SOME THOUGHTS ON MIRACLES, LUCK AND THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT

by Jerry Posner

First, some questions to ask yourself:

In my life, how would I define “good luck” or “miracles?”

Do I believe in the possibility of those favorable outcomes?

What could I do that would increase the likelihood of the outcomes I most desire?

How much control or influence do I have, to skew the “odds” in my favor? 

Am I interested in creating trends … or specific outcomes … or both?

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Write down goals and desired outcomes.  Review daily.  Edit as you see fit.

Consider the trajectory, causal factors, that resulted in already experienced miracles or “good luck.”

Be intentional with choices. Long term or short term outcomes?  Patience is often necessary.

(Every outcome results in more outcomes.  There is always “what will happen next?”)

Create as many positive relationships as possible.  Be kind, polite, generous, helpful, compassionate.

Self-identify as a “lucky” or “grateful” or “blessed” person.  See yourself as a “probability engineer.”

Be a very good listener.  Be open to new experiences.

Be present and aware of your surroundings.  Notice “chance” opportunities that often arise.

Placebos and “good luck charms” have been known to influence behavior, mindset and outcomes.

Self-fulfilling prophecies, based on belief, can influence actions.  Choose positive expectations.

Take advantage of “freerolls.”  “The key feature of a freeroll is limited downside, meaning there isn’t much to lose, but there might be a lot to gain.”  (Annie Duke)

Maybe you ARE the luckiest person in the room!

It’s good to have an open mind, but not SO open that your brains fall out!  Cultivate realistic optimism.

©2020 Jerry D. Posner  •  jerryposner@icloud.com  •  http://www.jerryposner.com 

Variations on “Grati-Tool #1”

Intentional gratitude practices can have a multitude of benefits … when we do them!

 

The “Grati-Tools” are suggestions for ways to increase awareness of our blessings and privileges, (the ones that already exist), resulting in a multitude of potential benefits – emotionally, behaviorally, neurologically, physiologically, etc.

 

Your mileage may vary, but the likelihood of benefit is high.

 

Intentional gratitude practices – “Grati-Tools” – some possible results:

* experiencing more positive feelings, moods, and emotions associated with gratitude.

* more sincere expressions of gratitude, appreciation, thankfulness.

* gaining new perspectives that could catalyze improvements in multiple areas of life.

* literally increasing happiness and well-being; short and long term.

 

Grati-Tool #1:  Gratitude For Those Who Touched My Life

List ten people (or animal companions) from your past or present, who have positively contributed to your life. Those you love, who’ve helped you in some way, mentors, teachers … those who deserve your thanks and appreciation. Once a week, read your list and add ten more names.  Think about what you would write to them in a thank-you note.  And, maybe … write that note!

 

Some variations:

 

• Make an ongoing list of your best teachers, professors, mentors, coaches, advisors.

 

• Make an ongoing list of people you love and people you’ve ever loved,

people who love you, and people who’ve ever loved you.

 

• Make an ongoing list of people whom you’ve forgiven, and people you’d like to forgive.

 

• Make an ongoing list of musicians, writers, poets and artists who’ve inspired you.

 

• Make an ongoing list of businesspeople, social activists, change agents and heroes who’ve inspired you.

 

Choose to experiment with the one or the ones you like most.

Revisit and add to them, as you’d like to.  Over time, you’ll remember more!

Have fun as you gain some new perspectives!

 

 

Be Your Own Mentor – Lecture Notes

Mentor (noun): an experienced and trusted adviser. Synonyms: coach, guide, helper, counselor, consultant.

Consider these questions:
What is important, meaningful to you now? What do you want to learn … change … improve … accomplish.  How would you like to feel? What ignites your passion? What triggers your happiness and joy?

Make a list of your strengths and competencies. Review regularly. Edit and revise as you see fit.
Make a list of well-thought-out outcomes you most desire. Review regularly. Edit and revise as you see fit.

Know your B.S. (Belief System). Do you have a FIXED mindset … or a GROWTH mindset?

Focus on things that you CAN control or manage — choices, attitudes, actions, behaviors, mood, responses.

Take responsibility and accountability for “co-creating” or “shaping” the future you most desire.

Make a list of your own core values/virtues — or TARGET values/virtues. For example: loyalty, dependability, balance, compassion, kindness, generosity, passion, humility, bravery, professionalism, gratitude, flow, love, faith, patience, humor, ambition, optimism, confidence, fitness, wellbeing.

Then, review/reinforce regularly. Research and learn more about ways to demonstrate and embody them.

Compose appropriate “focus phrases” (sayings — proverbs — mottos — affirmations)  Use them as reminders, positive triggers, inspirations, “alignments.”

