What is luck?
Luck is often defined as being in the right place, at the right time, and doing the right things. But how do you achieve this kind of synchronicity with so many factors at play? By being in the right state of mind, which is under your control. Luck is a skill which can be learnt and how it works has been demonstrated scientifically (read below). Following this definition of luck – if you’re reading this article, you’ve just demonstrated and confirmed that you are lucky and you can still boost your luck further by applying some of the principles and ideas listed below.
Three types of luck: heaven luck, human luck, earth luck / feng shui luck
The oriental people believe that there are three types of luck: heaven luck, human luck, and earth luck. Heaven’s luck is what we are born with. Human luck is the luck we create with our intentions, behaviours and actions and is mostly within our control. The earth luck, which is another way of describing the function of feng shui is to a large extent within our control too.
What is luck from a scientific perspective?
For ages, people have been trying to understand and harness luck (in games, gambling, casinos, etc). Luck has been studied scientifically. Dr Richard Wiseman studied hundreds of exceptionally lucky and unlucky people and has employed various methods – including psychometric questionnaires, laboratory experiments and extensive interviewing – to better understand the psychology of luck. He identified four factors that affect luck. Lucky people 1) maximise chance opportunities, 2) listen to lucky hunches, 3) expect good fortune and finally, 4) they turn bad luck into good luck. There are some sub-factors for each of these four key luck factors, which are listed in his highly recommended book ‘The Luck Factor’ by Dr. Richard Wiseman
“Ability is of little account without opportunity.” Napoleon Bonaparte
“How to attract luck?” Is this the right question to ask?
The language you use in relation to luck might have a huge impact on your overall luck. If you believe that you need to ‘attract luck’ then it would work differently for you as opposed to the belief that you’re already lucky. What it could mean is that you’re unlucky and you need to attract something called ‘luck’ from somewhere outside yourself. Or if you wait for the results to prove to yourself that you’re lucky, it might not work so well. ‘Believe it before you can see it’ is a better strategy. Say to yourself, ‘I am lucky’ and notice how you feel. If you notice any incongruence in your feelings – you’ve got some inner work to do. You might have some internal conflicts or limiting beliefs that cause you to think/believe/feel that you are not lucky. If you discover that you do have limited beliefs, then do something about them. Clear them with EFT (emotional freedom technique) or The Havening Technique or NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) or a suitable form of hypnosis or therapy.
Two methods of manifestation: the difference between realising your goals and actualising your dreams
There is a difference between goals and dreams and how they can get manifested. When you realise your goals, what you get is a real copy of your specific goal. An example of realising goals: you want a new car – you look at a range of possible cars – you see a picture of the car that you like in a magazine or an advert and you buy exactly the same car (as in the picture). You make your goal real and this is called realising your goals. When you actualise your dream – you get what you want but not exactly or specifically because your dream is not specified in detail, just vaguely formed – you just know that it is already real in the virtual domain or realm. An example of actualising dreams: you want a new car but you’re not sure what kind of car you want. You just know that you want a new, good car but you don’t know the brand, the colour or the spec of that car. And then one day, you get this new car and it’s the best car – better than you could have imagined. You’ve actualised your dream.
Example: I’ve understood this concept when a friend of mine went through the process of buying a car. She tried to get a new car, looked at the car magazines, researched the best cars, etc, etc and still couldn’t find a car she liked. She was looking at cars that everyone knew. Then she let go of the idea for a few weeks. Then one day, she woke up and intuitively knew that a car already pre-exists for her (in the virtual) and she was going to get her new car that day. She had a few hours to spare and she decided that this is the day she will actualise her dream (as opposed to realising her goal). She walked into the nearest car dealer and said, “I need a new car.” And she got the best car, the best spec, the best deal, etc at the time. It worked out better for her than when she tried to do it consciously, laboriously and calculating every detail. How did she do it then? When she actualised her dream, she did it with what is the first step in being creative, which is to have the courage to affirm her chance. By affirming chance, she plugged into the synchronicity of the virtual and it worked. Gilles Deleuze, a French philosopher, said, “Once chance is affirmed, all arbitrariness is abolished every time. Once the chance is affirmed, divergence itself is the object of affirmation within a problem.”
