I'm really glad you asked. I am the luckiest guy ever.
I'm so lucky I'm not even afraid to jinx myself by saying it out. Like standing up in a movie theater and saying to everyone, "I am the luckiest guy ever".
Often when people do something like that, they stop being lucky. They take it for granted after that.
That won't happen to me. I'm lucky at the cellular level. My cells don't even really know English so they aren't listening to me.
But when people say "luck" they mean many things. Like, have I won the lottery? Yes. Yes I have. Maybe not some specific Lottery with a $100,000,000.00 prize but I have won many lotteries in life.
Am I lucky in love. Yes. Yes I am.
I am (thank you very much) on my second marriage. She is a very wonderful woman. Many people look at her and then look at me and say, "What the hell was she thinking?"
My ex-wife is extraordinary also. She gave me two great kids. Sometimes they love me and sometimes they are very angry at me. But when they get angry I usually laugh at them (I'm just being honest). It's almost ridiculous to me when a 16 year old gets angry.
Am I lucky in business? I just had an investment fold on me that cost me $7 million. That doesn't seem so lucky. I've started 20 businesses and 17 of them failed. That doesn't seem so lucky.
But I have yet to open the inside of this ticking clock we call the Universe. Who knows what was in store for me if those businesses haven't failed?
Perhaps something would happen to my wife? Or I would get sick (something that has not happened to me in a very long time. Knock on wood).
I don't have a billion dollars. Or even one hundred million.
I used to think I would only be happy if I had one hundred million dollars.
I once had a company I started that was all set to go public. The banks that were taking me public said I could be worth up to $900 million if we went public.
Unfortunately, they didn't take us public. Bad things happened. I was fired as CEO. Then fired from the board. Then I lost all my shares. A few years ago it was bought and I made nothing.
BUT...if it had gone public...I had it all planned out. I was going to use $2 million of my money to buy a Super Bowl commercial.
In the commercial I was planning on just walking around and doing nothing. I would take up 60 seconds of empty Super Bowl space for no reason at all.
But I was a little nervous. What if I did that and suddenly everyone would protest and say, "James should have given that money to charity!"
I would actually wake up at night sweating about that. That is not very lucky.
Wishing and Luck are the opposites. Once I wished for $100,000,000.00 I instantly went broke.
And when I say "Instant" I mean: about a million dollars a week I lost for 15 weeks in a row.
I would cry at night. I couldn't get out of be. My ex-wife would offer to make pancakes and I would actually refuse (pancakes being wildly known as the secret recipe the aliens left us before they took off for distant galaxies).
And then I was dead broke and lost my house and eventually my ex-wife and then my self-respect and all my friends and on and on.
All because I wished for something. Nobody is entitled to anything. Every atom in my body existed during the Big Bang 14 billion years ago.
They made it this far. They don't need me to make a certain number. They will all be around one trillion years from now.
Dear Atoms On My Body, will you even remember me?
Answer: Probably not. We don't even have memories.
One time I was going broke a few years ago. Again. It would have been maybe my fifth time living out of a garbage bag.
I hit my chest and said, "Abundance!" and then within months an investment I made came through and I made money.
I didn't think about it. I just said that word and stopped thinking about money.
Did that make me the money? No. That's stupid. Of course it didn't. And if anyone saw me hit myself they probably (and correctly) should have put me in a mental hospital.
A lot of bad things are happening in the world. People getting blown up. I suppose it's a cliche to say I'm lucky because I'm not one of them.
But that's always the case. Every one of us can find someone worse off and someone better off.
And it's built into our mammallian evolutionary machinery to keep track of our "status" in the tribe. Even if the tribe is now seven billion people.
So that's not really luck. Although I'm grateful bombs didn't blow me up today.
So how can I say I'm lucky? Lucky in what?
Three things: - COMPETENCE:
Every day I try to improve at the things I love. I love writing for instance. So I read a lot and try to write a lot. Some days I get better and some worse.
The worse I get, the luckier I am. How come? Because it means I'm trying something stupid and seeing if I can get away with it. That's how I learn.
"Getting worse" is powerful feedback. LUCKY PEOPLE are grateful for bad results. Because they use that feedback to get better at the things they love. - RELATIONSHIPS
My second wife loves me I think. And if she didn't that would be okay also.
I'm trying to get better at separating out results from love. I love her, so if she wanted to be somewhere else, I would love that about her.
Then I will always be lucky in love.
I am one of the ugliest people on the planet. And yet, because I practice good loving, then it's easy for me to be happy with all the relationships around me.
And guess what then happens? Because of that, all of the relationships around me keep getting better. - FREEDOM.
I can do whatever I want. I can't jump ten feet. But I don't want to. Don't make me. I'll say "no".
I've been rejected by a lot of jobs and opportunities. I won't deny it. I wanted to do those things.
But I have a trick: I diversify the things I want.
Maybe I won't be a billionaire today. But I KNOW I will kiss someone today. And I KNOW I will sleep ten hours today. And I KNOW I will write most of today and maybe see my kids and maybe see a movie.
Every day, because I diversify my choices, I find freedom in everything I do. And I never do anything I don't want to do.
What if I had to go to a bad job! Many people have to go to jobs they don't like.
I will tell you a story.
A friend of mine was an artist. We were walking in the rain. He pointed down and said, "what do you see?"
I said, "a puddle."
He said, "ok, look again".
I looked down and I saw a puddle, and I saw people reflected in the puddle. And I saw the sky reflected in the puddle. And I saw the chaotic edges of the puddle and how they were constantly changing. And I saw the edges of a rainbow creep into the puddle as it reflected the light in unusual ways.
My artist friend taught me how to see. Art is the gap between bad luck and good luck.
"A bad job" is the first answer. But the second answer is when you start to see.
Can you create luck?
Yes. I'll show you. If you've ever read me before you can stop reading now.
Do this every day. But only 1% growth a day. Too much and it's too hard. Too litttle and it's not enough. It's like you don't care about luck. Physical:
Just do 10 pushups a day, five times a day. After you do this for awhile. Maybe (the 1% growth) add a pushup. Or a squat. Or whatever.
Sleep eight hours. Lucky people are always well-rested. How else will enjoy your luck.
Eat well. Every cell on your body has come from something you ate over the past seven years. So make sure your body is all set for luck by eating well.
What is eating well? You know! Don't deny it. Emotional:
Be nice to the people around you.
Find someone new to be nice to. Maybe 1 person a day. Just now I looked at an article I wrote in 2007. Someone wrote a nice comment on it. I never responded to the comment.
So I looked up the person to see where they are now. And I wrote them a nice thank you letter.
Thanks! is a good way to get lucky. Mental:
I started getting lucky when I sat down with a pad every day and I wrote down ten ideas a day.
Every day...ten more ideas. Sometimes I would send the ideas to people. And then some of those people would call me and invite me to help them make those ideas.
The more ideas I wrote, the better I got at it. It's like practice. Spiritual:
I once met Thich Naht Hanh, the Buddhist monk who has been an anti-war protester since the 60s.
He has seen so much sorrow. And so much pain. And yet he was smiling.
Then he did a calligraphy in front of me. He drew a circle. And he spelled out the word: "smile".
Spirituality is not about prayer or a god or a hope or a wish or meditation ("mad attention"). It's about: can you smile right now?
If the answer is "yes", then you are practicing being spiritual.
It's all practice. It's all about 1% improvement every day.
How do I know there aren't people luckier than me in the world?
I don't know. Maybe there are. But I doubt it. Because we're in a giant video game that I created. I put myself in here to play a character.
I'm the only person alive. So that makes me the luckiest person alive.
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