Gift Yourself a New Year…

Once in a while it hits people that they really don’t have to see the world in the way they have been told to. dawn-3846778_1920That is the beauty of exploring, learning, understanding & accepting newness in life. That is serendipity (in a way) and letting go of what we are conditioned to or cling on to. All of us like to feel we are in control of our lives, plan every step and steer the course of all happenings exactly at the time we want it to happen. We all want to know what’s going to happen before it does, like to play scenarios out in our heads, use favourite words to make sense of this world as much as we can. Even though we know, in the back of our minds, that it may never fully happen.

Somewhere, between being a daughter, a wife, a mother, a friend, an entrepreneur, I realised that no matter what pre planning I do, there will always be moments in life that will be unexpected, out of the blue and hit you like a ton of bricks. And then, you are in a free fall. 

Now, the beauty of free fall is that, it is the right moment to find your wings. Wings help you fly. 

There is flip side to free fall, too. When you fall, if you do not allow your wings to come out, spread and flap them, you are likely to hit the ground with a big thud. The most important thing then is to trust your instinct, let go and allow your wings to emerge.

You will never know you can fly if you do not unfurl your wings, flap them and push yourself to soar. You’ll never know the strength in your muscles if you don’t flex them. You’ll never know who you can become, if you don’t take the first step.

Two and half decades ago, I was jolted from that familiar, comfortable bubble I had built in my life. And I went into a fall. I also discovered I could fly. That changed everything.

There will always be winds of change, forcing us to come down at times, falter in some cases, change direction completely and soar. Allow for those serendipitous periods in life, which will give you the freedom to discover a new you.

May that be your gift to yourself this year! May 2019 bring out the serendipiter & the discoverer in you! Happy 2019!!!  

 

A Chance Encounter…

A chance encounter can do many things in our life…sometimes change the course of life completely for some of us. I am sure a lot of married folks will say, “I agree” to this one 🙂 🙂 🙂

Marriage is not the only thing I am referring to here. My friend recently went through a tough time: a personal crisis. She was scouring for signs of something positive, anything that would offer a ray of hope or light for her situation. She decided to go out for some tea when she encountered a woman, unknown to her, who began chatting about the trials and tribulations of her life.

The woman spoke of gratitude for those who had courage, and at the end of what was essentially a monologue the woman said to my friend: “Everybody goes through difficulties. Surround yourself with positive people and hang in there.” With that the woman got up and left. My friend had not shared a word of her difficulties, yet this chance encounter satisfied her need to receive something positive.

Coincidence?

Perhaps. But the intriguing feature of this story is that the chance encounter provided the necessary spark of encouragement and hope. 

In 1957, writer and cartoonist Allen Saunders offered the quote: “Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.” John Lennon later popularized the above sentiment in his song Beautiful Boy. We can all relate. We spend so much time working toward something, only to have the unexpected snare our attention and take us in a completely different direction. Of course this could be for better or worse. But is there a science underneath the positivity of chance encounters? We can test it out.

Who we become is greatly influenced by what happens beyond our control. And yet, as your own life has likely revealed, there is evidence that chance encounters can, and do, positively influence our lives. Perhaps it is time to build this into the formula for expecting, and experiencing more joy and more hope in our lives.

There is enough evidence around us to show that if you prepare yourself to make the most of chance encounters, good things are waiting to happen all around you. Other experts agree that with a few simple steps, you can significantly increase the chances of meeting your soul mate, finding the right business partner, or steering your life in a new direction. That might sound unlikely or even naive, but there’s real science to prove that while you can’t control the randomness of life, you can definitely create your own luck.

In psychological terms, lucky people tend to be more extroverted, a word whose Latin roots mean “turned outward.” Typically, they’re gregarious. They have the power to draw others toward them. They’re adept at maintaining friendships. And they cultivate what is described as a “strong network of luck” that helps promote opportunity in their lives.

Ultimately, the bigger your circle of acquaintances, the more opportunities you have. A typical person knows about 300 people on a first-name basis. So if you go to a party and meet someone new, he explains, you’re “only two handshakes away from 300 times 300 people; that’s 90,000 new possibilities for a new opportunity, just by saying hello.” By the same logic, if you meet 50 new people at a conference, you’re just a couple of introductions away from 4.5 million opportunities to change your life.

But handshakes aren’t the only way to increase the odds of a life-changing encounter. Statistics claim that 80 percent of the people who try to increase their serendipity are successful. It takes only a month, and most people report their luck increases by an average of 40 percent. A few keys to success:

Prepare your mind. Don’t leave chance encounters entirely to chance, says Colleen Seifert. Instead, try doing a little predictive encoding and get your mind ready for good things to happen. “Chance favors the prepared mind,” Seifert says, quoting Louis Pasteur. If you lay the groundwork, then when something happens by chance, your memory goes right to work and “you notice it for free.”

Give chance a chance. If you always pick apples in the same part of an orchard, Wiseman notes, you’ll eventually run out of fruit. The same applies to luck. Pursue an active life—get out there and do things—and you’ll increase the likelihood of good things happening. Go apple picking—or grocery shopping, for that matter—somewhere new. Eat your lunch on a different park bench. You never know who will be sitting next to you.

Relax. If you’re anxious, stressed, or preoccupied, Richard Wiseman believes, you probably won’t notice good things waiting to happen. You’ll walk right past money on the ground or miss an opportunity to speak with someone in a coffee shop. A laid-back attitude can lead to all sorts of possibilities, but you have to be ready to go with the flow.

Build your network of luck. Stay connected to the people you know, and try to meet new people. You can become more of a social magnet by paying attention to your body language. It may sound obvious, but make smiling a habit. “Remember that you are surrounded by opportunities,” Wiseman writes. “It is just a case of looking in the right places and seeing what is really there.” 

The challenge is for us to cultivate as much optimism as we can muster, and to do this in anticipation of the unforeseen. This is important because as Heraclitus said, “If you do not expect the unexpected, you will not find it…”

So…go out there…and have a positively unexpected day!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