Be Kind – Consider it as an Art

The Art of Being KIND

Being kind is essentially an art and takes practice. It takes rethinking the way that we think at any given moment and work at being KIND. Now that I’m older and have grown more into “me”, I want to strive to be even more kind. I am at times in better control of my actions and reactions and am more self-aware. Learning how to be more in control in any given situation allows us to express ourselves more appropriately. Not being in control is when all hell breaks loose and often, we reflect later and feel bad or regret the way we acted. How can we minimize overreacting or losing control? Let’s take a closer look.


Kindness: the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. Selfless, compassionate, and merciful.

To be more kind, we need to learn how to be less unkind. Simple as it is to say, it is much more difficult to practice. Especially when we are in the heat of the moment. That’s where the rethinking in the way we think needs to come to the forefront of our mind. While we are in the situation, we need to learn how to de-escalate our internal natural reactions.

“Being a Karen” What Does it Mean?

Origin and Meaning of the name Karen:

  1. a girl’s name of Danish origin meaning “pure”.
  2. Slang meaning found in Wikipedia: “Karen is a pejorative term for a white woman perceived as entitled or demanding beyond the scope of what is normal.”

I feel bad for all the Karen’s out there that have had their name used in meme’s that show someone over reacting in a ridiculous manner. Typically it’s a characterization of a white entitled woman.

Acting like an out of control, over-the-top person is not limited to a certain race, ethnic background, or age. I know I’ve reacted to situations in my past where I was over-the-top and didn’t act in the way that I am proud of. I think if we want to be honest, we all have had our moments.

I know many wonderful individuals with that name, and they do not have the qualities tied to that reference. My heart goes out to all the beautiful Karen’s in the world who represent what the birth name “Karen” really means.

Taking Back What I Said

It is easy to recall times in my life where I said something that I wish I could take back. It’s usually the times where I’m taken off guard or provoked, and after the situation I wish I kept my mouth shut and controlled myself better. I will also take in account my mood and if I was irritable, stressed, or tired. When something like this happens, I take time to think about what I said and how I said it. How was it received and how did it affect the person? Do I need to apologize?

This reflection helps me to recognize what my triggers might have been so I can work towards doing better the next time. If we don’t reflect on the way we reacted or take ownership of our own actions, how can we grow or do better the next time?

One of my favorite bible verses is one that has stuck with me and helps me remember how just our words alone can cause harm to others. We need to be mindful of what we say and how we say it. Sometimes the hurtful things we say will leave a lifelong impression or scar. The sad part is, we may not have even meant what we said if it was said in anger.

The tongue can be used the same way as a spark that starts a forest fire.

James 3:5.


Being out of control in our actions and reactions is not the place any of us want to be. It is easy to deflect and blame other people for a situation, but the truth is, the way we act is on us. Managing ourselves manages escalation. We are not responsible for how someone else behaves but we are responsible for our own behavior. Our part in a conversation or confrontation is one hundred percent within our control.

Being angry or upset is a normal part of human emotion. But if we can learn how to control our impulses better and not lash out in an uncontrollable way, we will feel proud in the fact that we were able to remain in control and we handled the situation properly.


The number one thing that triggers me to lash out is stress. That stress will in turn cause me to be tired, frustrated and irritable. None of these things contribute to keeping a cool head or remaining in control when faced with life’s challenges. It is an overwhelming feeling when we are stressed, and it plays havoc on our mind, body, and soul.

In my investigation on the subject of what triggers us to lose control, I found some great insight from and As I read each of these points, I found myself nodding in agreement. I can relate to these triggers, and I think they will resonate with you as well. It is hard to keep your composure when feeling…

  • threatened or attacked.
  • frustrated or powerless.
  • invalidated or treated unfairly.
  • like people are not respecting our feelings or possessions.
  • other people doing or not doing what you expect them to do.
  • overwhelmed by situational events that get in your way, such as traffic jams, computer problems, ringing telephones, etc.
  • people are taking advantage of you.
  • angry and disappointed in yourself.

