(The following excerpt was taken from a book I'm writing, which will be published next year.)

CHANGE THE ODDS 

Most of us have felt at one time or another that everything was stacked against us; felt that there were no answers in regards to money problems, finding a job or career, and mental and physical problems. We’ve been in the place where it seems luck has abandoned you and everything is falling apart, even though you’re trying your best. Eventually you feel discouraged and depressed. Nothing seems to help and the “odds” are simply against us! It is at these times we have the very greatest opportunity to change the “odds” to our advantage. We have the opportunity to take control of the situation and turn the tables in our favor.

Simply put, I see that there is no such thing as good or bad luck. All of life is a gamble—an extreme gamble—but most of you don’t realize you have the advantage in life. At any time you can change the odds against you to overwhelming odds in your favor and it is not very difficult to do. It’s easy to blame a bad situation on bad luck, and it’s easy to let good luck take credit for our accomplishments. I don’t let either of those happen and neither should you. The idea that we create our own odds is not a popular concept because it is so much easier to blame so-called luck, or our environment, or chance, for what seemingly is out-of-order in our lives. However, accepting personal responsibility is never a popular or easy thing to do; but it is the essential for growth in any meaningful way in all aspects of life. Blaming bad luck allows you to believe a situation, or even your life, is out of your own control. It’s allowing yourself to give up because bad luck might get you anyway. I don’t live that way. I see my own agency in every situation and use it to my advantage. On the other side of the spectrum, don’t let good luck take credit for the great things you’ve done. If you’ve worked hard to accomplish something, allow yourself to be proud that you’ve worked to get where you are, and take note of how you’ve accomplished these things.

My college football coach Frank Gansz used to say, “what you give will grow, what you keep you’ll lose.” One of the very basic needs, or even instincts, that everyone has is for security in health, wealth, and physical protection. This is important and understandable, but should not hold influence over every decision you make. Many live mundane and depleted lives because of overwhelming reliance on this need for security. This behavior is evident in hypochondriacs, who end up losing all their freedom due to a fear of being sick. We can also see this in people who hoard their money in a bank, never making any positive use out of it, in fear of losing their wealth. Hoarding and staying indoors all the time are not the only ways to feel secure. In fact, there are much more effective ways to feel secure in your health and finances. If you can trust in yourself and your ability to create prosperity and health, you will feel secure, and use what has been given to you to do effective work. Without the feeling of security, you will not have the ability to be a “giver” and you will fight against the odds. This is to say chance works against you and not with you. When you believe in yourself to be an generator of peace and prosperity, you will change the odds completely in your favor. You control the odds and opportunities presented to you. They don’t control you.

-Mickey Dollens