“Send some of that luck my way!”
How many times have you heard someone say this to you or to someone else? Or, better yet, “That’s not fair!” (especially from a child).
What many don’t realize is that luck is not as simple as stepping outside the door in the morning and being handed something amazing. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Luck is the work and passion we put into something that eventually pay off. We earn the end reward. Understanding this, however, is hard for children. It’s not fair if someone else is the “lucky one” and not them. They don’t understand that luck is merely a word for earned.
Sure, people go searching for four-leaf clovers, and some even find them. But finding one is still work. They put effort into their search, just as someone who wins a raffle prize puts effort into purchasing the raffle tickets to try to win! Real luck means creating your own lucky situations and having a positive mindset. But how do we teach this to our children?
Communication is key for us parents. By communicating the consistent message to our children that effort results in a positive outcome, we hope our children will develop a good work ethic and the discipline to achieve their goals. If we consistently model the following behaviors for our children, they will learn how to make their own luck in life.
Encourage creativity and imagination. When children are given opportunities to increase their natural creativity and imagination, they’re more likely to see opportunities in a variety of different life experiences. What’s more, they’re better able to solve problems and seek unique solutions to issues they may experience.
Be willing to take risks. The lucky breaks other people have are almost always the result of their bravery in taking risks—so they really aren’t luck at all. They’re the payoff for courageous action. Whether it’s taking up a new hobby, learning to bake something new, going back to school to finish a degree or starting a new job, demonstrate that you’re willing to take risks to reach a goal. The more children see their parents take risks, the more comfortable they become with life’s uncertainties.
Keep an open mind. More ways than one are available to accomplish something. If you only focus on one way of doing something, you may miss out on other chances to reach the luck you desire. Teach children to try different tactics to see what outcomes they get. They may discover their initial idea wasn’t such a great one after all.
Expect good things to happen! People who expect good things to happen generally attract good things. What you put out into the universe, you get back. Not always instantly, and not every time, but over time you realize that when you expect good things to happen, they almost always do. This is a great lesson of positivity for kids.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Show your children that when they reach out to other people for help, they benefit from the advice, experience and insight of others. Just by asking, they may gain valuable feedback and even land new opportunities!
Use affirmations daily. As American businessman and philanthropist W. Clement Stone once said, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” Affirmations are positive ways of planting the seeds of success in our subconscious. They are always positive, in the first person and in the present tense. For instance, “I am lucky. I am successful. I am a winner.” You can write them out or repeat them to yourself several times a day. This is a wonderful way to teach children to think positively about themselves and to remind themselves that they are successful.
Never fear failure. You never know something won’t work until you try it. And although seeing your children struggle with something and not succeed is hard, the adversity is important in both building their resilience and giving them confidence to try new solutions to problems. As a parent, model this in your own life. Show them something on which you’ve tried and failed, but then reworked and proceeded to succeed. This teaches them that having high expectations will motivate them to persist. Failure is merely an invitation to keep going.
Practice positive visualization. Visualization is a wonderful technique where you picture yourself achieving a goal. What a great tool to teach your children, too, because practicing visualization helps them work out the steps to reach their own goals. For instance, tell your children to think about winning a contest they would like to enter. Have them envision and feel themselves winning the prize, explaining that they can use that visual image to fuel their luck. When they can see themselves as the winner, they can work backward to see what they need to do to make it really happen.
Don’t be afraid of hard work. Thomas Jefferson once said, “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” Being successful or lucky does take a lot of work, but with patience, persistence and a positive attitude, you may be surprised at how successful you can be! And by demonstrating this to your children, you’ll teach them the value of hard work and how good luck truly comes about.
Gina Klein is a writer/author who resides in Kansas City with her husband, two daughters and houseful of animals. She is a strong believer in hard work, daily affirmations and positive visualization to achieve her goals.
I know my friend has good luck because …
A. She always gets good grades.
B. She wins every contest she enters.
C. She works hard to achieve her goals.
Luck comes from …
A. Crossing your fingers.
B. Good luck charms.
C. Working hard and staying positive.
If you chose C for both questions, you know exactly how to achieve the luck you seek! Hard work and good luck definitely go hand-in-hand.