It is a very interesting question to ponder: do you believe in luck or do you think that what happens to you in your life is essentially a product of your own effort? Of course the law of attraction suggests that you are indeed creating your own reality, to a large extent, whether or not that reality is something with which you are comfortable.
What I want to explore in this post is the attitude that is sometimes referred to as an internal locus of control which is the tendency to ascribe success to your own effort. The opposite attitude is an external locus of control which is the tendency to attribute success to factors outside of your sphere of influence. People with an external locus of control tend to believe that success comes from ‘being in the right place at the right time’ or perhaps they might suggest that ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’. Those with an internal locus of control might say, ‘you make your own luck in life’.
The thing is that one of these two attitudes serves us much better in life; and it is the attitude that is represented by the internal locus of control. Sometimes when I teach this principle at my workshops, some people will object that you can’t always be successful and you can’t always change situations for the better. They will point to people in desperate situations as examples and say that those poor starving people in Africa can’t do anything to change their situations. I actually had someone say that to me at one event.
There are two things I want to point out about the above comment. The first is that the person who made it almost certainly has an external locus of control; and the second is that even in those dire circumstances, there would be some people who would be looking at their options and considering how they could affect the situation – they have an internal locus of control. The fact is that we are not talking about reality or how it works when we consider these things; we are talking about the attitude we take to the reality we face, whatever it happens to be.
In his book the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey encompasses this attitude in his discussion of habit #1, which he states thus: ‘Be Proactive’. He says that for some people, it is a bitter pill to swallow, to take on board that they are creating their own reality. They naturally want to blame their partners, bosses, children, colleagues or whoever else they can imagine is ‘doing it to them’ – classic external locus of control. When we finally can accept that, if we are miserable, for example, we are actually doing it to ourselves, then we are on the road to improvement.
Whatever our circumstances, however successful we are right now, however wealthy we are, however happy we are – I could go on but you get the point – when you can fully accept that you created the situation yourself, then you are beginning to internalise the attitude that also has the power to liberate you. It may be a bitter pill to swallow, but, as Covey says, it is completely liberating because proactive people (internal locus of control) are in control of their own lives and so they get to choose the future they want.
Returning to my original question, I hope that, if you are someone who thinks that all the other people have the good luck, then you will resolve to change that. Good luck, as I recall Deepak Chopra saying on one occasion, is what occurs when preparation meets opportunity. That, I think, is a profound statement. So start preparing yourself. Start seeing the good in those around you. Don’t buy in to the idea that you can’t change things. You can certainly change these things because they are simply attitudes and you might be astonished at how your reality can change when you can first change your attitude.