We re-watched the Harry Potter movies recently, and I was delighted, as always, by the scenes when Harry uses the vial of liquid luck he wins from his potions teacher, Slughorn, in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I think JK Rowling sees so beautifully into the nature of luck. Yes, when we simply remain in the moment, are open to possibility, and follow our intuition -- even when it doesn't seem to make any logical sense -- I believe we do generate a great deal more luck than we would have otherwise. This, as Potter fans will know, is just what Harry does automatically when he takes the liquid luck potion. And that's how he gets Slughorn to reveal exactly what Harry and Dumbledore need to know.
Luck can be a dicey area if we forget about privilege. It's a heck of a lot easier to follow your intuition, when you don't have to worry about where your dinner is coming from. Although I believe that to be very true, I do remember a woman on a Wayne Dyer podcast who called in to share her own story. Just weeks before, she had been homeless and desperate. But then, somehow, she got hold of Wayne Dyer's book, Wishes Fulfilled, and put into practice Dyer's formula, which I'll sum up as: 1) Specify what you want 2) Release it to the universe (rather than worrying) 3) Act as if the wish has already been granted. The result? The woman in question was no longer homeless. She had a home, a bed, and a wage, and she was overjoyed. It was an honor to hear the delight in her voice.
Speaking of fulfilled dreams, I actually decided to leave my first marriage because of my intuition. I was on an H4 visa at the time that wouldn't allow me to earn my own wage, yet I longed to stay in the US, which was now my home. If I left my marriage, would I have to leave my city, my friends, my writing community? How would I deal with the low self-esteem I'd developed around money while on this strange visa? And what would my CV look like, now that I'd spent years outside of paid work? Bottom line: I was miserable because this marriage was not a good match. What's more, I wanted to write full-time. That was the dream. And I couldn't see any way of being able to make a career of that outside of my circumstances at the time.
Well, to try and find an answer, I decided to spend a Saturday following my intuition entirely. I got on a train because I felt like it, and once in the city, I boarded the subway and got off at an orange line stop I'd never encountered before. Once on the street, I followed my intuition, simply turning left and right as instructed by my inner messages, and ended up in a gift store I'd never seen before. "What now?" I asked my intuition. I received the reply: Your message is in the big, gold bowl. Ha! I laughed to myself. A message in a bowl? Really? In a gift store?
Sure enough, however, at the centre of the store was a big display with a vast, gold bowl at its center. I could just about see into it if I stood on my tiptoes and leaned forward, while doing so. Unlikely as it seemed, there was indeed a message inscribed around the inside of that bowl. It was a line from a poem by Robert Frost that had meant a lot to me in life: "I took the [road] less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."
That was the beginning of a whole new road that led me to the dream I'm now living.
I'm fortunate enough to know the marvelous Dorie Clark, who is the author of the amazing Stand Out and Reinventing You. Dorie is a branding genius who shows us how to stand out and reinvent ourselves, in spite of how busy and saturated today's world tends to be. She often writes articles for entrepreneurs and has blogged brilliantly about luck. Check out her interview with Anthony Tjan, author of Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck: What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur and Build a Great Business, who says that in the case of "lucky" entrepreneurs "It’s really their outlook toward relationships that helps them create the circumstances for luck, and their attitude helps them take advantage of it."
Perhaps luck is simply an openness to possibility, an attitude of gratitude, and a natural curiosity in the universe.
By the way, I was honored that Dorie actually agreed to read and review The Winged Hendersons for me. She writes:
"For fans of the YA genre, The Winged Hendersons is a revelation. Sue Williams' warm, engaging, and propulsive writing makes this book about fitting in -- or not -- a page-turner you simply can't put down." --Dorie Clark, author of Stand Out and Reinventing You
Thanks so much, Dorie! I consider myself lucky indeed.