I’m not a gambler. I’m a motivational speaker. And even though I speak frequently at those big hotel/casinos in Las Vegas, and have to walk by hundreds of blackjack tables, slot machines and roulette wheels to get to my conference rooms, I am never tempted to stop and give away my money.
But an interesting thing happened not too long ago when I attended a Tampa Bay Rays baseball game with my son, Miles. On this particular day, like many times in the past, they were conducting a 50-50 raffle. I’d bought tickets in the past, since half the proceeds go to charity, but on this particular day, I decided that I wouldn’t participate. But as the game went on, my thinking started to shift. Here were some of my thoughts.
“I have a good feeling about buying tickets today.”
“Yeah, but you can’t possibly win.”
“But today feels special.”
“That’s what you always say.”
“But SOMEONE has to win, why not me?”
“Because the odds are against you.”
“Well I know that if I DON’T buy a tick, I have NO chance to win.. But if I DO buy a ticket, there is a chance I WILL win. And besides, good things always happen to me.”
This went on for the whole game until the top of the 8th inning when I got up to get some water. As I did, I heard someone yell, “Last call.” Turns out he was referring to the last call for beer, but to ME, it felt like my last call to go with my POSITIVE instincts. I turned on my heel, went to the raffle booth and purchased some tickets.
Cut to the end of the story. I won. Half the pot. 14,000 people in attendance and I won.
Now to the important part of this story – what I learned.
And no, it’s not about buying raffle or lottery tickets. It’s about that negative, fearful little person inside your head who wants to talk you out of going for something that you want. Yes, in my case she just wanted to keep me “safe,” but here’s what I know for sure: if I let her have free reign she will keep me from going after my dreams and/or taking chances in every area of my life.
So here’s the graduate level work (to my way of thinking).
We all have a core beliefs that guide our thinking and influence our actions. Mine is, “Good things always happen to me.”
Oh, trust me, I didn’t always have this belief. I had to work hard to change it from, “Nothing good ever happens in my life.” But I did the work and now this belief is the water I swim in. It’s my rock solid truth. This doesn’t mean that the negative thoughts won’t keep badgering me. It means that if I persistently keep countering them with positive ones, I will prevail.
So what do I do when something “bad” happens? I give it a different name. I name it “interesting,” or an “anomaly” or a “cool opportunity to learn something,” or an “outlier.”
Because, as my friend, David Owen Ritz says, “What you name the thing, the thing tends to become.”So I have named myself “A person to whom good things always happen.”
What is your core belief about yourself? If you don’t like it, rename it.
Oh, and in case your curious? The amount of my win was $5,285.50.
Do good things always happen to you? They can – if you say they can…