497 Carol Kline and Gay Hendricks:
Do you believe in luck? Is luck a conscious choice? Do you often marvel why some people seem to always be lucky … when others are not? Is there a way we can make ourselves lucky?
I’m Melinda Wittstock and today on Wings of Inspired Business we change it up to meet two bestselling authors in the personal growth space who also counsel entrepreneurs. And for the first time ever …one of my guests today is … a man.
That’s right – Gay Hendricks you may know from his groundbreaking book The Big Leap and his work advising entrepreneurial superstars like Michael Dell and Suzy Batis of Pou-Poori. And you may know Carol Kline from her New York Times bestselling books Happy for No Reason, Love for No Reason, and five other books in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.
Today we talk about how to be lucky. Why being lucky is a choice, and the 8 Secrets to manifest luck in your life and business. With the Coronavirus pandemic and economic meltdown, we could all use a bit of luck, right?
People think of luck as something random, as something isolated, and dramatic, like a lightning strike. What if instead it is a constant wind blowing … a wind of opportunity and possibility you can catch at any time?
My guests today on Wings say that luck begins with a mindset – and they have 8 steps to manifest luck that anyone can learn.
Gay Hendricks and Carol Kline have written a groundbreaking new book debuting this week called Conscious Luck: Eight Secrets to Intentionally Change Your Fortune. Today we’re going to break down each of the 8 steps and talk about how you can apply this “reset” to your life and your business right now … to change your luck.
Now, with Coronavirus, we all have the perfect opportunity to change old beliefs, old practices, and old ways of working that never served … and use this time to re-create our lives with wonder, joy and gratitude. So I can’t wait to introduce you to Carol and Gay! First…
Now let’s talk “getting lucky”. I mean in ALL ways. Unlocking lucky opportunities. Making game-changing connections that transform your business. Being in the right place at the right time.
Gay Hendricks and Carol Kline are the co-authors of Conscious Luck: Eight Secrets to Intentionally Change Your Fortune – a must-read out today.
Gay Hendricks is an innovator in relationship transformation and body-mind therapies, also coaching more than 800 executives, including the top management at firms such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, and KLM. Along with his wife, Dr. Kathlyn Hendricks, he has co-authored many books including Conscious Loving, The Corporate Mystic, and The Big Leap. A Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Stanford University, Gay is also founder of the Hendricks Institute, which offers seminars in North America, Asia, and Europe, and the Spiritual Cinema Circle. In recent years, he has added writing mystery novels to his many achievements: One series featuring the Tibetan Buddhist private detective, Tenzing Norbu, and a second about the adventures of a Victorian-Edwardian-era detective, Sir Errol Hyde.
Reading Gay’s The Big Leap was a transformational experience for me in my life and business, as was Carol Kline’s Happy for No Reason.
Carol is a 5-time New York Times bestselling author, devoting her career to teaching, writing, and speaking about consciousness and personal growth.
Over the last 25 years, Carol has co-authored more than a dozen books with some of the world’s top transformational leaders—including Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame, Marci Shimoff, Lisa Nichols, and now Gay Hendricks with Conscious Luck. Inspired by her experience writing Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul in 1997, she became deeply involved in animal rescue work. This led her to help run and build an animal shelter called Noah’s Ark Animal Foundation in Fairfield, Iowa.
Today we talk about what makes someone lucky, why curiosity, wonder, and coachability are vital … how to find your “essence pace” so you are present when opportunities arise, how to find your “lucky tribe” and allow yourself to be guided by your Inner GPS. And much more!
Let’s put on our wings with the inspiring Carol Kline and Gay Hendricks.
Melinda Wittstock: Gay and Carol, welcome to Wings of Inspired Business.
Gay Hendricks: Thank you so much. Melinda, great to be with you.
Melinda Wittstock: Well, it’s great to have you on, Gay. I mean, not only did your book, The Big Leap, have a massive impact on my life, but you are the first man that’s actually managed to make it on this podcast.
Gay Hendricks: Well, I’m very honored. Thank you very much.
Melinda Wittstock: I know that you spent a lot of time in your life advising a lot of great CEOs over time. The question that is on the tip of my tongue for you is really what you found the difference is between advising some of the female entrepreneurs and the male entrepreneurs.
Gay Hendricks: Well, I can tell you one thing. Here at the Hendricks Institute, we use a test we call the Openness to Learning Scale. People can get it free from our websites and that kind of thing. It’s in a couple of our books too, but one difference is that I found that female entrepreneurs, by and large, are much quicker and much more open to learning than a lot of the men I’ve worked with. I don’t know if it’s what it is exactly. Maybe it’s the fact that men have been in charge for 5000 years or so, and now we’re just showing how women can do everything plus that men have been up to for 5000 years, or so, but I think a lot of men still feel like they’re the boss, and they don’t need to be open to learning as much as other people.