Write, record, display the reminders and reinforcement that is appropriate to the outcomes you seek.

Make a “To-Feel List” — list of “target” or “most desired” feelings or emotional states. Review regularly.  For example: happy, joyful, proud, enthusiastic, confident, grateful, compassionate, smart, lucky, appreciative, creative, energetic, inspired, calm, hopeful, positive, serene, helpful, loved, loving, valued, euphoric, strong …

Three other very helpful lists: • To-Do List – “Today’s Mission” • Inspiration List • Gratitude Journal

Gather intelligence, take notes. Flipboard. Google Search. Networking. Books. Magazines. TED Talks.

A KEY QUESTION: “What do I want to do, that I WILL do, to increase the likelihood of the outcomes I desire?”

Your goals should be appropriate, realistic, practical … they need to make sense.

To achieve specific goals: Break them down into small, workable steps. “What will I do TODAY?”

And … schedule those tasks and activities on your calendar! Give yourself honest feedback.

“PRACTICE MAKES HABITS” – to create a new habit or ritual, link it to an existing one.

• “What would I advise my dearest friend with the same goals, or challenges that I’m facing?”

• If a highly motivated person was seeking advice and guidance from you, in areas of interest to you … What would you tell them? How would you help them? Would you follow your own best advice?

Be honest with yourself. Be good to yourself. Be kind to yourself. Be self-compassionate.

©2016 Jerry D. Posner

16 for 2016 – Text Version

16 for 2016
Daily Reminders for a Stellar Year

Be your best self (especially when other people aren’t being theirs).

Challenge old, outdated fears with a dose of rational thinking.

If you had all the facts, you’d probably have a different opinion.

Allow for the unplanned miracles; and savor them!

Information is power. Ditto gratitude, compassion, forgiveness.

If worrying isn’t helping, then take a different approach!

Appreciate and honor each moment, including the tough ones.

Your life has more meaning than you can possibly know.

Patience is always an excellent option.

We owe our existence to millions of people we’ll never meet.

Sometimes the best thing to do, is to not make it worse.

Social media is inspirational … if you have inspiring friends.

Choose your impact; communicate accordingly.

The “secrets of success” are “common sense” in action.

When you recognize wisdom, act on it (or at least take notes).

Perhaps, the path you’ve been searching for is the path you’re on.

Affirmations – Negative and Positive

THE STUFF WE TELL OURSELVES – 

CREATIVE, OBSERVATIONAL, OR WHAT?

 

Have you ever repeated “negative affirmations” like these (to yourself or out loud)?

I don’t deserve to succeed.

The world is against me.

Miracles don’t happen, I never get a break.

I am conflicted about most everything, I can’t make any decisions.

I am a disappointment.

I lead a life of self-deception and sheer stupidity.

I cannot be happy. Ever.

I have absolutely no love in my life. None.

I must play the part of a tragic figure.

I must act sad and moody most all of the time.

I am never really good enough.

My timing is pathetically awful.

Most anything makes me angry, then I feel guilty, then I feel ashamed, then I feel angrier.

Let’s stop right here. Do these words help to create negative conditions, or are they simply a sad commentary on what is?  These examples are meant to be somewhat irrational, absolutist, all-or-nothing assumptions, ’cause that’s how we sometimes (or all too often) think.

It’s true that words have power and that thoughts trigger feelings.  Obviously, some emotions can be motivating … and others make us want to get back to bed, pull the covers over our heads, and have a personal (possibly perpetual) pity-party (not pretty)!

Our thoughts … the words we tell ourselves … might or might not be true or helpful. Yet, often by habit, we have been known to focus our thinking on negative, false, (definitely not helpful) words —negative affirmations, so to speak.

Do negative affirmations work as well as positive ones? Or, perhaps a better question is: do affirmations “work” at all?

How did you feel when you read the set of negative affirmations? Read the next bunch slowly and carefully, savor the phrases, and notice the effect.

I can make my choices based on the outcomes I most desire.

I am loved and appreciated.

I value and appreciate my life.

I have tremendous potential.

I am allowed to pursue my best goals.

I can find out whatever I need to know.

I am fortunate, thankful, grateful.

I am perpetually inspired.

I’m open and receptive to miracles in my life.

I deserve to succeed. I am allowed to succeed.

I can make the choices that make me happy.

I can do what I love.

I have great timing (after all, I AM reading this!)

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For me, some kind of affirmation practice is useful in managing thoughts, and the results that follow. Importantly, they have to be worded in such a way that we can accept them as statements of truth.  I think an “affirmation” that is clearly bogus (inflated, unrealistic, irrational, inappropriate) is more like wishful thinking than a practical tool. Nonetheless, sometimes miracles DO happen, and working with positive affirmations could be a catalyst.

What do you think?