Creating Calm

Although it’s helpful to know what triggers us, it is equally important to know how we can calm ourselves down when we begin to feel we are getting angry. The list below are things we can do to help us calm down and stay in better control of our emotions. I found these useful tips from the Mayo Clinic.

  1. Think before you speak: In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to say something you’ll later regret. Take a few moments to collect your thoughts before saying anything. Also allow others involved in the situation to do the same.
  2. Once you’re calm, express your concerns: As soon as you’re thinking clearly, express your frustration in an assertive but non confrontational way. State your concerns and needs clearly and directly, without hurting others or trying to control them.
  3. Get some exercise: Physical activity can help reduce stress that can cause you to become angry. If you feel your anger escalating, go for a brisk walk, or run. Or spend some time doing other enjoyable physical activities.
  4. Take a timeout: Timeouts aren’t just for kids. Give yourself short breaks during times of the day that tend to be stressful. A few moments of quiet time might help you feel better prepared to handle what’s ahead without getting irritated or angry.
  5. Identify possible solutions: Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work on resolving the issue at hand. Does your child’s messy room make you upset? Close the door. Is your partner late for dinner every night? Schedule meals later in the evening. Or agree to eat on your own a few times a week. Also, understand that some things are simply out of your control. Try to be realistic about what you can and cannot change. Remind yourself that anger won’t fix anything and might only make it worse.
  6. Stick with ‘I’ statements: Criticizing or placing blame might only increase tension. Instead, use “I” statements to describe the problem. Be respectful and specific. For example, say, “I’m upset that you left the table without offering to help with the dishes” instead of “You never do any housework.”
  7. Don’t hold a grudge: Forgiveness is a powerful tool. If you allow anger and other negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice. Forgiving someone who angered you might help you both learn from the situation and strengthen your relationship.
  8. Use humor to release tension: Lightening up can help diffuse tension. Use humor to help you face what’s making you angry and, possibly, any unrealistic expectations you have for how things should go. Avoid sarcasm, though — it can hurt feelings and make things worse.
  9. Practice relaxation skills: When your temper flares, put relaxation skills to work. Practice deep-breathing exercises, imagine a relaxing scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase, such as “Take it easy.” You might also listen to music, write in a journal, or do a few yoga poses — whatever it takes to encourage relaxation.
  10. Know when to seek help: Learning to control anger can be a challenge at times. Seek help for anger issues if your anger seems out of control, causes you to do things you regret or hurts those around you.

Seeing More Clearly

Intentionally changing the way that I see things and how I react has helped me learn “a new way of thinking.” Because of self-reflection, compassion, and empathy for others, we can manage ourselves better when we are in situations that are tough. It’s basically recognizing and mitigating the consequences before we act. Taking a different perspective might encourage us to be more KIND.

The following are situations we have all experienced at one time or another. If we can react better, we won’t have to look back and think, “I wish I didn’t…”

Dining Experiences

How many times have you gone to dinner and gotten bad service? Because I have been a server, I know what it is like on the other side. I remember many times where we got slammed with a bunch of customers at one time and had to run to several tables at once to try to get everyone taken care of quickly. Sometimes someone may have called out sick and we were short staffed. Other times an event in the area ended, and many people rushed to the nearest restaurants to eat – All at once!

I remember when a father came in with his son to have lunch. His son asked for a refill on his soda. When I brought the soda, the son said “thank you” to me. The father looked at his son and said, “You don’t have to thank her. That’s her job.” Seriously, this really happened. My heart fell to the floor thinking that a parent would instruct a child not to be gracious or thankful. Although this experience was over 20 years ago, I will never forget it. That is how powerful our words can be and how we can unknowingly affect another person.

Another time I had my entire section in the restaurant taken over by a group that came by bus. I served over 30 people. They left me a five-dollar tip. I wanted to run outside and fling the money at them, but I didn’t. While all the other servers had multiple parties and got tips from each of those tables, I made a whopping $5 from this one large group. It made me sick.