Gay Hendricks: That’s one thing I’ve found. I really enjoy working with women entrepreneurs and women executives too, because they’re very quick to adopt things and try things out.
Melinda Wittstock: Well, that’s vital to be an entrepreneur because of course, everything is a hypothesis until it’s not. So Carol, I want to bring you in here because you both have a book coming out any day now called Conscious Luck: Eight Secrets to Intentionally Change Your Fortune.
Melinda Wittstock: How do you see it play out between men and women in terms of being able to embrace Conscious Luck? We’re going to get into defining that in a moment, but just to pick up on where Gay was about the differences between men and women in business, what do you notice?
Carol Kline: Well, I think that Gay pointed out something that’s very crucial to Conscious Luck, which is being open to learning, being open to change, being willing to do something different. In our book, we discuss eight secrets, and four of them are core shifts, belief and mindset, and four daily practices. I think that women entrepreneurs, women in general have contend to be sometimes a little more nimble in terms of learning new things, as Gay said, and trying new things. Trying new things is one of the cornerstones of the practices of luck, and it’s in the positive psychology literature on luck, where people who try new things, it’s almost like consider action cosmic lottery ticket.
Carol Kline: The more you buy, the more chance you have to win, so trying new things and getting out of your comfort zone. I think that’s really an important foundation.
Melinda Wittstock: Well, so interesting that we’re in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic. If there was ever a time to learn lots of new things, it would be now, because, I mean, it’s sort of like the virus has a message for us. It’s pointing to all the different things that are broken and need fixing. There seems to be a good many of them. Then you have a lot of female entrepreneurs that have a, in my experience, different approach. Not only are we, I agree, better at learning and more nimble, but we’re also more collaborative.
Melinda Wittstock: We create slightly different business models. Do you think now is really the time for women to really be stepping into their own now conscious luck and all? Are we being called?
Gay Hendricks: I think it’s a very ripe time for any of us to be stepping forth. I think it’s a time where we’re learning to deal with fear in a whole new way, probably as a whole planet actually. I can’t remember a time in my lifetime where there was a whole planetary focus on one particular thing. When I was a kid, it was the nuclear threat that was in the background. They were always having us do drills at school for things in case there was a nuclear bomb, but this is the first time I can remember since then where we’ve had a worldwide consciousness of some threat or fear.
Gay Hendricks: I think that on a very personal level, inside, we’re learning how to transform fear to get beyond it to stay open to our creativity. I think a lot of us throughout evolution, going back millions of years, human beings and other species have learned to contract when we’re scared, but now we’re being called on, I think, to expand and open up and acknowledge our fears, certainly, but to go beyond there and open up to see what is the creativity. What’s the creative possibilities of this time we’re living through?
Melinda Wittstock: The way I look at it is we all have a choice. We can, as you say, contract in fear or let the uncertainty freeze us in place, or we can use this time where some of us have extra time on our hands. Some of us have never been busier, but whatever the case is, we have an opportunity to set our days in different ways, and create new habits and look within and really figure out, I guess, if you haven’t already, if you’re not in touch with this, really figure out your purpose, why you’re here in life suit right now.
Melinda Wittstock: What problem do you want to go to solve, and how can you be creative and innovative in business or in any aspect of your life? Carol, how are you seeing Conscious Luck in the context of the Coronavirus? How can we make this a lucky time?
Carol Kline: Oh, that’s a beautiful question and I think such an important one. I think something you just said a minute ago about going inside, the real thing is locus of control. People have a lever of control, and a lot of us in anytime, challenges or not, give it to the external locus of control, and the real secret of life and success and what our book is really, when you come down to it, about is changing that and internalizing locus of control. People think of luck as something random, as something isolated and dramatic. One of my favorite quotes from Tina Selig, a Stanford professor, is that, “People think of looking at the lightning strike, isolated and dramatic, but in fact, it’s a wind that’s always blowing.”
Carol Kline: We have to just change our behaviors, build a stale out of our behaviors to harness the wind of luck. So in this time when the winds are blowing crazy, we’re so disrupted, we’re so uncertain as a world. I think Gay brought that out that I can’t remember a time when the world was focused on one thing like this. I mean, from African continent all the way to here in Ohio, California, we’re all aware of one thing at one time, but that doesn’t have to control us. We all have our ability to look at our own control over our own lives.
Carol Kline: Conscious Luck is all about that. So in this time, one of the most important things, and Gay brought that out, is learning to overcome our fears and not let that run you, and to also see opportunities to do the things, to believe you’re lucky even when there’s a lot of evidence that the world isn’t “lucky,” but to find that. We have these eight steps. It’s not something magic. It’s a skill that anyone can learn.
