Amazing, incredulous things seem to happen to me all the time. It’s true. I still call them surprises or coincidences — and to some extent they are. But it’s more than that. It’s more than just willing it so, or sneaking under the radar, or ignoring the rules, or having good karma.
It’s having the universe bend in your favor.
Any anyone can do it. You can make things happen that you think only happen to other people — more fortuitous people. I’ve thought a lot about how seemingly incredulous things happen to me and I’ve come up with six tips. Six ways to make it so.
They work for me. I know they can work for you too.
- Be Enthusiastic — Having an attitude of gratitude really does go a long way. If you want something in life you have to will it. You have to open a layer in the Universe that is going to taking into consideration your request. Enthusiasm, a good attitude and sincere excitement goes a long way in this world. If you’re thankful and show it, if you can’t say thank you enough, if you always remember that all the pieces have to fall into place JUST SO, then 100% more wonderful things will happen to you.
- Be Specific — The Universe doesn’t do well with “I’d love a new job” or “I’d love to score tickets to a game sometime.” You have to say what you want. I know, I know, but what if it doesn’t happen? Honestly, so what. Try something else. When I am specific, what I want happens at a 4:1 ratio. I don’t even realize half the time I’m being specific until after the fact. We can’t be in tune with ourselves all the time. But we can make something a habit, second nature, and then it starts to take care of itself. Treat your request to the Universe like invitations to a party with a specific day and specific request. I know, it’s a lot of talk about the Universe, but I swear it all works.
- Follow Up — People will go out of their way for you. It could be simple like an email introduction, or putting together a list of recommendations for a city you’re going to visit, or taking time out to help you with a task. Whatever it is, that is time that could have been spent doing something else. So if someone makes an intro, follow up. Follow up with whom they’ve introduced you to and then follow up with the person you know about how it went. From a Twitter DM, to a quick email to a hand-written thank you note, follow up with people. It makes a HUGE difference.
- Say Yes — Next obstacle. Ok, so you’ve been enthusiastic, specific and you’ve followed up and now you’ve been asked to do something, meet someone, go somewhere. You have to start saying yes! I know there is traffic and the gym and laundry and the need for downtime. Schedule all of those things too. I’m not suggesting you go around being a YES machine. Don’t ever sacrifice the things you need for you. But more often than not, people get stuck on this point. They had the best of intentions and really wanted to go the distance, but they forgot to say yes.
- Show Up — Eeks. So you’ve done the other steps, but now you have to hold yourself accountable. That’s tough. Last minute things come up that beg you to cancel. Your friend bailed on going somewhere with you, there is traffic, you’re not sure what’s going to happen or you are worn out and tired. You have to realize this is your brain trying to trick you from taking the most important step of all. You have to show up! And you have to show up ready to be enthusiastic and specific and take a look at a situation and own it. That’s a lot to ask. I constantly think next week…next week I’ll do that thing, meet that person, go to that place. But the Universe doesn’t work that way. If you’re given an opportunity you have to take it. Drink coffee, take a power nap, give yourself a pep talk. Then walk out the door and proceed to show up.
- Return the Favor — Be a giver. Give back. If good things happened to you and you passed it forward and that person passed it forward, think of all the good deeds and Universe-Bending that would be going on! There are many ways you can do this from making introductions of your own to offering those extra tickets you have to this Thursday’s basketball game to a colleague to making a donation to a nonprofit in the name of someone else. Stop and open the door for an elderly woman walking by, pick up the change someone dropped on the ground and hand it back to them, pay for the person behind you in a toll lane. Big or small, being in the habit of giving back is what gives you the heads up to keep doing all the rest of the stuff and making your deepest dreams, aspirations, and goals a reality.
Now get cracking. As my old babysitter used to say, “Time waits for no one.”
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This essay originally appeared on my newsletter at The Causemopolitan.