Lesson: Feeling annoyed and angry for the apparent lack of service or length of time it is taking to get your meal may require you to read the room. Understand that the server may be overwhelmed, and your patience and kindness will mean the world to him or her. Teach your kids to be kind and respectful and lead by example. Tip them well as they make minimum wage and rely on their tips to survive.

Cranky Customer Service

When I was younger, I remember calling for customer service support, and I ended up with a short, non-helpful agent with attitude. If I got someone with attitude, I gave them attitude right back. I would speak in a condescending way because I was frustrated at their lack of care. I would ask for their Supervisor, and thought that I would get better help by being the “squeaky wheel that gets the grease.” Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t. Little did I know that most of the time they just passed the call to another agent and not to a Supervisor because they are used to getting calls like this.

Lesson: Customer Service is a tough job. Dealing with someone who is compassionate and patient goes a long way. If I take a moment to choose my words carefully and kill them with kindness, I have a better chance to soften them up. I’ve found that nearly every time they will go the extra mile to try to help me. This old saying has truth to it; “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”

A KIND Reminder

Many times when I’ve been out and about in public places, I will see a bumper sticker or someone wearing a tee shirt that says “be kind.”  This always brings a smile to my face. It’s a gentle reminder to humanity to make an effort. There are many programs, projects, organizations and initiatives out there that are simply promoting kindness as an intentional skill that people need to think about and practice. This skill should be learned from a young age so it can be mastered as adults in society. Many schools have made it their goal to incorporate anti-bullying techniques and initiatives in order to create a more positive and safer learning environment. It begins with kindness. What we need is more respectful, responsible, empathetic people in this world and I truly believe that kindness is the foundation. It is contagious.

KIND Qualities

Learning to be more KIND is something our world needs. It encompasses being supportive, encouraging, helpful, thankful, respectful, considerate, and honest. These are all qualities that help foster positive healthy relationships. It is easy to be KIND when we are in good spirits. It is much harder to be KIND when we are having a tough day, or we feel that someone is being disrespectful or unkind to us. Just because others are treating us unkindly does not mean we have to give it right back to them. Take a breath. Take a moment and think about what happens next. The goal is to manage our emotions when we are in the moment, and not have regret. I know when I behave better, I feel better about the person I am.

Be the best version of yourself! Be unique! Be YOU!

Helpful links:

How to Cope with Anger

Anger Diary and Triggers

Anger Management: 10 tips to tame your temper

The Be Kind People Project works to create kinder kids and safer schools

Videos on Stress Relievers

1-Minute Exercise: Shoulder and Neck Rotations

1-Minute Exercise: Wellness – Face Pressure Points

The “To Do” List Lurking in Your Mind

It’s nagging, lurking, weighs heavy and sometimes keeps you up at night. It’s the “To Do” list. The key is to transition that burden into a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. When I get something done that I have wanted “to do” for a while, I get a feeling of happiness and I feel lighter. My mind and spirit feels lighter. One less thing “to do” on the extensive list of things my mind keeps track of. I believe this feeling of completion helps in ways we don’t fully realize.

I want to understand more about this feeling we get after we accomplish a task. We are familiar with it, we keep chasing it…but why is it sometimes hard to catch?


To Do List:

A list of everything you want or need to do. From the most important to the least important.


Have you ever walked into the bathroom to brush your teeth or comb your hair and notice the sink is dirty? You grab a sponge and next thing you know you have everything off the counter and are scrubbing the entire sink and bathroom countertop. Then you do the toilet, bathtub, sweep and mop the floor? Originally you went in there for something simple but the gnawing feeling of needing to clean the bathroom suddenly hits you. You can’t help yourself, and you get it done right then and there.

I call this distraction and action “squirreling.” It’s something that is probably subconsciously on your “to do “ list. The mere sight of it is enough to nag you into finally engaging with it.  This leads me to what sparked this topic of discussion to begin with.