Melinda Wittstock: I think there’s more opportunity than ever before, because you think in a time where everything is shifting so much, people’s habits are changing. The circumstance is changing all around. In those moments, there are always opportunities.
Carol Kline: It’s a reset. Just like you just said, it’s a reset. When there’s a big pause like that, you get to go ahead and say, “What do I want to take with me that worked in my life before COVID? And what do I want to change?” We have some real specific suggestions about if you want to be lucky.
Melinda Wittstock: Well, let’s get into this whole concept of making your own luck. I’ve always believed in that. In fact, my father always told me that. It was one of those things that just went into your head, “Melinda, remember, you always make your own luck,” so it’s just been embedded somewhere in my brain. I’m already with you. Let’s go through those steps, and particularly with a focus on how entrepreneurs in particular, whatever their circumstance, whether they’re in a rapid pivot right now, or whether they’re realizing that the company they were running, they didn’t actually like all that much, so they actually want to do something different, or whether it’s time like me launching a new podcasting network to actually double down because it’s a perfect pandemic proof business.
Gay Hendricks: Well, one of the things that’s really important in any kind of self-change is to begin with a willingness and a commitment to it, whatever it is. I tell the story in the book of when this idea first leaped over into my head was when I was 14 years old, and I was at a movie theater, and they were doing a drawing where they’d put all of our tickets in a goldfish bowl. Then they’re going to draw them out for three prizes. The top prize was really cool. It was a wristwatch. We’re talking about 1955, probably 1959, way back there where wristwatches were the main technology.
Gay Hendricks: I was sitting next to this kid that I called Danny in the book. Before they had the drawing, he leaned over to me and he says, “Watch this, I’m gonna win the watch.” I said, “Okay.” They did the drawing, and sure enough, he got the top prize and went up there and collected his wristwatch. When he came back, I said, “How did you do that?” He said, “It’s easy.” He said, “I always win stuff like this, because I made up my mind I was going to be lucky.” I said, “Well, what do you mean? How did you do that?”
Gay Hendricks: He said, “Well, one day just realized that some people were lucky and some people weren’t lucky, but who was to say? And why don’t I just make up my mind and decide to be one of the lucky ones?” He said, “From that day forth, all these good things started happening to him.” I filed this away, and then 50 years later, I wrote a whole book about it. It’s important, I think, for all of us to take on that job of making our own luck, just like your dad said. I think that I grew up in a family where half the people sort of… One side of the family thought of themselves as very lucky, and the other side didn’t.
Gay Hendricks: Correspondingly, different things happened as a result of that. That’s what Carol and I are really wanting to advocate, first of all, is people just stepping into empowering themselves by… We have steps in the book, but the first big move is just to begin to conceive of yourself as a lucky person.
Melinda Wittstock: Yes. I think gratitude is a very big part of that when you’re able to really understand and feel thankful and focus on the things that are amazing, because we all have things like that, and yet our brains seem to be wired to focus often on the negative or the lack. I always think that we get more of what we’re thinking. Carol, take us through just the way, because I think a lot of people will be listening and thinking, “Well, okay, so do I just like flick a switch in my brain? Just make a decision that, “Yeah, I’m going to be lucky,” or is there a little bit more to it than that?
Carol Kline: There’s a lot more to it. The story of this book is really fun, and that Gay sent me the seed of this manuscript long time ago, and it really caught my attention. He started with this idea of just deciding to be lucky. I’m a more analytical person. I was like, “Oh, it can’t be that easy. Give me a break,” but as I read the book, at that point what was the book, I was reading taken with this idea. After some years now of researching luck and working with Gay, I see that that mindset, this is absolutely the first step but it is not the only step, but it can make or break your luck.
Carol Kline: As a matter of fact, the Lucky charms that people use, their lucky socks, their lucky Golf Club, rabbit’s foot, whatever those silly superstitious things, their efficacy comes from your decision that they are lucky. Mindset is very important. That’s what I call planting the seed. That commitment, that willingness to change is the seed of luck, but then you have to continue because you can plant a seed but if it’s choked with weeds, then that plant’s not going to survive. So the-
Melinda Wittstock: So, the weeds being those subconscious things you don’t even know that were-
Carol Kline: Yes.
Gay Hendricks: My wife calls those dust bunnies, those little things that you find underneath the bed and underneath the table.
Melinda Wittstock: One of the things that I learned over the years that whenever I was triggered by anything, I felt myself judging somebody or getting angry or any of those things, it was an opportunity to look within and say, “Ha, that’s interesting. What’s that?” These stories… They’re not even of our own making. We probably wrote a story about ourselves when we were 3 without a frontal lobe, and really drive us our whole lives. It’s actually hilarious really when you think of it, right?