To sum up, to focus and physicalise your intention, use feng shui to represent and anchor your specific or general intention, depending on your situation. And affirm chance.
|Realm||POSSIBLE (not real yet)||VIRTUAL (already real)|
|Manifestation||Realising goals||Actualising dreams|
|Process||Copying / Convergence||Differentiation / Divergence|
|Time||Chronological, sequential, horizontal, Chronos time||Timeless, non-sequential, vertical, Kairos time|
|How||Specific expectations, goals||Intentions, open dreams|
|Hemispheric preference||‘Left brain’, conceptualised, calculating||‘Right brain’, spontaneous, natural|
|Ontological||Properties (limited)||Capacities, Potentialities (infinite)|
|Attribute||Quantity (apples)||Quality (pain)|
|Games||Gambler (calculates probabilities and causes)||Player (affirms all chance)|
|Production||Old, Same, Repetition||New, Different, Creative|
So the lesson here is that both ways: realising and actualising are good and appropriate and it’s up to you how you’re going to get what you want – ie either by realising your goals or actualising your dreams. Sometimes, we do know exactly what we want – so ‘realising’ is a good method, and sometimes we don’t know exactly how we want the dream to be actualised, so then ‘actualising’ is the right method. Understanding the difference between these two ways of manifesting your goals and dreams is essential for designing or deciding on feng shui remedies or interventions. The process of realising is the process of copying – so, get an exact, specific and detailed picture or photomontage of what you want and stick it on a wall or in the appropriate part of the bagua. On the other hand, the actualisation method is driven by differentiation (not copying). So, if you know generally what you want but not specifically, just write down a word that describes what you want and stick it on a wall, fridge or a part of bagua. Another example of how both methods work: some of my clients know exactly what kind of new partner or boyfriend, girlfriend, husband/wife they want – they write down very specific checklists and in due course, they usually meet the right person. Some clients, just wish for a good, ideal partner without being very specific and they meet the right person too. To actualise your dreams, have the courage to experiment and create.
“Luck is synchronicity and grace of being in the right place, at the right time, doing the right things. How? By being present in present time, right now.”
The boats and helicopters story
The boats and helicopters story is a good example of what happens when we’re not clear about how we want things to happen and we miss the opportunities.
“There was a flood and everyone was being evacuated from the village. As the water rose, one man went to the top storey of his house. He remained calm because he knew that he was a good man and that God would save him. A rescue boat came by, but the man said, ‘Don’t worry about me. God will save me.’ The water rose higher and he climbed onto the roof. A rescue helicopter lowered a ladder to him, but he said, ‘Don’t worry about me, God will save me. Shortly afterwards, the water rose above the level of his house and he drowned. However, he was a good man, so he went to heaven but furiously asked God why he hadn’t been saved. God looked at him and said, ‘I sent you a boat. I sent you a helicopter. What more did you want?’”
What is real or reality?
Scientists have no answer to the question “what is real?”, yet. Science can’t describe matter or reality in terms of a wave or particle because it is both and neither. Erwin Schrödinger, a Nobel Prize-winning Austrian quantum physicist, described reality in 1926: “It would depend on the taste of the observer which he now wishes to regard as real… There is certainly no criterion for reality if one does not want to say.” What it means in practical terms is that on some level or dimension, we create our reality – at least on the mental, virtual level either by making our own interpretations of reality and through our intentions. Dream on…
Heaven luck: destiny can be designed
In classical feng shui, heaven luck is defined as fate and any lucky circumstances one is born into, which initially, as babies, we can’t change. But later, we can and improve our lives within obvious physical constraints. People who are lucky don’t worry too much about astrology because they believe that they can improve their lives and that, ultimately they’re shaping their destiny and fate. They have a transcendental belief that there is no such thing as a predestined fate or destiny. And as scientific research suggests, they’re right – you can change your fate and your destiny. As the saying goes, “The best way to predict your future is to design it.”