My Subconscious Nag

The other day I plugged in my external hard drive to transfer files from my desktop computer over to my hard drive. I have had my computer crash a couple times in the past and lost a lot of important items. After the last crash I purchased an external hard drive to back up important files.

Every time I plug in the drive, I notice how many things have transferred more than once. Some items are within file folders, random pictures and documents duplicated and unorganized. Many file folders are named “Debra’s misc.”  I don’t know why I always make miscellaneous folders, but I had a lot of them. It was quite overwhelming. Every time I saw this mess I would think about how I needed to clean it up and make it easier to find things. I have wanted to do this for a few years but didn’t want to deal with the complexity of the project.

One day the subconscious nagging was too great. I decided to just dig in and do it – I guess I was up for the challenge right then and there. I created master files such as family members, holidays, taxes, etc. on my desktop and then made sub folders and began dropping items in (looking closely at each of them so I wouldn’t delete something that was not a duplicate). After I got it all sorted, I deleted the remaining duplicate files and transferred everything back over to the external hard drive. Now when I open the drive it is simple, clean, and easy to find what I need.

What a Feeling!

After I left my desk, I decided to take a shower and as I was washing my hair, I realized how light and happy I felt. I thought about how I finally got that nagging complex task done. The chaos wouldn’t be there for me to see anymore when I open that drive. It was such a fantastic feeling!  I stepped out of the shower and thought about the lightness in my spirit and realized this feeling was familiar. I get it whenever I feel accomplishment. Whether it is cleaning the bathroom, grocery shopping, doing laundry, paying bills, or wrapping gifts – completing a task, large or small, gives me this same feeling of satisfaction.

Let’s look deeper into this “phenomenon” of “lightening the load” so to speak. I feel that internally it’s got to be good for our mind and overall health.

A List For Success!

When searching Google for “To Do list” I found a multitude of apps and self-help templates for keeping a To Do list. You can get free downloadable templates or subscribe (for a fee) to dozens of apps that help organize tasks. I even saw an audio book someone published on how to get things done efficiently for $13.95. I guess whatever helps, right? If you do better by listening to someone talk about how to create a list, then give it a try! The goal is to become more efficient and organized with your tasks so you actually complete them.

Because of the volume of websites that focus on making lists, this must be the most important area to start. Get the things you want to get done out of your head and on to paper.  Physically checking items off a list is also a beneficial and satisfying feeling as you work through it.

Time to Get Organized!

  • Finances
  • Groceries
  • Work
  • School
  • Automobile
  • Household

Although I keep many items in my head, many of us make lists that cover different areas of life.

The Bills

You need to know when you have money coming in and what needs to be paid each month. You would think this is a no-brainer but for some of us, we may not write things down and end up short somewhere during the month. Living paycheck to paycheck with a few dollars in your account, or having to borrow money to make it to the next payday is a hard way to live.

I do things better now than I did years ago. Years ago, I made a list, but I “played” with my list. I would put off paying the gas bill so I could buy a new outfit for myself. I figured I’d just pay double the following month since I knew I could be 30 days late and the gas wouldn’t be shut off. Not a good plan and a risk with the credit score. Now I use an excel spreadsheet. I have my paydays listed and split my expenses over the month. I see how much I have left after paying all the bills and figure out what food and extras will be. I also try to put a little in savings, so I have a cushion. It takes focus and concentrated effort to stay on track but it’s worth it.

Mental Grocery List

How many times have you been to the grocery store and got home and realized you forgot to buy milk or some other item you were out of? Making a list is a simple solution and Smartphones are a great tool for this. Get in the practice of adding an item to your list once you have used the last of it. That way you take it out of your head and have it on a list. It’s less pressure for your mind to have to try to remember every item when going to the grocery store.

I have always made a grocery list and I got so good at it that I would list the items in the order that they would be when I got to my regular grocery store! Vegetables, bread, canned goods, cereals, meat, dairy and juice. So, as I went from the right of the store to the left, I could easily grab my items and check them off my list.