Melinda Wittstock: Say for instance, we decide, it’s like positive thinking. We say, “Okay, I’m going to be lucky. Good things happen to me,” all that kind of stuff, and we find that it doesn’t happen. Is that very difficult? People get trapped there because they think, “Oh yeah, right.” It’s a proving game. Well, that whole luck thing, that was ridiculous, because they almost prove themselves wrong because of that subconscious dynamic.
Gay Hendricks: Well, I think it’s important also to have some persistence to keep experimenting with things, even if you don’t get immediate results. I was just reading yesterday about a fellow who played the lottery for 30 years without winning, and then won twice.
Melinda Wittstock: Practice makes perfect.
Gay Hendricks: With Conscious Luck, it’s important to start beginning… We have some processes earlier in the book, which invite you to develop a deep willingness and a commitment to it because that’s important, because commitment is important to get you going but then when you slip off the path, you need to recommit. We always say that recommitment is just as important as commitment. Commitment gets you out the door, but then it’s like an automatic pilot on a plane. If you take off in, let’s say, Washington or New York and you’re heading for Honolulu, it’s got an automatic pilot.
Gay Hendricks: So every time it drifts off, it re-corrects and orients itself back to center again, but then it drifts off again and then re-corrects. It gets all the way from New York to Honolulu by being wrong most of the time, because it has the ability to re-correct itself and recalibrate.
Melinda Wittstock: Right. You’re just describing entrepreneurship there, right? I mean, when you think of all the different things, I mean, because you start a business, you have this hypothesis and things you have to be, and it goes back to the beginning of the conversation. You have to be willing to learn not to take the learnings or the failures personally because they’re just instructive.
Melinda Wittstock: I mean, because you could say, “Wow, I’m lucky. I learned that so quickly in my business, and I didn’t go down that road too far and invest too much money in that particular activity.” It’s kind of a fail-fast thing, “Wow. How lucky?”
Gay Hendricks: I had the experience in my very first entrepreneurial experience when I was a kid. When I was in the fifth grade, the summer after the fifth grade, I got this great idea. I lived in Florida, and I lived about maybe 200 yards from Highway 27, which in those days was the way you went down the middle of the state. My next door neighbor, Mr. Lewin, was a watermelon dealer, and so I bought four watermelons from him. I took them down to the Highway 27, and I spent all day holding up watermelons waiting for somebody to stop, and I was going to… I bought them for 15 cents, and I was going to sell them for a quarter.
Gay Hendricks: But at the end of the day, I had to lug all four watermelons back up to Mr. Lewin’s garage. Then I had this brilliant idea. Nobody wants to buy a whole watermelon, so I took down a big… one of my mother’s big butcher knives, and I took it down, and I cut them into eight pieces, which I sold for a nickel a piece, but I could hold up a actual piece of juicy watermelon. I sold out in about an hour, and I kept having to go back and get more watermelons. By the end of the day, I had sold $3.75 cents worth of watermelons, and I was a hooked entrepreneur for life.
Gay Hendricks: That was the largest pile of nickels I’d ever seen in my life, but it got me really hooked on entrepreneurship. What I really want to make mention of is somehow even at that age, I’d figured out how to be open to learning because entrepreneurship is all about re-correcting all the time and finding out where the next little thing is that you need to do in order to make things work better.
Melinda Wittstock: That prompts me to ask how much of Conscious Luck is curiosity?
Gay Hendricks: I think a great deal of it is I would say not only curiosity, but what I call wonder is something even deeper than curiosity in a way. It gives rise to curiosity, but wonder is that moment when human beings open up to what we don’t know, but what we really want to know. I call those wonder questions. When you ask a big question like, “Hmm, what do I need to learn right now to get unstuck from where I am,” or, “Hmm, what does my business need to do in order to make a correction and take advantage of the current situation?”
Gay Hendricks: So it’s a wondering, and human beings have this powerful capacity to wonder. I actually think that wonder is the antidote to fear. Fear keeps us constricted, but wonder opens us up. I always say the biggest journey people ever have to make is 12 inches from their head down to their heart. In that moment, you open up a wondering about something. You let go of thinking you know, and open up to wondering about it. That connects you directly to the creative powers of the universe itself, in my opinion.
Melinda Wittstock: I mean, that’s where you get those divine downloads, I often call them. I’ve gotten to the point now in my morning meditation where it goes something like this. It’s like, “You know that I know that I need your help, so bring it on.” Increasingly, instead of a to-do list, I have very much an inspiration list. It used to be an intentions list, and now even the intentions are formed by that connection. It’s taken me a long time to get there, but that wonderment is necessary for that to happen. As a result, now in my practice and how I build my business, it’s amazing because it means that I’m focusing on the things that are the highest leverage activities in any given day.
