The year was 2015.
In my place of work at the time, I was part of about 20 people selected to undergo a training that would equip me with the skills needed to be part of a medical outreach team for 5 days. I was going to be paid for partaking in the training and also for being a part of the outreach.
Well, the script did not actually pan out that way.
First, due to a blackout in my neighborhood, I was unable to charge my phone. This meant that I was clueless about the venue of the training. Of course, this led to me missing the training – as well as the payment that came with it. And because I didn’t take part in the training, I was unqualified to be a part of the outreach.
Then, to add insult to the injury, the coordinator of the medical outreach was totally inflexible. His stone heart did everything in his power to ensure that I would not be a part of the outreach. Boy, did he succeed!
As I headed back home that day, with my arms drooping like the dried fronds of a palm tree, different thoughts raced through the contours in my brain:
What kind of head do I have?
Why was I the only one that didn’t get the venue for the training?
Why did my phone decide to die at such a crucial period?
Why do I always have ‘bad luck’?
It’s funny how the mind has the uncanny ability to turn the minutest of things into a hot-air ballon. My isolated incidence of ‘bad luck’, was already starting to be perceived as a reoccurring incidence by that soft, white lump of tissue between my ears. Little did I know that being rejected from that medical outreach team was probably the best thing that could happen to me at the time. Within the space of about 2 days, I got a part-time offer with a far better remuneration that lasted nearly two years.
And here’s the funniest thing: I would have missed this opportunity if I had been allowed to be a part of the medical outreach!
Do you think I still felt I had bad luck?
It’s funny how the narrative changes when the facts are changed!
There may be a couple of you thinking the whole world is set up to work against you. You might be asking yourself questions such as:
Why always me?
Which kind of ‘bad luck’ do I have?
Well, I’ve got good news for you: You CAN create your own ‘luck’. In the next few paragraphs, I will be sharing THREE ways you can do just that.
Acknowledge The Truth About You
I know I probably sound like a broken gramophone record now, but it bears repeating: You need to see yourself the way God sees you!
If you are totally blind to what you have within you, it will be impossible to walk in the fullness of your powers. This, in turn, will make you feel as though the odds are stacked against you, and ultimately, you’d lead a mediocre life. All you need for a successful life is not outside you. It’s within you. The sooner you recognize this, the faster you will create your own ‘luck’.
Let me share a little insight with you from Genesis 2:7,
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
Some years ago, I did a study on the original Hebrew words that were used to express the phrase I boldened above. The original Hebrew word that is translated as “breathed” literally means “to inflate”. In other words, Jehovah God Himself inflated you like a balloon with His breath.
And it even gets better.
The term translated as “breath of life” literally means “raw, strong, and fresh Divine Inspiration”. By implication, this means that within you, you’ve got the raw, strong and fresh Divine Inspiration from God Himself. The only reason you’re a living soul is that God has put in you a part of the very Essence that makes Him God!
You are carrying God within you and you have no need to fear.
You are carrying God within you and you should be afraid of nothing.
You are carrying God within you and you are not permitted to be a victim of circumstance.
You are carrying God within you and you should be able to step into any situation and dictate how things should proceed.
The more conscious you are of the Truth about you, the more easily you should be able to write and create your own luck!
Do What You Hate
In motivational circles, the talk eventually winds up to the point where the speaker challenges his captive audience to do what they love and follow their passions. While I am all for that, in my humble opinion, I believe the better advice would be to tell people to do what they hate!
I will explain.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote the following statement on my Facebook wall:
“The quality of your life will to an extent be determined by the number of uncomfortable discussions you are willing to have”.
I wrote this because the most common things that people easily shy away from are uncomfortable conversations
Take a look at the parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32 and you’d find a person that was willing to have uncomfortable conversations.
The Prodigal Son was able to ask his father for the portion of his inheritance in the first place because of his attitude concerining uncomfortable conversations. (Disclaimer: Now, I’m not advocating for riotous living or rebellion against constituted authorities! Rather, I’m pointing you to the kind of attitude that the Prodigal Son had). It didn’t end there. After he had spent all his money and was already languishing in drought and poverty, he was again willing to have that uncomfortable discussion with his Father.
Contrast the Prodigal Son’s attitude with that of the Older Brother in verses 29 and 30.
“And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.”
Clearly, the Older Brother had a problem of entitlement. There was nothing stopping him from walking up to his Father and asking for a goat that he could cook and share with his friends. His Father said that much in verse 31. “And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.” In essence, all I have left had always been yours!
The Older Brother strikes me as someone who might have had these lines of thought concerning his younger brother:
Lucky bastard, he always gets what he wants! [When the Prodigal Son asked for his share of the inheritance]
Lucky bastard, Daddy has accepted him back again, after everything he has done! [When the Prodigal Son came back home]
Anytime you do what you hate, especially through the uncomfortable conversations you are willing to have, you increase options for yourself. And the more options you have, the more luck you create!
The guy who is overworked and underpaid may do two things. He may decide to have that uncomfortable conversation with his boss or potential employers, or he may stay put in the same place and hope – like the Older Brother – that his patience would pay off. If he does the first and his salary is reviewed or he’s employed elsewhere, the rave reviews will start flowing in about how lucky he is. And if he chooses to play safe and goes with the second option, he will continue to lament about the hard hands that life has dealt him.
The more uncomfortable conversations you have, the more options you have; the more options you have, the more luck you create!
The Law Of Large Numbers
“For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.” (Proverbs 24:16)
If you want to create your luck, you must be ready to fail numerous times.
The Bible says a just man will fall seven times and then he will rise up again. Numerous people are unwilling to fall once, let alone seven times. Yet, they want to have the results of the just man. It is impossible to have the same results if you disobey the principle behind the result!
Some months ago, I took a course in Statistics and one of the Laws that struck me right across the face was The Law Of Large Numbers.
In simple terms, the law states
Here’s an example that explains how it works:
Suppose you were told to flip a coin. For the purpose of this analogy, let’s assume that ‘Head’ means ‘Win’ and ‘Tail‘ means ‘Lose’.
To make it even more interesting, let’s assume that the first time you flipped the coin, you got ‘Tail’.
Does this mean you are a failure?
Does this mean you are unlucky?
You are probably going to feel apathetic because deep down within you, you know that every coin flip has two outcomes – ‘Head’ or ‘Tail’.
Let’s go a step further with this.
What if I told you that flipping ‘Head’ will fetch you one million…dollars?! And you have TEN chances to flip ‘Head’ in order to win the one million dollars.
Would you keep on flipping the coin? Or would you just toss the coin once, get ‘Tail’ and then blame yourself for having bad luck?
The truth is that the more you flip the coin, the better your chances of getting a ‘Head’!
We actually did the calculations in class and we found that if you flip a coin just once, you have a 50% chance of getting a ‘Head’; but if you flip the coin 10 times, the probability of getting a ‘Head’ increases to a whopping 99.4%!!!
Here’s the thing: Failing doesn’t mean that you are a failure or that you have bad luck. It only means you have figured out an aspect of your action plan that is not working.
Get back up on your feet, dust yourself and keep on flipping!
God did not create you to be a dud. He did not design you for bad luck. In fact, He has already given you ALL you need to pen down and create your own luck.
Today, start acknowledging the truth about what God has loaded you with.
Today, take a step of faith and endeavor to have that uncomfortable conversation that would make your palms all sweaty.
Today, keep on flipping the coin and let the law of Large Numbers work in your favor.
God bless you!
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