Oak Communications
June 3, 2010
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C2Arts: Consultants and Coaches for the Arts

Don* and his 13 year-old son, Jake, adjusted their summer plans. Since Don's divorce, he enjoyed having his son stay with him during the summer months. Don played in a bluegrass band and his son would accompany him on weekend gigs. It turned out that two weekend concerts were cancelled in a row, so they thought about what they would like to do instead.

They decided to try some new adventures: attend a rodeo in Cheyenne, Wyoming then head to Colorado to ride horses and camp at Rocky Mountain National Park.

Upon arriving at the campground, Don turned into the circle where his campsite was located. A beautiful woman smiled at him from her campsite next to his. Don noted the small tent on her site and another woman sitting at a picnic table. That evening, Don connected with old friends from the area who came to the campsite to play music together.

The next morning Lucy, the woman who had smiled at Don upon his arrival the previous day, said hello on her way to the washroom. She commented on the music from the night before, which her campmate had stopped by to hear. Lucy said that she had been too tired the previous evening but her sister had enjoyed the music.

Don smiled to himself upon learning about the nature of their relationship and offered to come to their campground later that night and play some music. Lucy invited him to come for dinner also.

So after a full day of hiking with his son, showering in town and putting on his best camp clothes, Don looked forward to his evening at the campsite next door. Lucy prepared crawfish étouffée for dinner and they began a long evening of conversation and music.

Don and Lucy discovered that they both enjoyed horseback riding. The following day they went riding and they spent quite a bit of time together for the rest of the camping trip. Lucy discovered that Don was not married and Don discovered that Lucy was recently divorced.

When it was time for Lucy to head back home, Don asked if he could see her again. She said yes. They then began to see each other every couple of weeks, flying a thousand miles each way. After six months, they decided they wanted to be together and eleven months later they got married at the campground where they met.

You could say that Don and Lucy were lucky. They both ended up in a campground where neither had ever been. They happened to have adjacent camp sites (after Lucy requested a different site away from a light pole). After initial assumptions that one was married and that the other was a lesbian, they discovered that they were both single. They were open to learning about one another and took risks in making a connection.

It turns out that unconsciously Don and Lucy possess what Richard Wiseman, author of The Luck Factor, calls "opportunity-attracting traits." Wiseman has studied thousands of lucky and unlucky people. Lucky people are actually doing things that increase their chances of attracting good fortune, whether it be meeting their future spouse, finding satisfying work, or being in the right place at the right time.

Wiseman's research illustrates that people are not born lucky. Instead, they are employing four basic principles to create good fortune in their lives:

Principle One: Maximize Chance Opportunities
Lucky people are skilled at creating, noticing and acting upon chance opportunities. They do this in various ways, including networking, adopting a relaxed attitude to life and by being open to new experiences.

Principle Two: Listening to Lucky Hunches

Lucky people make effective decisions by listening to their intuition and gut feelings. In addition, they take steps to actively boost their intuitive abilities by, for example, meditating and clearing their mind of other thoughts.

Principle Three: Expect Good Fortune
Lucky people are certain that the future is going to be full of good fortune. These expectations become self-fulfilling prophecies by helping lucky people persist in the face of failure, and shape their interactions with others in a positive way.

Principle Four: Turn Bad Luck to Good
Lucky people employ various psychological techniques to cope with, and often even thrive upon, the ill fortune that comes their way. For example, they spontaneously imagine how things could have been worse, do not dwell on ill fortune, and take control of the situation.

Don and Lucy tried a new experience, broke out of their routines, and were open to meeting new people and making a connection. And good fortune came their way.

What can you do to increase your lucky quotient? Summer is a great time to break out of routines and discover new activities. Who knows what may come your way?

Happy Summer,

Sue Schleifer

* Names have been changed.
Dan Pink in an Animated Talk on Drive

Check out this fascinating visual talk by Dan Pink on YouTube:

RSA Animate - Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us

In this entertaining video he demonstrates the key elements that contribute to "drive" or what motivates us. Research indicates that the key elements are autonomy, mastery and purpose. From my experience working with clients, that certainly is true.

(RSA stands for Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce)
Allons à Lafayette

Beausoleil CD with the song, Allons à Lafayette
Allons a Lafayette Beausoleil album cover

At the Empty Gate Zen Center last week, our teacher, Zen Master Bon Soeng, referred to two eminent Zen Masters.

Shunryu Suzuki who wrote in his book, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few."

Zen Master Seung Sahn often talked and wrote about "don't know mind." "Don't know mind" refers to our mind before ideas, opinions, or concepts arise to create suffering.

As I head off to live in Louisiana next week, I intend to travel and experience my new life with "don't know mind." I look forward to keeping my eyes, ears, nose, taste, touch, and mind open and clear.

I will let you know how it goes. Check out the Oak Communications blog for my reflections on our move and life in Lafayette.
Coaching with Sue

Headshot Sue

Have you been thinking about working with a coach?

Perhaps you are tired of feeling stressed and overwhelmed and want to feel a sense of clarity and energy.

Do you yearn to bring your creative side back into your life and not sure how to proceed?

Maybe you would like support in making a change or moving forward in your life to feel happier and more at peace.

I would love to talk with you about how I can be your partner in moving forward with your life. Call me for a complimentary half hour telephone coaching consultation.

Coaching is extremely effective via telephone. Let's talk.

Sue Schleifer
Oak Communications

Lafayette, LA and throughout the country

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