Melinda Wittstock: Lucky things happen like synchronicities, where the right person shows up. If that is on the list you have of all the different eight drivers of Conscious Luck, but I imagine synchronicity is one of them.
Carol Kline: It definitely is. It’s so interesting. I’m listening, and my mind’s bing, bing, binging because one of our secrets has to do with once you’re open and you’re wondering, and these inspirations and divine downloads come, you have to act on them.
Melinda Wittstock: You do.
Carol Kline: So many people are stuck in a very efficient.
Melinda Wittstock: Right. It is the hamster wheel.
Carol Kline: Well, but it’s efficient. They’re there because it works. It’s the quickest way from A to B is that line, but what about going a different way? What about… Gay has a funny story in the book about brushing his teeth with a different hand. What it does is it takes you… That sounds really silly, but it takes you out of autopilot, and luck happens outside of autopilot. Luck happens.
Melinda Wittstock: We’re all outside of autopilot right now.
Carol Kline: Exactly. This could be the luckiest time, where so many… I mean, it is counterintuitive, isn’t it?
Melinda Wittstock: It is counterintuitive [inaudible 00:23:52] so much suffering, and which can’t be ignored. Yet, on the other hand, there’s so much opportunity in that, the changes of habits. Right now, I think we all have a choice. We can fall into old habits. In that fear, some people find themselves drinking a little bit more because they quit drinking, and that was suddenly a little bit more wine at night, or things like that, or go into the fridge, those sorts of things. You can create new habits in writing, including luck.
Melinda Wittstock: Let’s go through the list. I maybe got ahead of it a little bit here in this more intuitive conversation, but what are some of the things just practically? Somebody stuck at home, sheltering in place, they’re listening to this conversation. What’s the next thing they do to really embrace the sense of Conscious Luck?
Gay Hendricks: Carol, how about sharing some of the first things on the list?
Carol Kline: Well, we’ve talked about the conscious commitment. Well, the first thing, and I think Gay said this, is the belief that it’s possible.
Gay Hendricks: Right. You got to believe. Yes, it’s impossible to achieve anything if you can’t believe it, so absolutely.
Carol Kline: So believing that you have the ability to affect your luck. I mean, really the thing that people don’t grasp is that luck is not as random as we think, that luck is the combined result of your actions, attitudes and associations. I mean, once you get that, that was a huge paradigm shift for me. That really and truly, even the things that look random, are usually things you’ve set in motion, years, months, weeks, and then they come up, and it looks random, but it’s actually, again, so much in your control. So when you realize you hold the lever, you are the one that can make your luck. Then you start committing to that luck.
Carol Kline: Our second one had to do with leasing the personal barriers to luck, getting aware, what Gay talked about in terms of his background as a therapist of having to lift curses, and that was an… I really was like, “What? That sounded odd to me,” but when I understood and when you understand your own life, that you have these things running in the background, that some people feel unlucky in their… They didn’t feel wanted. They feel like their parents wanted a boy. They got a girl or la, la, la, la or backpacking the other way around.
Carol Kline: Honestly, there are so many ways that we need to overcome some of our conditioning, and we talked about that. There’s a specific kind of conditioning that was mind blowing for me. It has to do with the way we deal with shame and negative emotions, and then those actually lodged in our bodies and that there’s a way to actually turn that energy that’s being squatted in by shame, and turn that into a magnet for luck. That was an epiphany that Gay had that we have put into the book that you can reproduce in yourself. You can actually…
Carol Kline: There’s a technique where you have a meditation you can use. Then these are the last one of these more foundational belief, core shifts. It has to do with how your goals, and as entrepreneurs, our goals are so important. We feel that luck chases worthy goals, and you can make your goals worthy by, one, making sure that they are the right goals for you that, they light you up and that they feel purposeful, but to turbocharge those, you need to have a sense of how they can benefit the world. We have a lot you can…
Carol Kline: There’s a lot internal work you can do anywhere, whether you’re stuck in your house or in the middle of a convention because it’s all internal work. That’s where we start, and then we have four practices. Those practices-
Melinda Wittstock: Let’s go through the practices.
Gay Hendricks: One of the things that’s really important, we call in the book finding your lucky tribe. Finding your lucky tribe means looking for people in your life that feel lucky or have lucky things happen to them, favoring hanging out with those kind of folks rather than folks that consider themselves unlucky in some way. In our seminars, I say focus on creating a friendship network, where you have three to five people whose faces light up when you walk in the room, and find out three to five people that make your face light up when they…
Gay Hendricks: So finding out who lights you up both, the kind of goals that Carol talked about, those luck worthy goals, but also a luck where the community, building around yourself a community of people that really are empowering themselves by taking on responsibility for creating their own luck in their lives. You were so lucky Melinda to get that kind of programming from your dad, because a lot of us don’t get that kind of programming. We either think of ourselves as unlucky, or don’t realize that we can take charge of our own luck. That was a lucky break for you genetically.