Work Tasks

I won’t go deep in work tasks because we all have our own way of keeping track of our workload. For me, I keep it simple and just add my directives in order of importance on a word document. I add a task and when it is completed, I delete it. We also use an app called Podio at my job so I can be given tasks through the app and can see a list of directives that are given to me. I check tasks off as I get them done and the app keeps track of what I must do.

It’s important to have a way to keep track of your work or things can fall out of sight and through the cracks. It would be embarrassing to have the boss ask for an update on something we forgot about. Whatever we are given will almost always fall on the boss if we fail. So we either quickly get it done, or let them know the truth that we forgot about doing something. Being trustworthy, dependable and able to stay on top of things are valued qualities. Whether it’s a company program or personal task list – it’s a great way to be accountable for tracking, updating or completing assignments and responsibilities on time.

Back to School

Having a list of assignments with deadlines always worked for me when I was a student. Using individual folders for each course was also a great tool. I had 29 courses in College and 29 folders. Within each folder I had all my assignments for each week. I went through them one at a time each day, each week, each course until I finished school. The more organized you are, the better you can plan, complete assignments on time and stay on track.

Automobile Maintenance

We may not think much about having a list for our automobile, but when was your last oil change? When did you replace the battery? How long have you had the tires? When was the last time you had the air filter replaced? A lot of us just wait for our car to give us a signal that something is wrong. Keeping a list or file is a great way to be pro-active instead of reactive and tackle things before the automobile reminds us. It also gives us information and answers that we need without trying to remember or search through receipts and files.

Housework and…

Laundry Days: Keep up with the laundry. There is nothing more disheartening than seeing a massive pile of clothes that continues to get higher. For a family it could be the size of a small mountain. I suggest choosing 1 or 2 days a week as laundry days and stick with it. Not just washing and drying, but folding and putting away as well. There is no way around this. It feels good when you get it done so if you stay on schedule you’ll stay on top of it. You might also notice that the piles you had stacking up before become more manageable piles to deal with.

Keeping Up with the Dishes: I remember when I first got married back in 1984 and dishes were not my thing. I remember this one day I had so many dishes in the sink and along the countertop that I was not only embarrassed, but I hated the thought of having to go in there and tackle all of it at once. I know that once I conquered it I felt that feeling of lightness and satisfaction. That feeling certainly helps when having to suck it up and do something that you’d rather not. Since that horrible day I’ve learned to just keep up with it. I don’t go to bed if there are dishes in the sink because honestly, nothing wrecks the start of a new day more than a sink full of dirty dishes!

Household Duties: Managing a household is no small task. Keeping up with cleaning, dusting, vacuuming, laundry and dishes can be daunting. Especially when you fall behind. Since I am no longer raising children and it is just me. It’s easier to create my own schedule. However keeping on top of things is much more challenging with a partner and children. This is when delegation and a list of chores can be your friend. Make it a family affair.

Assign tasks (better known as chores) so that the responsibilities of the household fall on everyone, Small jobs like dusting or pulling weeds can be given to a young child. Taking the trash out, washing dishes, and mowing the lawn can be given to the older ones. If you choose to give them an allowance for their household chores – it can be a great teaching opportunity. Use it as a tool for learning how to save and spend money.

Get Er Done

The goal is to get things done.  The reward is the feeling of accomplishment. The hard part is finding the motivation to start. We have so many things going through our mind with a seemingly never ending “to do” list of simple to major tasks. Just remember that even getting the little things done can help clear our minds so that we can start tackling the bigger items. When searching for an answer as to that “good feeling” we get after completing a task, I found an interesting article in the Harvard Business Review; “Your Desire to Get Things Done Can Undermine Your Effectiveness.”

“Your brain releases dopamine when you achieve goals. And since dopamine improves attention, memory, and motivation, even achieving a small goal can result in a positive feedback loop that makes you more motivated to work harder going forward.”

Francesca Gino and Bradley Staats

So doing more gives us the positive feedback to want to do more! Pretty awesome.