In classical feng shui, the early heaven bagua or arrangement is a complementary arrangement of the eight trigrams representing an ideal, absolute, balanced and static state of things or formless void or spiritual dimension or virtual ultimate potentiality from which all things and manifestations come. Virtual is a good word to describe this realm from which creativity works. The French philosopher Gilles Deleuze uses it to describe the field of difference and potentialities. Scottish philosopher John Dans Scotus, who coined the term virtual originally in the 13th century (meaning God), proposes the same thing. (Virtual is not the same as virtual reality – a term which was coined by Jaron Lanier in 1987.) Tap into this virtual dimension and start manifesting your dreams and goals. Read more about spiritual feng shui
Gilles Deleuze teaches in his book ‘Difference and Repetition’: “However strong the incoherence or possible opposition between successive presents, we have the impression that each of them plays out ‘the same life’ at different levels. This is what we call destiny. Destiny never consists of step-by-step deterministic relations between presents which succeed one another according to the order of a represented time. Rather, it implies between successive presents non-localisable connections, actions at a distance, systems of replay, resonance and echoes, objective chances, signs, signals and roles which transcend spatial locations and temporal successions… This is why destiny accords so badly with determinism but so well with freedom: freedom lies in choosing the levels (pp. 83).” The gist of it is that your destiny can play out on many domains which you may not have control over. But we have the freedom and creativity over how it happens to us.
An example of how this works in practice
Before Michelangelo said, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” this notion of and the statue in a stone itself already existed in the realm of potentialities and what Michelangelo did was the recognition of this potentiality and his genius and creativity realised the statue by removing unnecessary material to reveal the actual statue.
The terms “destiny” and “fate” are often used interchangeably, but they can have slightly different connotations depending on the context and individual beliefs. Here’s a general distinction between the two:
Feng shui is a physical affirmation.
Human luck: self-belief
The term ‘luck’ comes from the German word Gelucke, which can be translated as both ‘luck’ and ‘happiness’.
Human luck is defined as any human factors that are under our control, i.e. our thoughts, feelings, values, beliefs, behaviour and actions. A good example of how human luck works is the story of the wicked feng shui master and a trusting woman:
“Many centuries ago there was a feng shui master who was known for his skill but who was also easily moved to anger. One hot summer he was commissioned to assess a burial site in the mountain far from his home. It had taken him three days to walk to the site and a day to carry out his work. After sleeping in a small mountain shelter, he had packed his compass and papers and set off for the long journey home. On the second day, he had run out of water in the overbearing heat, but as he surveyed the fields of rice ready for harvest that lay across the plain before him, there was no sign of a well.
In the distance, he saw a woman and three of children working in the fields and so he headed in their direction. The woman stopped winnowing the long stacks of rice and her three sons lay down their scythes and baskets to stare at the strange.
‘Can I ask you for a bowl of water. I am exhausted and thirsty’, said the feng shul master, ‘I cannot walk any longer unless I have some water’.
The woman crossed to a nearby tree and bent down to uncork the pitcher of water that stood there. She poured clean, cold water into a wooden bowl but before she handed it to the feng shui master she threw a small handful of chaff onto the surface of the water.
The feng shui master immediately felt anger welling up inside him and grabbed the bowl from the woman without a word of thanks. As he sipped the water, be continually had to blow the chaff to one side. He was convinced that the woman had insulted him, and as he quietly emptied the bowl of water he thought of his revenge.
‘Do you live here?’ ask the feng shul master.
‘Yes, I live with my three sons in the hut at the far end of this field. My husband died two years ago and I have three sons to care for and feed. As you can see we are poor people.’
The feng shui master slowly gazed towards the hut and at the surrounding land. ‘No wonder you have such bad fortune’, he replied. ‘I can tell you now that the feng shui of your house is unlucky. As long as you stay here you will only know misfortune, but I think I can help you. Beyond the other side of that mountain there is a plot of land and a dilapidated house and although the land needs clearing and the house repairing, the feng shui is excellent. I suggest that you move there as soon as possible.’
The woman and her sons bowed down to the feng shui master in gratitude, and without reply, he raised his bags over his shoulder and left them. In revenge for the chaff thrown on his bowl of water, he had directed them to ‘Five Ghosts Dead Place’ a site so inauspicious that the sons would be lucky to reach the age of twenty.
Feng shui = intention + energy + ritual.
Five years passed before the feng shui master returned to the area to see how the family had fared. As he approached the house the mother came out to greet him and bowed before him.