Melinda Wittstock: If you look at your life and the different experiences that you have, some of the bad things that happened to you, when you’re a kid, they create a whole story. It could be around losing money or your parents arguing about money, or abandonment issues or all sorts of different things like that. We carry those things. We all have them, right? They’re all subtly different or whatever, but a lot of them probably the same, and understanding even what’s driving you.
Melinda Wittstock: On my own consciousness journey, I wasn’t really even aware of those things that my dad said to me until I started to piece it together. On my own path to consciousness, I started remembering these things, “Oh yeah. Yeah. Oh, that’s right,” but it did drive me though too, because I remember even as a college student, and I am a recovering journalist as well as an entrepreneur, and I decided I was going to go work for the London Times out of college in Canada. I didn’t go to Oxford or Cambridge. It seemed completely unattainable.
Melinda Wittstock: Every single person said to me I couldn’t do it. I was like, “Why not?” I didn’t even know what would stop me. Sure enough, within a year, at age 22, I was a correspondent on the Times of London. If you can see it, and not let those people deflect you off the path that you want to be on, I wish I could say my whole life’s been like that, because there was a moment in time where I forgot some of those things and had to re-remember them.
Carol Kline: That’s interesting because that ties into what you said earlier, in a funny way about, gratitude because people who are grateful, who have a buoyant spirit to see beyond the disappointment, those people who challenged you and said, “That’s never gonna happen, right?”
Melinda Wittstock: So many of them.
Carol Kline: You just kept saying, “Thank you for sharing,” and you moved on. People who have that kind of ability to look beyond the obstacle and to see a blessing in an error or a lesson in it, they persist. That is the difference in positive psychology research between lucky and unlucky people, that lucky people don’t quit. That is one of the hallmarks, and that has to do, in my mind, one of the Conscious Luck secrets is learning to use the power of gratitude and appreciation. I really want to stop here because I tend to get a little bit upset with people who use gratitude as a way to suppress negativity.
Carol Kline: I really, really that, “Oh, always look for the silver lining,” and yes, it’s such a delicate thing. It’s not relentless positivity. It’s not what I call spiritual bypass, where you don’t allow yourself to feel your feelings and to be present to the authenticity of who you are, but you don’t get lost there. Then you can find… We have a great technique that it’s called radical gratitude. Radical gratitude has to do with an inquiry. It’s not saying, “Oh, I should feel better, or I should find this.”
Carol Kline: It’s like in the spirit of the most gentle inquiry letting yourself feel your feelings when you get shutdown or something unlucky happens to you and saying, “Is there something here that I could…” it’s that wonder that Gay talked about earlier.
Melinda Wittstock: What can you learn from those feelings, because they’re giving up for [inaudible 00:33:24]? There’s a lesson in there somewhere.
Carol Kline: Yeah, is there anything I can be grateful for? Honestly, it’s not even what the answer is. It’s that it shakes you open from being stuck in this one point of view. With just that little loosening of the grip of victimhood or disappointment, you might see one small thing differently about it, and that can get you out of that place and back onto your lucky mindset and that… Appreciation too is a very important part.
Melinda Wittstock: It’s interesting with the law of attraction where suddenly everybody in the world seemed to have a vision board and a positive attitude, and they were going to manifest all these great things by starting at a vision board, but there were some things missing from that right? Clearing those subconscious, I don’t know, mothballs, icebergs, dust bunnies, whatever we want to call them, but also going into massive action towards it. I mean, what’s your perspective, both of you, on a lot of wisdom in the secret and works beyond that, but where do people go wrong with some of that?
Melinda Wittstock: Do they get to the first step, but don’t quite push through?
Gay Hendricks: I think that a lot of the things that I talked about in The Big Leap come into play here because so many people get stopped by their upper limit problems. They keep running up against the same upper limit, and they don’t get underneath it to find out what’s actually driving it like, what are the actual fears that are underneath whatever the upper limit is. I’m very blessed that I have several amazing women entrepreneurs that I’m a mentor to. One of them, her name is Suzy Batiz, created a big company called Poo-Pourri.
Melinda Wittstock: She’s amazing.
Gay Hendricks: Suzy is totally amazing. She’s been a friend of ours for many, many years. One of the things I just wanted to mention about Suzy is that she does both of those things. In other words, she has a great vision board, and she puts out these beautiful images of things she wants to create in the world. She also does the work too. She runs… That’s an important part.
Melinda Wittstock: There is that.
Gay Hendricks: … and not just the outer work, but the inner work when she runs up against an upper limit to move through that very quickly. One of the things… I had the pleasure of going down to Austin, Texas, many times back during the 90s to coach Michael Dell and two or three of his top executives. They were to me the models of openness to learning, because Michael, for example, has one of the most lively minds. He doesn’t get stuck, basically, because he’s always willing to say, “Hmm, what do I need to learn here to move this through?”