I remember when I started going to the gym and someone told me to go until I liked going. I didn’t get it at the time, but I understand it now. If you have ever gone to the gym and done a workout, you always feel better afterward and are heading home. It feels good to take care of yourself in a healthy way, and seeing results can also be a great motivator. Do the things we don’t want to do until we want to do them. This strangely applies to many aspects of our lives.

A Quick Overview

  • Finances: Make a spreadsheet and list your income and outgoing expenses. Produce a payment plan that works for you for each month. By doing this, you won’t have to think about it as much. As an added bonus you will be on time with your bills and improve your credit score.
  • Groceries: Create a grocery list and get everything you need without; forgetting an important item, buying things you don’t need, or overspending
  • Work: Keep a list of directives or assignments you have been given in order to stay on track and not to let any of them slide out of view.
  • School: The workload can be overwhelming, especially at the start of the term. Make a list of assignments and deadlines. Tackle each course one at a time and plan out your week.
  • Automobile: Get in the practice of keeping track of your automobile maintenance by making a list of services you have had done. If something comes up, you can refer to your records and you won’t have to guess or search for what you did over the last few years.
  • Household: Whether it is just you or you have others in your household, make a list of tasks that need to be managed daily and weekly. It should never be one person’s responsibility if there are others to share in the work. Assign responsibilities to everyone old enough to help in your household. Creating a schedule and delegating chores will take pressure off your shoulders.

So now I will leave you to make “to do” lists of your own and chase that feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. I hope you catch it!

√ I got one of my tasks done for today! I’m checking off this week’s post off my list of things “to do.”

Helpful Resources and Articles:

Your Desire to Get Things Done Can Undermine Your Effectiveness

17 Tricks To Get More Things Done During the Workday

How to Actually Get Things Done with Your To-Do List

22 Ways to Clean Your Home in Half the Time

Operation HOPE – Free financial wellbeing counseling

Podio – Task Management and Workflow (Free for up to 5 individuals)

Luck – Is There Such A Thing?

The way I see it there is two kinds of luck.  Good luck and bad luck.  Both can be totally random and happen by chance. Both can also be created and influenced. We use the word luck and lucky quite frequently but what does it really mean? Many may think I’m one of the lucky ones because I survived my circumstances. I think it was a combination of blind luck and a lot of hard work and determination.


a) a force that brings good fortune or adversity. Luck was a big factor in the outcome.

b) the events or circumstances that operate for or against an individual. The loser muttered something about bad luck.

I am 17 years clean and sober and initially it came from a desire deep within my soul. I made a conscious choice to change. Words of encouragement helped drive my desire to succeed and the Salvation Army gave me the guidance and tools to influence my journey. The “luck” came in when; an individual handed me a list of numbers for recovery centers months before I even looked at it, and that there was a bed available for me at the Salvation Army when I ultimately made my choice. How much did luck have to do with where I am at today? Let’s take a closer look at luck.

Blind Luck Happens By:

  • Surprise
  • Chance
  • Fate
  • Fortune
  • No skill is involved in the outcome

Random Luck

When we find money on the street, win at a slot machine, or hit the winning numbers in the lottery. It’s completely random and by chance. It’s something beyond our control and shows up every so often out of the blue. Sometimes it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. For example:

  • We are walking down a sidewalk and we notice a hundred-dollar bill fluttering in the plants. We bend down and pick it up. We look around to see if anyone is around before pocketing it.
  • We go to the store and find an item that is somewhat hidden with the price marked down incredibly low. We do a double check on the price to make sure our eyes aren’t deceiving us.

But consider this…were we lucky or just at the right place at the right time? If we are more observant of our surroundings, do we have a better chance of getting lucky than if we are oblivious to what is going on around us?

Do You Consider This Blind Luck?

  • Near tragedy
  • Having loving parents

A Close Call

When thinking about blind luck I also think about the near tragedies that can happen to us. Falling asleep at the wheel while driving and waking up just as our car starts to veer off the road. What wakes us up before something happens that could be dangerous for us? Is it the wheel hitting the divider? Or does something beyond our understanding nudge us to wake us up?