‘Do you remember me?’ he asked. ‘Of course, I do. How could I forget your kindness? We followed your wise advice and you can see how my land is fruitful. Two of my sons are studying for government jobs, my third son will soon be leaving to study with a wise teacher. Please come into my house and accept I meal,’
As the feng shui master sat eating the rice and vegetables offered by the woman he looked around in amazement at the newly plastered wall and the new furniture.
‘How can this be?’ he thought to himself, ‘the site hasn’t changed, there is still bad fang shul and she has no charms to protect herself. ‘I don’t understand what has happened here’, he admitted to the woman, ‘I sent you to a site that had such bad feng shui you couldn’t possibly have survived here and yet your family is flourishing. What have you done that Heaven can bless you in this way?’
‘Why did you decide to punish me when I am innocent? What have I ever done to hurt you?’ asked the woman in surprise.
‘When I needed water, you gave me water but instead of clean water you threw a handful of chaff on the surface to spite me.’
‘Didn’t you realise?’ laughed the woman, ‘It was a hot day, you had travelled a long way, and I knew you were exhausted.” You were too thirsty that you would have swallowed the water in one go and the shock of the cold water would have been too much for you. You had to blow on the water to clear the chaff each time you look a mouthful and so you drank it more slowly. I was trying to protect you.’ The feng shui master nodded his head in recognition.
‘Now I understand. I sent you to an evil place but your action has been rewarded. Everyday Heaven and the Buddha will bless you.’”
From The Elements of Feng Shui by J O’Brien with Kwok Man Ho (Element Books ISBN t -85230-220-8)
On a basic level, the human luck model suggests that “negativity equals bad luck and a positive attitude makes for good luck.” Unfortunately, that’s wishful thinking. Of course, negativity can contribute to the breakdown of wellness or health. But there are a lot of negative-thinking people who are quite healthy and lucky and there are a lot of kind and nice people who are struggling with bad luck or illnesses. This concept is based on a simple myth: “If we are good, nothing bad will happen to us.” Good luck, health and bad luck or illness do not follow the pattern of such myths. Life is far more complicated than such myths.
The wisdom here is that you have more power than you realise to shift the direction and destiny of your life – in five minutes or less. How? By the power of your choices. A choice is your capacity to engage the laws of creation, cause and effect as well as action and reaction. You can change anything about yourself and your circumstances right now. You can choose to see yourself, and your life differently – now.
Earth luck: feng shui
Everyone on this planet is using feng shui – consciously or unconsciously (even homeless people choose their sleeping places carefully). “I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.” says Gaston Bachelard, in his seminal book The Poetics of Space. A home is a feeling or sensation which is a total vibration of your dwelling. Obviously, using feng shui consciously, we’ll get better results because our homes and workplaces will work better for us (as opposed to working against us).
Casinos around the world are famous for using feng shui in their design to maximise their advantage so the house always wins. Read more about feng shui for casinos
In classical feng shui, later heaven bagua or arrangement of trigrams represents a dynamic and changeable nature of personal luck (as opposed to spiritual/heaven luck) where we can influence and improve our circumstances. For this to happen, you need to follow feng shui formula, which is FENG SHUI = INTENTION + ENERGY + RITUAL.
Since energy/chi is key to manifestation, start with your bedroom, where you rejuvenate during the night. Make sure you don’t have any geopathic stress and electro-smog is low. “I increasingly suspect that the key to success isn’t talent, luck, nepotism or even showing up. It’s getting enough sleep.” writes the FT journalist Simon Kuper and he is so right. Good deep sleep is essential for your overall energy or chi to manifest things.
Then add images, photos, pictures and things that symbolise your luck, your values and also what you love and want. If prosperity is important to you – hang a horseshoe above the door or add anything that has that sort of money or prosperity connotation – a money plant or expensive painting or art. Whatever you’re doing already – you’re shaping your life as Winston Churchill suggested, “We shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us.”
Also, earthing/grounding might be another way to activate your earth luck (read below about how to position yourself).