Gay Hendricks: He’s so quick. He doesn’t spend any time like some executives do getting defensive, or trying to not take responsibility for things and that kind of thing. It’s always just, “Boom, boom, boom. What can I learn here, and what do we need to do to move this thing forward?”
Melinda Wittstock: The best entrepreneurs are like that. I do want to talk about upper limits a little bit. One of the things in The Big Leap, Gay, that I found so interesting is that when something’s going really well in one part of your life, so say you have a big triumph at work. You pull down your funding around. You sign a new client. Something really great happens. Then suddenly, you get an argument with your spouse, or it shows up in some other area of your life. It was very illuminating to me to read your book because I could see times in my life where that had happened.
Melinda Wittstock: Then once you get conscious of it, it’s like, “Oh, right, you have this in upper limit, so there’s something here,” and you go into that curiosity or wonderment about, “Oh, okay, well, I guess whatever that is that’s driving, I don’t need that anymore. So goodbye to that.” On the upper limit thing, do you notice that men and women have different types of upper limits, or is it all basically the same?
Gay Hendricks: I haven’t seen too much difference. Katie and I, we’ve been together now 40 years teaching our work, and we’ve been around the world something like 32 or three times, something like that. So I’ve had the opportunity to see men and women and a whole bunch of different cultures. I think the underlying problems are the same. In other words, we all, men and women, experience the same types of fears inside. One fear that is common among entrepreneurs is a fear of really outshining other people that they got from childhood.
Melinda Wittstock: Right. The fear of success. That is so prevalent among women, and we talk about this often on this podcast, this idea that, “Oh man, if I really shine my light, I’m going to be casts from the tribe, right? I’m not going to have any female friends. I’m not going to attract a man.” I mean, it’s all that kind of stuff.
Gay Hendricks: Exactly. My wife does a lot of coaching of women executives, and one of the things that they have to learn and look out for is their over-use of their compassionate or nurturing nature in those situations to get lost in that rather than letting themselves shine, because a lot of the women we’ve worked with have a fear of letting themselves shine because it will steal shine from other people. It’s actually not true. The more you let yourself shine, the more you inspire other people to break through and open up to their own light, but a lot of us get lost in that fear of thinking that if we open up to more love or lighter abundance, it will somehow detract from other people.
Melinda Wittstock: One of my mentors said that very well. She said, “Melinda, you don’t need the spotlight. Just be the lighthouse.” That just resonated and stuck with me so much because when you’re being the change you want to see, you’re giving other people permission to do that. It’s not taking. It’s more of a way of thinking in abundance. You’re not taking away anything from anybody, but you are showing them that it’s possible for them too.
Carol Kline: It’s not a zero sum game.
Melinda Wittstock: Right.
Gay Hendricks: Exactly. Yes. Also, if you think like we have a beautiful sunny day here, where I’m in California, it’s been foggy up until the last few days, and then it got real bright and sunny. If you stand facing the sun, it’s very dazzling and bright. That’s okay for a little while, but what’s really the big fun in life is when you turn around so that you can see the sun’s reflection on other people’s faces. That’s when you know you’re really making a difference in life. It’s not just about letting the light shine on you, but being in the light and seeing it on other people.
Melinda Wittstock: So beautifully said. Carol, I want to go back to keep up with this list that we keep losing track off.
Carol Kline: That’s because we’re in the beauty.
Carol Kline: Well, I wanted to piggyback, and I think it will take us to definitely one of the practices, because it really to me is one of the huge, huge breakthroughs in my own entrepreneurial life. I’ve always been an entrepreneur. One of the things that you talked about in the secret was you can have a vision. You can even have a lucky break, but to make a lucky streak, you have to bring your talent, persistence and so forth. For me, one of the big parts of Conscious Luck that transformed my life was getting over my fear and asking for what I wanted.
Melinda Wittstock: Yes.
Carol Kline: It was a knee buckling fear. My moment of transformation started with knee buckling fear and me having the I call it the 20 seconds of insane courage to hurl yourself to windows of opportunity, because you don’t have to be brave all the time. You just have to really… You have to master. You have to identify those windows, and then really hurl yourself through them with that bravery.
Melinda Wittstock: I am laughing so hard almost in tears at that because it so resonates with me. I’ve seen so many women that I’ve mentored, and I’ve seen this in myself, not ask for the sale. Someone’s practically trying to say to you, “How can I sign up and like… or not send the invoice-
Carol Kline: Or not.
