Three Questions to Prove Unlucky doesn’t exist in your practice
Hey, welcome, welcome, welcome. I’m really excited about this.
We just turned into 2021 and we’re moving forward but you know what, I was doing really well in 2020 as well. And the reason is the world if you allow it to will line up for your own success. And I helped a guy start a practice in 2020 and we still broke six figures in our very first eight months.
And I’ve seen more best evers in 2020 than we have in many other years that seemingly were easier years or better years. So what I started thinking about was, a conversation I had where someone said, wow, it’s been so unlucky for me. And I’m of the belief that you create your reality. You create your world, you create your perspective and that’s really good.
So I wanna give you a simple technique which I call three questions to help you stop feeling like things are unlucky. All right, so let me tell you a story. This is a fun little story-
There was once a farmer and he had a horse and his neighbor would come over to that fence and he’d say, you are so lucky to have that horse to pull that plow for you. And the farmer just said, maybe. And then one day he fell asleep. He forgot to latch the gate and the horse ran away. And his neighbor standing at the fence said, that’s terrible news. That’s such bad luck. And the farmer just replied, maybe. And a few days later, the horse came back with six wild horses and the neighbor chirps up, fantastic, you are so lucky, I wish I had your luck. And the farmer just said, maybe. And then a few days later, the farmer’s son was breaking in one of those wild horses and it threw him to the ground and he broke his leg. And the neighbor said, such bad luck again, those wild horses, such bad luck. And the farmer just said, maybe. And the next day a war was declared and all of the young men were taken away to go fight this war. But the farmer’s son was left behind. And the neighbor said, you are so lucky. You are so lucky that your son was left behind. And the farmer just said, maybe. Because most of us when we hear a story like that, or we can see events in our own life playing out in that parable or when other things happened to us in practice or in life, we can immediately feel the need to judge a situation as good or bad as lucky or unlucky.
How many times have you seen people win the lottery and you go, wow, that was lucky. Only they end up broke and miserable. You’ll see the storyteller in our always tries to define something as good or bad.
So we’ll know how to react to it or more importantly, how to feel about it.
The problem is that you’re always riding that roller coaster of emotion that you actually have no control over. You can start to feel completely overwhelmed by things that are happening to you. So if you happen to look around the world around you, this pandemic field crazy world we’re currently living through and you start to feel that the world is not aligning to give you your breakout moment.
I want you to rethink that because if you find yourself easily upset by small things going on in your practice, small things going on in your community and you start feeling incredibly unlucky like bad things happen or the… because of this pandemic you can’t thrive or you start to feel triggered by someone else’s good fortune. And it seems like those things don’t ever happen to you. Then you’re probably like the neighbor in that parable. You’re probably in need of a perspective change. And that’s what this drill is all about.
So here’s the question. How can you become more like the wise farmer who understood that things just happen? So here are the three questions that I use. And I think it’ll be good for you.
The entire premise of this parable is that your judgment of an event creates an accompanying emotion. So to not have happiness or suffering be completely controlled by external events, we need to learn to think differently, talk to ourselves differently to create our perspective differently and then we can choose a better label. So here are the three questions I want you to use to reframe a situation.
Number one, can you think of events in your life, events at your practice that seemed incredibly unlucky at the time but later turned out to be positive? Like someone giving you notice. Someone quitting sooner than you wanted them to quit. A patient who was difficult, who chose not to start care. A massage event that got canceled before you ever got there. You see. From quitting that turns out to be a good thing so it doesn’t have to be a bad firing. That’s a difficult moment, but is actually a good thing. You see. That’s question number one.
Question number two. Think of something in your life that feels unlucky right now. Can you think of any future outcome no matter how ludicrous in which that unlucky thing could be positive? In biology, there’s a term called eustress. The prefix eu, which is derived from the Greek word meaning good and translates to good stress. Eustress can be used for most significant growth in our lives. Whether it’s building muscles, you gotta lift heavy things to build muscle. You see. You’ve gotta burn real calories to lose weight but outcomes of those things are good things. You’ve gotta work really hard to train your team so you can reap those amazing benefits of having a powerful team. You have to work on getting your name out so you can have automatic marketing in the future. You see. That’s all eustress. But the reward is usually precipitated with a period of stress. The outcome of that stress, whether it builds you up or breaks you down is entirely up to you. If you cannot imagine a positive external outcome from your current suffering, at least you know that any event you experienced can be a catalyst to good internal personal growth. We grow during times of turbulence. If you’re having trouble getting your team in alignment now or training your team how to communicate now, imagine the rewards once that outcome is achieved not only for your team and for your external rewards but your ability, your skill level growing up, going up in order to make you more powerful as an individual. So that was question two.
Question three. I want you to think of the events that you wrote out in question one and question two. The things that happened to you in the past. The things that are happening to you now. And I wanted to ask you this question. Do you think any of that’s gonna matter in five years? Anything where you felt unlucky. Anything you felt like the world was getting in your way. Do you think it will matter at all in five years? You see. The reality is time passes. Your skills should grow and the stress should build you much stronger.
A lot of times we envision, whatever we’re going through right now is gonna be a definite anchor to us in the past, but rarely ever is that a career setback, a practice setback. You see. You look at challenges in marketing during the pandemic as a way to streamline your marketing to thrive in the future because once they get traction and you take those chains off, you’re gonna have all sorts of marketing available to you in addition to what you’re doing now. So here’s the takeaway from this lesson.
The real lesson of this parable is it teaches us that judging an event as a good or a bad thing has no value. It just creates an emotional suffering in that moment. Even the belief that something is lucky versus unlucky creates suffering because it sets up expectations for the future.
A study of 22 lottery winners found that their happiness didn’t change one iota after winning the lottery. And in fact, they perceived less pleasure from just being alive with their family and their friends and their everyday activities. They increase their pressure and decrease their happiness by becoming lucky. You see. Dan Gilbert wrote a book about all of these and it’s called “Stumbling on Happiness”. And he started to study through quite extensive research, people’s ability to predict their emotional states in the future and he came to this conclusion. People are really bad at predicting the specific emotion they’re going to experience as well as its intensity and duration. But how do we teach people to approach a situation matters. How do we do that? We say, hey, let’s take a look at how we’re gonna approach a conversation we think will be difficult. Can we train ourselves a little bit better to take away a little bit of that fear of the unknown? And that’s why we train. You see.
The best thing you can do whenever you start to feel unlucky is just throw your hands up, smile and say this too shall pass. And to quote the very famous and wonderful martial artists, Bruce Lee, “To hell with circumstances, create opportunities.”
That’s Bruce Lee for today. All right, my friends, my name is Dr. George Birnbach, I’ll talk to you tomorrow.