Luck and money
Earth luck is often associated with prosperity, wealth and money. Research suggests that the stress around money can be damaging to our health. Clinical psychologist and Northwestern University assistant professor Nancy Molitor says the longer people worry about money without confronting its underlying anxiety, the more they suffer. How do we stop it? Do something about it – don’t just worry about it. Once you have enough money and your finances are working, then you won’t worry about it. Anthony Robbins suggests that to become financially independent, you need to do three things: 1) earn more 2) spend less 3) automate the investment-saving process. So, become involved and active with your finances – master prosperity. Download your stress and worry – talk to somebody about it, and get counselling. Stress can make us miss the forest for the money trees. Get a second opinion and advice – there are people who are more knowledgeable about it. Start saving and plan and follow it through and improve it when it’s not working. Pay attention to what’s going on Wall Street and beyond so you can adapt. And put money/finances/prosperity on your value list – make it important – and anchor it with your own feng shui money improvements.
“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” Michelangelo
Synchronicity – a way to manifest your goals and dreams. Believe in your inner kairomancer
We live in a conscious universe where everything is alive, connected and synchronised – our minds and the world are nested inside each other. To navigate by synchronicity, you need to recognise and seize opportunities when Kairos time is on your side. Greeks suggest that Kairos time is an indeterminate moment or vertical, virtual time or quantum space between the time that is right for something to happen and to actualise your dreams and is opposite or complementary to Chronos time which is a sequential time that can be measured with clocks and calendars to realise your goals (read about the difference between realising goals and actualising dreams above). You need to invoke your inner kairomancer. How? By shifting into that identity, that inner part of yourself and recognising that you are already a “strong attractor” for fortunate events and encounters. You can do it. You’re doing it now – by reading this article. Remind yourself that you can do things and anchor this feeling in your physical environment (read tip 3 below). Take time to dream and set your goals.
Position yourself for luck and serendipity: ‘earth’ yourself
“Ability is of little account without opportunity.” pointed out Napoleon Bonaparte. You need to position yourself well – between heaven and earth. A good connection with heaven and earth energies is essential. It’s like an electrical current – you need to connect the circuit for the energy to flow. Mediation and expanding your consciousness will connect you the heaven’s forces and grounding or earthing will connect you to the earth’s energies.
There is a growing body of evidence and scientific research suggesting that when we’re grounded or earthed (for example, when walking on a beach or wet grass or having a bath), our bodies receive the Earth’s electrons which have positive health benefits such as reducing inflammation, pain and stress, improved circulation and so on. From a feng shui perspective, you’re connecting to the earth’s force and charge (chi), which will help you to be more centred, present and balanced and have more energy to manifest and physicalise your dreams and goals. Read more about earthing / grounding
‘The chance proved a lucky one.” Jane Austen in Sense and Sensibility on the difference between chance and luck
Luck is grace – the more you appreciate it, the more you have it
Tony Robbins in his book Unshakeable – Your Guide to Financial Freedom, suggests how to boost your luck: “The Third Step to Achieving Whatever We Want Is Grace. Some people call it luck, some people call it God. Here’s what I can tell you, based on my own experience: the more you acknowledge grace in your life, the more you seem to have it!” The other are two key steps, according to Anthony Robbins, that can enable you to achieve whatever it is you want are: “the First Step to Achieving Anything You Want Is Focus. Remember: wherever your focus goes, your energy flows and the Second Step Is to Go Beyond Hunger, Drive, and Desire, and to Consistently Take Massive Action. A lot of people dream big but never get started! To succeed, you need to take massive action.”
Lucky symbols and charms
Choose luck symbols or rituals that resonate with you and your culture. There are no universal luck symbols that would work for everyone. Feng shui = intention + energy + ritual. Pick luck symbols that you’re familiar with and that you resonate with them and that have been used for a long time so the morphic field (which is the energetic memory) of these symbols is well established, clear and strong. Examples of lucky symbols: horseshoes, lucky cat, koi carps, elephants, Ganesh, Dharma Wheel, three keys, dolphins, Egyptian ‘Eye of Ra’ or ‘Ankh’, swallows, evil eye, laughing Buddha, caduceus, numbers 7 and 8, bamboo, chimney sweep, ladybugs, dreamcatcher, four-leave clover or shamrock, jade, pig, rabbit foot and so on. Remember that rituals are just to help you focus your intent. Once you realise that, your being and state of mind and your intent are enough.
