powerful PT, an innovative information resource for Fitness Professionals. He has appeared on numerous local and national television and radio broadcasts and regularly hosts healthy cooking workshops and informational lectures. He is also a full-time Personal Trainer and Wellness Consultant who lives in Jacksonville Florida with his wife Jamie.
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  1. Study coincides w/quantum physics study on theory of expectation w/the particles. Maybe I should post a sign on by bathroom mirror, "I feel lucky today," as a reminder. Great work!