Today is Friday 13th, renowned for being the unluckiest day of the year. Why? I’ve got no idea, but who doesn’t love a bit of good ol’ superstition? I always freak out a bit when I only see one magpie…
The reality is though that whilst life may throw things our way – some lucky, some not – most of the time we’re in charge of our own happiness. So in order to ward off all the evil Friday 13th spirits here’s a list of 13 things you can do to improve your luck.
1. Say yes more
Try it just for one day, even. Say yes to all the opportunities that come your way*, and you never know which may manifest into something magical. There’s no use sitting on the fence, sometimes you’ve got to dive in head first and chances are you’ll quickly learn how to swim.
* bar the pervy man on the tube. Run away from him.
2. Learn from your mistakes
Failing at something can be pretty crushing. It hurts to realise that you’re not as good at something as you may have once thought, and often it’s even more embarrassing to actually admit this. Doing so, however, is the key to growing and to becoming better at whatever it is you hope to achieve – whether that’s a physical skill or an emotional one. Pick yourself up, put your best confidence-boosting outfit on and try again.
3. Be optimistic, and don’t be afraid to ask
Think lucky, be lucky. A positive mindset can make all the difference in the world, especially when it comes down to succeeding at something, however big or small the task may be. If you tell yourself you can do it, then chances are you’re right. Equally, don’t just wish for something – don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and ask. Whether that’s for the promotion at work or a discount on the slightly scuffed but still oh-so-gorgeous shoes you’ve got your eye on. If you don’t ask, you don’t get and as long as you can be polite and professional then there is never any harm in trying.
4. Cope with rejection
Following on from the previous statement; learn to copy with rejection. Understand that somebody saying ‘no‘ does not necessarily mean that they don’t like you or your ideas, it just may not be the right time. Ask for feedback where possible, take note of what you may be able to do better next time round, but don’t dwell on it or take it as a personal dig. There is always next time and often when doors don’t open for you it’s because they’re not meant to. Hashtag philosophical.
5. Make time for your friends
Often we get so busy and so focused on ticking off our seemingly never-ending ‘to do’ lists that we forget to stop and make time for those who are most important to us. Wine with your best friend isn’t just a break from the chaos and an opportunity to remind her/him that they’re appreciated, but it’s also actually a really good opportunity to take your mojo up a notch. A good natter often releases some of the best ideas and creativity, and your bestie will have lots of their own to bring to the table to – whether you’re putting the world to rights, sounding off about your terrible boss or mulling over a new project – two heads are better than one. Plus, there’s wine involved.
6. Pet the dog
This is not a euphemism. If you see a cute dog, go and pet it! Please ask first to ensure you don’t contract rabies or get your hand ravaged off, but most owners love the fuss and attention and it’s scientifically proven that animals are a great stress relief. Anyone who knows me personally will know I’m unhealthily obsessed with French Bulldogs, and when I see one out on it’s walkies and I’m not brave enough to go and say hello, it bugs me for at least the next half an hour as I envisage all the Frenchie cuddles I may have missed. See number 3; don’t be afraid to ask.
7. Compliment a stranger, and mean it
It feels good to make other people feel good. How often do you find yourself admiring someone else’s shoes/bag/hair cut on the train? But I would never really dream of saying so out loud. But how great would it make you feel if someone came up to you purely to compliment you?
The same goes for doing nice things for strangers – I still vividly remember the man who brought me a coffee into work after I gave him directions.
8. Keep a gratitude journal
Sometimes it can be hard to see the good things in life, especially when it’s just been one of those days and you’d like nothing more than to curl up in bed and hide. But even on those days, there are still so many things to be thankful for.
You don’t have to be a great writer, but you will feel a sense of satisfaction from jotting down a few things each day that you’re grateful for. It’s also something to flick back on when you feel like the world just isn’t on your side.
9. Always carry an umbrella
You know that feeling when you get caught in the rain and you arrive looking like a bedraggled cat, despite spending half an hour straightening your hair that morning? You know that feeling when it starts to rain, and you remember you put your umbrella in your bag? That.
10. Read books
I don’t really trust people who say they don’t like books. I understand that for some reading doesn’t come as a natural source of enjoyment, but I am a firm believer that there is a book out there for everyone. Getting lost in someone else’s world does wonders for the soul.
11. Burn the best candles
We’ve all got things we’re saving ‘for best’. Though it seems a little sad that a dress is only allowed out the closet once a year, or the crockery is only used on high days and holidays. As Phoebe Buffay would say, they’re not fulfilling their destiny. Make today your ‘best’.
12. Get out the house
As someone who has the opportunity to work from home a lot, this is a big one for me. On days when I don’t leave the house it suddenly feels very small. I try and find a nice coffee shop to work in, or even just nip to Tesco for a change of scenery.
The same goes for leaving your desk at lunch time. It can be tempting to multi-task but in reality your brain needs a rest, your eyes need a break from a screen and your legs could do with a big stretch. Plus, when you go outside, you never know who or what you’ll bump into *French Bulldog please ahem*…
13. Walk more
It feels good, you see pretty stuff and you’re not cramped under Mr-What’s-Deodrant?‘s armpit.