Down on your luck? Re-think today

Lately, I feel like the universe is conspiring against me.

We’ve all felt this way before. That feeling where nothing seems to work out, and you can never seem to catch a break. Whether it be our relationships or where we stand financially, there are times when we worry we carry more weight than we think we can hold. I woke up this morning with a raincloud of doom and gloom. One of my projects I’d been working on wasn’t operating as well as I’d hoped. “Why can’t something just work in my favor for ONCE?” I yelled to myself. Woe is me. I laid in bed with fussy child-like misery for about 30 minutes before grumpily getting up for the day.

I hopped in the shower and continued to feed my storm cloud affliction. “Why don’t things ever just work for me?” “Why can’t things just go well for once?” Then something happened and it was quite the “aha!” moment. I found myself answering my own question immediately. “Stop whining. Are you really trying as hard as you possibly can to make things succeed?” It was if I left my body, smacked myself in the face and returned. It dawned on me that I really wasn’t doing everything in my power to make things work.

Was I really doing everything I could to make things work?

“If you feel you are down on your luck, check the level of your effort.” — Robert Brault

Have you ever met someone who thinks the world owes them something for nothing? I’m sure you have. I was being one of those people and hated that I was. I was sulking because I had not achieved the success I thought I would in such a short time period. I was emitting cries of “Why?” into the response-less abyss. I was discouraged and intentionally self-sabotaging myself at the onset of difficulty. I was placing blame everywhere except for one logical place: myself.

My total level of effort was dismal in comparison to what I could have really done.
I didn’t really put as much blood, sweat, and tears into my efforts as I was giving myself credit for. In fact, I’d say quite the opposite. I created a minimal level goal of effort to what I thought would achieve success. That minimal level goal clearly was not nearly enough. So then what else could I do?

I interviewed myself. I asked several simple questions:

  • Is there anything I could be doing to make my situation better? Even if it’s just one or two small things?
  • Besides everything, can I be more specific to what isn’t working? Can I more effectively pinpoint my pain point(s)?
  • Am I really looking at this from the right perspective? Can I look at it from someone else’s point of view and try to put a positive spin on the scenario?

The funny part was I came up with answers to all of these questions almost instantly. No wonder you’re not succeeding, knucklehead! I was operating inside my comfort level instead of approaching things from every angle. If you can’t find an answer to any of these questions keep digging. You have not yet found your angle. There is always something more you can do.

Do you feel like you are down on your luck? Perhaps today is a great day to re-evaluate what luck is.

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” – Abraham Lincoln

Simply stated, the best results come from those who act. I created a new plan of attack and modified my goals. Am I going to succeed after modifying my efforts? Possibly, but every inch closer is better than where I started. What I can tell you is that walking around in self-misery with a rain cloud will do you no benefit. Unless you were born a prodigy who learned piano by 5, chances are you operate just like everyone else. We improve by learning from what we’ve done wrong.

Don’t get me wrong, though! Sometimes there are days where we just have bad luck. You stub your toe on the coffee table sending your body into a tornado-like motion that knocks over your coffee and everything on the counter. Subsequently you hit every red light on the way to work while simultaneously getting stuck behind a school bus and an elderly person driving below the speed limit. These are things we simply cannot control. We can learn from these occurrences once they become patterns. We can throw that wretched coffee table into a firepit, or we could take a different route to work the next day.

By improving our pain points, we can change our so called “luck” for the better.

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