Or maybe we pass an accident that just happened and realize if we left just a few minutes earlier it could have been us. Did something hold us up from being on the road a few minutes earlier – so therefore we were lucky? It ‘s interesting to think of the possibilities that come from experiences like this.

Amazing Parents

I happen to think we are lucky if we are born to good, loving, supportive parents. That is something that can appear to be random, and we have no control over. When we tell someone, they are “lucky” they got good parents it comes from a place of longing. Someone who has amazing parents and has no knowledge of anything different may not be so inclined to make a comment or think like that. They may think it’s the norm. Growing up in a dysfunctional or abusive household would make someone more cognizant of what someone else may have. They might consider it to be good fortune or “lucky” to have parents who behave differently than their own.

Have You Experienced Blind Luck?

I have had a few blind luck experiences that easily come to mind. They were rare, super lucky and at very random times in my life.


In 1987 I was at my company’s Holiday party and was lucky twice in the same night. First luck of the night; I was sitting on a chair at my table that had the “X” underneath it, so I won the centerpiece gift that one person at each table received. The luck continued when they were calling raffle numbers out to give gifts away. We didn’t buy these and each of us had 1 ticket. When they got to the grand prize, which was 2 roundtrip tickets for anywhere in the U.S. plus $500 spending money, they called my number. It was the Grand prize of the night, and I got it!


Back in the late eighties I went to play bingo with my husband. It was the last game of the night, and it was a blackout bingo (meaning you had to cover every number on your card). The prize was the “big one” that rolled over each week if no one hits bingo by the 59th number. My husband was closer to covering his numbers than I was and once we got to number 53, 54, I was thinking he might get it. But I was also getting numbers and I caught up to him. As the 59th and final number was called I had the number and got the blackout. No one else called out but me so I got the jackpot on my own. I think the prize was $1,200. For me, that was HUGE. I felt lucky!

Traffic Stop

When I was in my addiction and homeless, I got pulled over by a police officer. He checked my license and found I was driving on a suspended license. Because of the way I was acting he put me in the back of the police car while he checked out my vehicle. I may have had crystal meth in my vehicle at the time but because I had so many containers (which was the contents of my life) loaded to the brim in my vehicle, I just remember seeing the officer roll his eyes as he swung his arms up like, “What am I supposed to do with all this?” I guess he didn’t want to go through the trouble, so he let me go. I remember feeling very lucky.


How many times have we said to someone that they are “lucky” for finding their perfect partner? Or that someone’s “lucky” they get to go see a band we’ve always wanted to see? Maybe it’s just a figure of speech because is it really considered luck? Many fortunate things in life happen due to a will, desire and hard work. Essentially setting yourself up for success.

Can we actually create or influence how lucky we are by improving our odds of success? 

How about:

  • Finding the perfect partner
  • Surviving a tragedy
  • Getting a home
  • Landing the job you’ve always wanted
  • Tickets to see a legendary band

The Perfect Partner

You may have been fortunate enough to find the right partner the first time around. Or you may have had to go through many partners before finding the right one. I think some luck was involved because you had to meet to begin with. But after that, it is all on you. Because I have not found the “perfect” partner I cannot expand too much in this area, but I’ll share some of my thoughts. I think for me, I had to go through a lot and learn about myself before I could recognize what a good partner was. Because of my terrible childhood, I was very closed off, but I didn’t know I was closed off at the time.

I think we tend to gravitate towards individuals that bring a familiarity that was like our upbringing. The reason I believe this is because that is all I ever knew. It is not blatantly clear to us why we are attracted to a certain type. We just are. When I look at whom I’ve dated in my past, I always seemed to pick guys that cared more about themselves than anyone else. It was a familiar trait of my father. They had qualities of egoism, arrogance, selfishness, entitlement, and narcissistic tendencies. We may not “think” we are choosing individuals that are like the people who raised us, but I think subconsciously we are. I found this as one of those “aha” moments for me.

