I know many people who believe in luck, and I must admit I was one of those for a long time. I remember how I used to write that red and white ticket every week and go to the lottery. I was hoping to win the big prize, the million, and was even daydreaming about what I would do with the money: trips around the world, cars of all kinds, houses in the mountains, by the sea, and even quitting my current job.
Then I heard something in NLP that completely changed my viewpoint: in the past, most people called everything they couldn’t explain … magic.
Why is that important?
Because I have come to understand what it means to be truly lucky.
Let me tell you a little story.
When I was about 15 and a teenager, I visited my grandparents. They had a house in a small mountain town right on the edge of a forest. One of those days, I set off with my cousin, who was about five years old, to go mushroom picking. After we sank into the dark forest, our luck began to turn up, and we found mushrooms. I was getting increasingly frustrated because he found ten for every mushroom I found, and his bag got bigger and bigger as time passed.
I was doing my best. What was happening?
This frustration didn’t help, and after about an hour, we decided to turn around. My cousin had the bag full, which he could barely hold, and I had a few mushrooms, enough for my breakfast omelet.
I was extremely sad, and thought about how lucky he was.
It was only later that I realized it was a normal fact. Someone with eyes one meter off the ground sees mushrooms much faster than someone with eyes two meters.
Seeing the mushrooms more, more precise, and faster was normal.
But I didn’t understand that then, and I put it down to luck.
I wonder now how many other situations I have not said about others that they are lucky without thinking about what lies behind the “success” of those people.
What’s funny about the mushroom story is that my cousin was upset that he couldn’t carry his bag full of mushrooms and said how lucky I was that I could hold my bag.
I could carry, he could … see and find.
We all have specific skills that others admire in us, and real luck is actually minimal.
In reality, events are neutral, and only how you relate to them is important. In NLP, this technique is called reframing and refers to putting a proper, productive, helpful frame on external events.
How do you do it exactly?
At events that you consider “negative,” use a few questions to expand your horizon and understand other aspects.
To transform certain behaviors that you consider “bad” and to understand that any quality used negatively turns into a flaw and any flaw used positively can turn into a quality.
For example, shyness can turn into attention, rigidity can turn into firmness, and stubbornness can become ambition.
How exactly do you apply this technique to change your state and, in the end, the results?
Simple. By changing the way you perceive the situation, by changing the meaning.
How exactly? Start using the following questions.
What positive thing can come out of this, for me or others?
Separation can mean a new start, a release can represent a chance to find and do what you love, and even a simple fact as your car breaking down can mean more time on the bike.
In what other context can this behavior be useful?
In what other context can this behavior be useful?
Let me give you another example: is cutting someone else with a knife a positive or a negative thing?
Think about it.
Even if he’s a surgeon?
Or take this other example: rain. Imagine what rain can mean for a young couple who have planned an outdoor wedding. Hmm … And now, think what rain can mean for some people suffering from a severe drought.
In what other place or time is this ability helpful?
You can speak German, for example. How much does knowing German help you communicate in China? It’s a valuable skill, but does it help you in that context?
Let me give you another example: a mother is disturbed that her teenage son is constantly getting into fights at school.
Getting into fights. Hmm … not so good.
But how would it be if the same teenager could protect his little sister if anyone bothered her on her way from school?
Understanding that situations in life are not positive or negative and events are neutral made me understand that luck doesn’t exist. There was a liberation, and I understood that I had more and more control over my own life. Not to mention that visits to the lottery have been eliminated from my life, and when I go out in the woods to pick mushrooms, I try to have short people on my team.
To summarise: reframing is shifting your viewpoint so that it can be seen from another perspective for practical and productive reasons. It is a helpful technique, and when you have an apparently negative event in your life, try to use these questions:
- What positive thing can come out of this, for me or others?
- In what other context can this behavior be useful?
- In what other place or time is this ability helpful?
See you soon, or write if you want to share your experience with me!