Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

The Hired Girl

Laura Amy Schlitz

Get lucky. Be Happy. Three keys to finding joy and success in life.

Get lucky. Be Happy. Three keys to finding joy and success in life.
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If you’re looking to “get lucky,” if you found this article because you Googled “how to get lucky,” if you’re hoping someone will tell you how to trick nature into sprinkling fairy dust on your day, and if you think "Get Lucky" means, well, something else altogether, we have two things to say:

Sorry, wrong website

Sorry, wrong website

1) You’ve come to the wrong website.

2) This is your lucky day.

We can’t tell you the trick to winning the Powerball lottery, but we can share a few “tricks” that might just change your life: Three simple habits to bring opportunities you’d never imagine, relationships you’d never envision, and a life of such possibility that you’ll wonder whether you really are the luckiest person who ever lived.

All that, and we won’t ask you to risk a dime. Ever. So give us a couple of minutes, then decide whether you want to keep looking for luck.

Catch the falling peach

catch-a-falling-peach_60second_Recap

Don't worry: He won't bite.

Full disclosure: We at 60second Recap aren’t in love with “luck.” For starters, luck is random and, therefore, unfair. And besides, luck isn’t even necessary. Because good stuff really is everywhere–ideas, people, opportunities. Amazing potential ready to fall into your hands like some overripe peach.

Which means your job is pretty simple: Catch the falling peach. No need to be lucky. Just open your hand.

Three habits to "get." One result to "have"–a life that will leave people wondering how you got to be so lucky. Chalk it up to luck…or to something else.

We’ll leave that up to you.

Get #1: Get Grateful.

stressbuster-10-get_lucky-Cicero_60second_Recap

 Marcus Tullius Cicero: Philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator, political theorist, consul, constitutionalist, scold.

Why are people always wheeling out a marble bust of some dead ancient guy (and it's always a guy) every time they try to sell you on some really important moral principle? If gratitude really is so important, hasn’t anyone come up with anything new to say about it in the 2,000 years since Cicero strode through Rome in a toga? 

Funny you should ask. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health recently discovered changes in the brain chemistry of study participants who summoned up feelings of gratitude. These individuals showed markedly higher levels of activity in brain regions associated with dopamine, the neurotransmitter linked to feelings of happiness, accomplishment, and reward.

So what? So dopamine is a kind of “feel good” chemical, which means we tend to seek out activities that increase dopamine levels. And since gratitude is associated with higher levels of dopamine, the more feelings of gratitude we experience, the more we actively seek new things for which to be grateful.

Get grateful, and you’re focused on good, you’re looking for good, you’re bringing good into your life. No thanks to "luck," by the way.

And if you think “getting grateful” is easier said than done, we’ve got news for you…

stressbuster-10-get_lucky-Gratitude_list-60second_Recap_60second Reboot II

It’s just as easy. We’ll show you how, right now, with a different take on the 60second Reboot.

This time, the Reboot's not about breathing deeply (although there’s no reason you can’t combine the two). It’s about making a mental list of everything good in your life. For sixty seconds.

Think nothing’s good in your life? Think again. Maybe you’re grateful for your shoes. Or breakfast. Or a flower, a cloud. Your best friend? The fact that you just exhaled. No good thing is too small to be noted. So note it! For one minute.

And remember: You’re only allowed to think about things that are good. Things you’re grateful for. Don’t let your mind wander to the jerk who sits behind you in calculus. (Unless you’re thinking how grateful you are for his example of how not to act—but that’s kind of a borderline case, y’know? You can probably do better. So push yourself.)

Once you’re able to do this for one whole minute, then…day two, do it for two minutes. Again, remember: You’re only allowed to think about the good stuff. The stuff that makes you feel grateful. Don’t let your mind wander. Once you can get to two whole minutes, then go to three, then four, then to five whole minutes.

By the time you get to five minutes, you’ll be a veritable gratitude ninja.stressbuster-10-get_lucky-Isaac_Newton_60second_Recap

Get #2: Get Thinking.

True story. Sir Isaac Newton insisted on walking the mile from his house in London's Kensington district to the headquarters of the Royal Society. One wintry day, when his assistant tried to get the 83-year-old mathematician to take a carriage instead, Sir Isaac replied, "Use legs and have legs."

He kept on walking.

legal pad2


It's a start...

Use it or lose it. Better to use it. That includes your innate ability to see opportunities right in front of you. Like anything, it's a skill. Like any skill, it can be learned, and improved upon, with practice.

So grab a pad of paper, and a pen. Make a list of five businesses you can start. Yes, businesses. As in: enterprises that sell goods or services for money. Businesses that you can actually start.

Which probably excludes, like, a cruise line service to Jupiter.

A dog-walking business, then? Sure. An auto-detailing empire? Why not? Web design? Math tutoring? Retail? Check. Check. And check. Can’t think of five things? Sure you can. Even if you think they’re stupid. Just make that list. Then pick one thing on that list, and write a paragraph on how you’d make it happen. Do this every single day.

For the rest of your life.

One of these ideas might lead to something big. But even if it doesn’t, the fact that you’re making yourself think this way means you’re training your brain to think creatively. As Sir Isaac might say, "Use brain and have brain." Learn to think creatively now, and you'll be fit and ready when fortune comes knocking.

But the fittest brain on earth won't get you where you'll want to go if you haven't built Get #3 into the foundation of your life...

Get #3: Get Nice.stressbuster-10-get_lucky-Maya_Angelou_60second_Recap

Nice is natural, but it isn’t always routine. That’s why we’re giving you the opportunity to develop a niceness habit. Why not make goodness as natural as breathing? In only ten minutes a day (or less) you can.

Here’s how: Every day, send an email or text to someone—anyone—that says something nice. Just make yourself do it. Every day, do someone a favor. But here’s the rub: Make sure they never know.

stressbuster-10-get_lucky-60second_Recap_ Countless studies have shown that your concern with the well-being of others benefits you directly by reducing your stress levels and making you happier. More recently, scientists have discovered that altruistic behavior may even make for healthier DNA. Beyond that—way beyond that—“nice” is just a good habit to have. You don’t have to believe in Karma, or divine justice, to see why thoughtfulness and generosity can be a very savvy life strategy as well. (But if you need an example, check out what happened when a Panera Bread manager sent clam chowder and cookies to someone’s dying grandmother.)

There. Three habits. Don't get lucky. Just get those. The world is waiting. What are you waiting for?


What's at the top of your "get grateful" list today? Let us know!


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