By realizing that I pushed the good guys away and gravitated to a certain type that wasn’t good for me, it made sense. It might be what I thought I deserved. If you are mentally healthy, know yourself and what you want in a partner (and can allow good things in) – I believe good relationships will come to you. We may need to work on ourselves more so we can love ourselves enough to realize we do deserve a loving, caring partner. Once we grow internally, we will be more apt to select better people for ourselves.

Surviving Tragedy

Surviving a near tragedy is blind luck, but I think surviving a tragedy is influenced.

If you suffered an accident and survived, it may have been blind luck. But if the accident left you with physical and emotional damages you now must work harder than most to get yourself back, mind, body, and soul. This is not blind luck. This is work on your part. You must want to get better and work hard to get there. There is no easy way around it and it won’t just happen for you. It isn’t just healing the body, but the emotional damage too. Healing the mind might be the hardest part. There will be fear to overcome so you don’t limit your future. It may be lucky that you survived, but the success of recovery is created and influenced by you.

Home Sweet Home

There are many ways to get a home. One might be that you inherited one. That seems lucky, and it might be. But if it is someone you loved and you had a choice, would you rather have them back then have their home? I guess it depends on who left the home and if you feel lucky or grateful. I think I would lean more towards gratitude than luck.

Most individuals that want to own a home plan for it. They save money for a down payment and once they feel financially ready, they find something within their budget and make the purchase. Many of us want a home of our own but we do not take the steps needed to get there. It has nothing to do with luck but only the desire and motivation to make it a reality. If you want to stop paying rent to someone else and invest in yourself, then start planning now and stick with it. It is surprising once we put the wheels in motion and stay with our plan how the “dream” starts to become a reality. You’re never too late to set yourself up for success. Just begin.

The Perfect Job

Dream jobs don’t normally just land in our lap. We usually earn them. It takes desire to go after our dreams. Landing the perfect job may feel lucky – but don’t sell yourself short. It took drive and determination to put yourself out there and not only apply for the position, but convince them that there is no better person for the job.

If the dream job is to start a business, then hard work will get you there. It may not come easily. Setting up a plan and not giving up are the biggest things that can be influenced. Often, we think of doing something bold, but that is as far as it goes. Entrepreneurs are out there creating a business for themselves; if they can do it, you can too.

Front Row Center

Getting a great seat at a concert might be considered random luck…but going to a concert? – Not so much. If your favorite band is coming to your city, buy the ticket! Create the opportunity for yourself.

Bad Luck

Do you ever feel like sometimes it’s always something?  A black cloud is following you overhead? The universe is against you? When we feel like we’ve been hit with bad luck, it seems like a streak of one thing after another. Unfortunate things happen that is beyond our influence and certainly can be random.

Maybe it happens to teach us something about ourselves. Maybe it will test our patience and attitude. Or maybe we are lacking in gratitude for the good things that happen in our lives. I do believe that bad luck can be created and influenced.  If you set yourself up for disaster or failure then it is certain to come.  With great risk there can be great reward but also great defeat.

Divine Intervention

We can all use more luck in our lives. Good fortune makes us feel happy. The times we are down on our luck tend to make us thankful and grateful for the times we feel the pendulum swing the other way. What about divine intervention?

Is something or someone helping us in ways that are beyond our understanding? I tend to believe we are getting help from above. Call it God, a guardian angel, or the universe. Something’s bigger at play. Some things happen or occur in such perfect timing that it makes it nearly impossible to believe that it was just by random chance.

So the question remains: Did luck have anything to do with where I am at today? Getting my family back, my desire to go back to college and get my Bachelors Degree, find a job where I could thrive, and to write my book are all things I worked hard for. They are successes I earned because of my choice to recover my life. I influenced the outcome.

Whether you receive blind luck, luck through your influence of hard work and determination or help from above, it is a time to rejoice and always be thankful.

Useful links:

Do Something

Week Plan

Very Well Mind

Business News Daily