“Charms have not their power from contracts with spirits, but proceed wholly from strengthening the imagination.”
Sir Francis Bacon, Renaissance author and courtier
Working smart is also a good way to boost your luck as Thomas Jefferson observed, “I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.“ and Gary Player, South African golf player, “The harder you work, the luckier you get.”
How to protect yourself from bad luck? Is it necessary?
From ancient times people have developed different ways of protecting and warding off bad luck. On a personal level, one should take care of yourself and do what is necessary to protect yourself from any form of harm or danger and that includes ‘bad luck’. As the saying goes, “Trust in God and lock your bike.” which includes both levels ie spiritual and practical. On a spiritual level, there is really no need to protect yourself because if you’re one with the Spirit/God/Tao/Oneness/Consciousness/… and the world and there is no ‘other’ to harm you. As the Upanishads say, “where there is other, there is a fear” which is relevant on a personal level and where one should take care and protect yourself if needed – so, do it in your own, appropriate way. The most common forms of protection are actually religious and spiritual symbols such as crosses, deities, gods, goddesses, saints and mystics, written prayers, pentacles, the evil eye, the mezuzah, the ahnk, the lotus flower, yin and yang, the flower of life, the tree of life, hamsa, bagua, the helm of awe, witch’s knot, animals such lions or fu dogs and so on.
Top feng shui tips to improve luck
- Do something – anything – to start the process. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” said Lao Tzu. Ideally, the first steps should include physical things or actions. Feng shui is a physical affirmation. Dreaming is important, but we live in the physical reality and execution is essential for manifesting. Another story to illustrate this: there was a person dreaming of winning a lottery. After six unsuccessful months of dreaming, God came to this person’s dream and said, “Let’s meet halfway – go and buy the lottery ticket!”. Get this highly recommended, and evidence-based book ‘The Luck Factor’ by Dr. Richard Wiseman
- Get good sleep. Optimise your bedroom. Get a Helios3 device (helios3.com) to boost the Schumann Resonance (SR) of your bedroom and protect it from electromagnetic pollution and geopathic stress. Energy is key in manifesting your goals and dreams. If you need more focus and energy, try a Pimat (pimat.co.uk) that simulates the healing energy of pyramids.
- Surround yourself with images that will remind you that you’re already lucky and that you can manifest things. Anchor your luck with photos of places you’ve been to, things you’ve achieved, friends you have, etc. And add all the new things and dreams you want to manifest. You want to travel the world – get a large map of the world and start by marking places you’ve been to and places you want to go to.
- Write down your dreams and goals on a piece of paper for this year and your whole life. Be daring, adventurous and creative. The more big dreams you have, the better. Aspire high. Love yourself. Believe in yourself. Connect to your highest potential and altruistic and transpersonal values. Anything that you do physically is feng shui in action, a physical affirmation.
- Be grateful for what you have. Count your blessings. You’ve just read this article which enhanced your understanding of luck and how it works. Appreciate your home, love your home or workplace and keep improving it in any practical way. Get a new plant, declutter some cupboards, get a new doormat or a poster of the world.
- Ground and earth yourself on regular bases, especially when meditating or doing any feng shui intentions – you want to be a conduit of the energy flow between heaven and earth. Read more about earthing / grounding
- Meditate and stay present. Unplug from the past and unfinished business. Forgive yourself and others so your energy is fully present 100% right now. When your energy/spirit is in the past or somewhere else but present time, you won’t be able to manifest what you want. This is probably the most important tip for invoking grace and luck. When you have all your energy in the present time, the external factors don’t have authority over you and your thoughts will manifest instantly. Enlightened masters, Buddha, Jesus and so on confirm this practical wisdom for how to conduct your life, your energy and your spirit.
- If you’re still unsure what to do – contact your feng shui consultant or me. I work remotely too.
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” attributed to Roman philosopher Seneca
Jan Cisek (FSSA, MSc Environmental Psychology) is a world-leading-edge feng shui expert and trainer with 40+ years of experience in feng shui and environmental psychology. His clients include corporations and celebrities. More about Jan