From the previous entry I discussed risk tolerance and posture, I know that posture does have a biological effect on the human body. Certain postures associated with ‘being in power’ actually create more testosterone in the body while decreasing the hormone associated with stress – cortisol. As irrational as it may seem, this means if a person is lacking confidence and is unable to make a decision, changing posture might change the brain chemistry to boost the confidence. It is a curious bit of information to have handy and there is no harm in giving it a try.
I’ve also posted about the need for bold thoughts and actions. Boldness often means upsetting the status quo, disrupting the expected: turn problems on their head, engage in oblique strategies, and zag instead of zig. To live and think boldly means questioning current beliefs, personal beliefs and community beliefs. Bold lives are lived not in routine but in exploration.
Additionally, I offered a link to an article about how luck relates more to skill than some karmic-divine-mystical force. Those people who are ‘lucky’ tend to be more open to the idea of being lucky, are more observant, don’t allow stress to cloud their perception, are more resilient to failure, and tend to follow their hunches more often than those people classified as being unlucky.
When I take all three of these things into consideration, I can’t help but think these create a path for a pretty good life. Starting with the basics, changing how we sit and stand to enhance our sense of personal power.
1. Sit up straight. Slouching in the chair is a clear sign life has beaten us down.
2. Stand stall. Unless we are leaning forward aggressively, all other leaning shows an inability to stand on our own.
3. Spread limbs out wide. Crossed, folded arms and legs demonstrate a defensive nature.
4. Put your feet up. Yep, it is impolite, rude, disruptive, but nothing says we are in power than being the people with our feet on the desk and arms behind our heads. It is the ultimate demonstration of power.
Now change how we think. I’ve often used the phrase ‘Francis Luck’ which I’ve used to indicate this balanced state of nature where nothing amazingly good happens and nothing amazingly bad happens. Minor victories are offset by minor disasters. If I get a tax refund of $500, I will have a car repair the needs to be done that will take away the $500. What happens with this mindset is I’ve created self-fulfilling prophecies. When something good happens, I immediately start looking for the thing that is going to offset it. Being fortunate, being lucky, is more about being open to the possibility of good things happening, keeping ourselves aware, alert, and ready for something good, while not allowing ourselves to get beaten down when something bad happens. In every venture we take, we need to keep expect good things. Why bother taking an action if the expected outcome is something negative?
As a pessimist, I do tend to see all the ways different ventures can fail which means when I do get around to taking an action, I hopefully have done everything I can to make it a success or I think the consequences of not taking the action are worse than taking it. The former is great, the latter is bad, but that is probably another conversation. It is better overall that the moment any of us start a venture or take an action, we believe something positive will come from it. I know I’ve gotten a lot better at this aspect by trying to absorb lessons from failed actions. Failure is not a bad thing and I wish we could change society enough to recognize that. Failure creates experience and knowledge. The scientific process relies upon failure of experiments just as much as successes to gain knowledge. Once we realize failure does not equal a tragedy, we should be emboldened to take actions expecting good things. The mere act of being open to something good happening could be the difference between a positive outcome and a negative outcome.
Once we have the hormones flowing to our brains that make us feel empowered and able to take risks and we create in ourselves an expectation of good things while enhancing our personal resiliency to failure, nothing should stop us from taking bold actions and thinking bold thoughts. For homework, next week, we all need to come up with one thing we’ve told ourselves we can’t do. Whether it relates to asking someone out on a date, getting a specific type of job, baking a certain type of cake, or achieving a specific goal, I’m certain we’ve all told ourselves – “I can’t do that.” Now once we have that thing in our minds, we are going to stand up straight, set our feet wide, open our arms up, and set about doing it. We are going to expect positive things to come from it. We are going to expect success. We are going to adapt and expect minor obstacles, but each obstacle isn’t going to be a sign of failure, but just a bump in the road. By chance, if failure does occur, we are going to shrug our collective shoulders and gleen a lesson from it so next time we are better prepared. The key here, though, is DON’T EXPECT FAILURE. I can’t stress that enough.