By Paula Bianca Abiog

A few days before the Chinese New Year, my mom started sprucing up our home to welcome the year of the dragon. Up went the red curtains. Throw pillow covers were changed to red as well. On our dining table were the requisite display of 13 round fruits, plus bowls of uncooked rice, sugar, salt, cotton, chocolate coins, and ang pao.

“What are those for?” I asked.

“For luck,” my mom answered.

I had to fight the urge to let out an amused smile. Can uncooked rice and round fruits really invite luck into our home and our lives? Sure, it won’t hurt to follow these traditions (and I’m not sure we even have Chinese blood in the first place), but wouldn’t it be better if we don’t just rely on some external factor to steer luck our way?

I read somewhere before that luck wasn’t really about having all the lucky charms on your body and inside your home. It’s more of a belief: consider yourself lucky, and you will be lucky. Like most things in life, “luck” doesn’t come for free. You have to make your own luck.

Not that I’m dismissing my mom’s lucky charms, but I thought I’d help speed up luck to come our way by being proactive as well. Here’s what I plan to do to be lucky for the rest of the year:

Think lucky. Earlier this year, I declared 2012 as “my year”—I will be successful both in my professional and personal life. It’s too early to tell just yet if this year is indeed my year, but I think having that thought, and shouting it out to the world, can go a long way in inviting luck in my life. Happy, positive thoughts will generate happy, positive results, so this early on, I will consider myself lucky.

Work on your luck. As my friend always says, “If you want to win the lottery, you have to buy a ticket.” In other words, to be lucky, you have to take chances. It’s time to stop thinking “There’s no way in hell that’s going to happen,” or “I don’t think I should do this.” Being open to all possibilities, shutting out the negative talk, and taking the plunge should now be my battlecry.

Be thankful. Another friend once said that we should always be thankful for all the blessings we receive to invite more blessings to come our way. The other day, as I was eating lunch with my new officemates, I realized that I was lucky to be with these nice, friendly people who helped make me feel welcome in the office. Cheesy as it sounds, I did say a little thank you prayer to God for letting me meet this new set of wonderful people. Being thankful puts you in a positive frame of mind, I guess, and will eventually lead you to get more things to be thankful for.

Photo by Malvestida Magazine on Unsplash