With this entry, Azriela Jaffe, author of the book "Create Your Own Luck," begins an eight-step series especially for Beliefnet users. We've asked her to explore the principles she's found for attracting good fortune in life, love, and work.


Welcome! I know that as a Beliefnet user, you might be wondering where God, or faith of any kind, fits into a course on creating luck. Are we suggesting that people are completely in control of their destinies and faith is given the backseat? To the contrary, this course presupposes a spiritual viewpoint. Think of it this way: If God helps those who help themselves, what's the part we must do? How must we act and think in order to invite blessings into our life, and so that we do not block the divine guidance available to us? I hope you will join us and dialogue with us on this topic.

As we proceed, it's helpful for you to understand three terms that I use frequently in my discussion of this topic. They are:

Want More Luck?
These are behaviors that maximize your potential for bringing good fortune into your life.

When you act on a small opportunity at just the right time, in just the manner that turns it into the opportunity of a lifetime, or you pay attention to an uncanny coincidence and make a mental shift that allows you to see a situation more openly or positively, you are a luck-builder. When you see or hear God's guidance and you act upon it, you are inviting God into your life.

These are behaviors that destroy the luck you almost had, or did have, but gave up or lost.In other words, you've got the luck within your grasp, but you let it slip away. You lose your temper and alienate the one person who could have given you exactly what you need. You almost land the job of your dreams, but you get scared that you aren't up to the task, and you bow out to stay in the job you hate. You chalk an unbelievable coincidence up to just chance and do nothing to act on it. You sabotage your success or surround yourself with people who suck the optimism right out of you.

Luck-busters may have God and God's angels working overtime to help them, but no matter how much divine guidance they receive, they push it away or destroy the gifts provided them.

These are behaviors that keep luck from even entering your vicinity.

You aren't attracting or losing luck--you are repelling it. If you repeat these behaviors often enough, you'll start telling yourself and others that you are an unlucky person. You feel hopeless at times about ever getting lucky again. These behaviors are the equivalent of holding a big umbrella over your head on a sunny day and then complaining because you can't feel the sunshine. While you will often blame yourself for your luck-busting behaviors, luck-blocking behaviors often look like they aren't your fault. That may be true--but sometimes it's you, not "life circumstances," who's keeping the luck away.

When you enter this pattern, you may find that although you believe in a God, you figure he's too busy--or too distant or too angry--to be bothering with little old you. You talk yourself out of a relationship with a divine being, and thus keep blessings from entering your life.

God willing, you will have tens of thousands, if not millions, of moments when you can choose between luck-building, luck busting, or luck-blocking behaviors. My hope for you is that through careful study of this topic, you will develop luck-building habits and a stronger faith and relationship with the divine guidance available to you every day.

Ready, then? Let's get started!

Strategy #1

When it comes to miracles, some people think, "I'll believe it when I see it!" Luck-making individuals take a different stance: They believe it, and then they see it. You probably believe in God, but you've never seen him/her/it. You have faith that there is a divine force working with you in the world, even though you can't prove it. It's just something you know.

Believing in miracles allows you to do something that luck creators do naturally. They believe in the impossible, meaning, even if your mind does not know how something will come to be, and it may even seem impossible, you keep an open mind at all times that what you want and need IS possible, and that with God's help and your efforts, you can get what you need.

People who create their own luck believe with absolute certainty that they will have everything they need, even if they aren't always sure how they are going to get it, and if there are moments in life when luck seems to elude them. For lucky people, bad luck is temporary, and everything always turns out for the best. They have a deep faith in God, and in themselves, to somehow land on their feet and make the most out of whatever circumstances they encounter.

People who do not have faith in a higher power to assist them, or in themselves to make luck happen, often hesitate out of fear, closing their mind to opportunities because all they can fathom is how impossible it all seems.

Goethe says it best: "Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans. The moment one definitely commits oneself, all sorts of things begin to happen that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the committed decision, raising in one's favor all matter of incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would come his way."

Whatever you can do, or dream, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now...

This anonymous story beautifully illustrates the point that, sometimes, the answer to our problem is available to us but not yet known. When we open our minds to believing that what may appear impossible is really possible, either through God's intervention or some solution that we don't know of at the moment, luck happens.

A small congregation in the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains built a new sanctuary on a piece of land willed to them by a church member. Ten days before the new church was to open, the local building inspector informed the pastor that the parking lot was inadequate for the size of the building. Until the church doubled the size of the parking lot, they would not be able to use the new sanctuary.

Unfortunately, the church with its undersized lot had used every inch of their land except for the mountain against which it had been built. In order to build more parking spaces, they would have to move the mountain out of the backyard.

Undaunted, the pastor announced the next Sunday morning that he would meet that evening with all members who had "mountain-moving faith." They would hold a prayer session asking God to remove the mountain from the backyard and to somehow provide enough money to have it paved and painted before the scheduled opening dedication service the following week.

At the appointed time, 24 of the congregation's 300 members assembled for prayer. They prayed for nearly three hours. At 10 o'clock, the pastor said the final "Amen." "We'll open next Sunday as scheduled," he assured everyone. "God has never let us down before, and I believe He will be faithful this time too."

The next morning, as he was working in his study, there came a loud knock at his door. When he called "come in," a rough-looking construction foreman appeared, removing his hard hat as he entered. "Excuse me, Reverend. I'm from Acme Construction Company over in the next county. We're building a huge shopping mall. We need some fill dirt. Would you be willing to sell us a chunk of that mountain behind the church? We'll pay you for the dirt we remove and pave all the exposed area free of charge if we can have it right away. We can't do anything else until we get the dirt in and allow it to settle properly."

The little church was dedicated the next Sunday as originally planned, and there were far more members with "mountain-moving faith" on opening Sunday than there had been the previous week!

If you suspend your pessimistic mind, the voice that tells you that something is IMPOSSIBLE, you will open yourself to a solution coming to you in the most fantastic, unbelievable, you-never-would-have-thought-of-it-yourself way. But, first, you must open your mind and believe that you CAN have what you want and need, and that somehow God will help you get it--if it's really in your best interest and for the higher good.

Luck-Building Strategy--Changing Your Mind About Luck

Pessimistic thinking is a luck-buster. To start retraining your mind, watch for all those times when you tell yourself the word "impossible." Look for the moments when you fail to take one step toward your goal because you are closed-minded to the possibility that a solution exists in the universe that you can not possibly fathom at this time. Remember Goethe's quote: When you take the first step and move beyond hesitancy, the universe, God, and all the power available to you, will respond. But first, you must keep an open mind and believe in miracles. Miracles show up best when they are invited.
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