Melinda Wittstock: … or whatever. I remember I learned this one the hard way because I was really bad at asking for help for a while. I had successful scaled some businesses into the seven figures. The one that I was working on was a harder one at this time, and for whatever reason, I was just struggling to ask for what I really needed. It was curious. Finally, I had this catastrophic accident with my right ankle, and I couldn’t walk for three months. It was my right ankle so I couldn’t drive, so I couldn’t get the kids anywhere.
Melinda Wittstock: I really absolutely had to ask for help, and it was fascinating. It was one of these things where the universe conspires. If you’re not hearing the message, the message gets louder and louder and louder until you hear it.
Carol Kline: It’s deafening.
Melinda Wittstock: I always, again, back to Coronavirus is omnipresent, but you can extrapolate that out to society as a whole. We’ve had all kinds of warnings about all kinds of things that have broken institutions and this and that and all of it. It has to get really, really loud sometimes before we see it.
Carol Kline: I’m hoping we can take some of these things that we all said couldn’t be done because it would just grind cut civilization to a halt, “Well, okay, that’s done, and we’re all still here,” but I want to go back because yes, asking for what you want has that aspect of not sending the invoice, but what about in the face of someone basically saying you ask for what you want, and they say, “Not in your dreams. Forget it. That’s not happening for you to not settle?” Oh my gosh, that art of negotiation, the ability to walk away because you’re going to just go, “You know what, this is what I really want.”
Carol Kline: That was what changed my life because my normal MO would have been, “Oh, okay. Well, I asked for what I wanted. I didn’t get it. I’ll just settle for second best.” That is something where your luck can just change overnight. I mean, that is that you build up to that, but then that wasn’t enough. That was a lucky break. Then I had to bring my talents and my ability to learn and my wonder and all those things to the table, and that created a lucky streak that continues to this day.
Melinda Wittstock: Women often negotiate against ourselves, or not necessarily. I mean, that’s not true of all. That’s big generalization. What’s behind that? Where do we go wrong there?
Gay Hendricks: I think, again, we get lost in our fears, fears of rejection, fears of times in our life when we’ve been treated unfairly, perhaps, and still have a clench inside around that. I think that those things come up, and what I suggest is what I call… I say in business and in life, there’s no problem that can’t be solved with a 10-second communication and a 10-minute sweaty conversation. If you looked through any business, I’ve been in hundreds of them over the years, it boils down to very simple things.
Gay Hendricks: It’s almost never the business stuff that’s the problem. It’s the other kind of social emotional things that get triggered and people that don’t quite get resolved or get swept under the rug. The way I see it is that a lot of times, the very best entrepreneurs are the people that aren’t afraid to have that 10-minute sweaty conversation or to say that 10-second essential communication that needs to be said.
Melinda Wittstock: It’s true. I think of all the times where I did overcome that, How did you say it, Carol, throwing your earlier yourself through the?
Gay Hendricks: Window of opportunities.
Melinda Wittstock: Yes, I love that. Those times when you do that and you find that you land on the other side of the window, and the person just said, “Oh, okay, sure,” or like, “Why was I so afraid of that?” If they say no, not taking it personally, all these sorts of things, just finding another one, “What if we did it this way or…” It’s true. So much about life is about overcoming these fears.
Melinda Wittstock: I was curious about this concept of luck-worthy goals, because are some goals more lucky than other goals? I mean, how do you know that you’re in alignment, because on one hand, it’s like never give up? What if you’re going in the wrong direction?
Gay Hendricks: I love that.
Melinda Wittstock: How do you know? That’s a tricky one for entrepreneurs.
Carol Kline: Well, I love that concept of climbing a ladder but it’s up the wrong wall. The ladder is leaning up against the right wall. Gay has been so inspirational for me in this. I can’t say how lucky I feel to have written this book with Gay, because the guy’s the most original thinker. I have almost ever met one of them. I am listening to him speak now going, “Wow, that is so cool.” One of the things that Gay said, and we actually have a quote in the book, is that what you love to do and what is meaningful to you are twin strands of your DNA. That’s just… Gay, am I quoting you correctly?
Gay Hendricks: Yes, it’s important to realize that inside ourselves, what we most love to do is often the key to our flourishing, finding out more about what you most love to do and doing more of that. When I first started way back when I first glimmered on to the ideas that are in The Big Leap, I just finished my doctorate at Stanford, and I was working a lot with hi-tech executives, most of the time, very young hi-tech executives that were in these firms that would become huge over the next 30 years, things like Intel and Hewlett Packard and those kinds of things.
Gay Hendricks: I noticed that these people were incredibly bright in the mind oftentimes, but they often had gigantic gaps in their ability to deal with their inner world, things they were mad about or sad about or scared about. That’s why I often found it so much easier to work with women entrepreneurs because they had a great deal of more fluidity with knowing about their emotional lives than a lot of the men I was working with. If there’s one thing I would like to help men on this planet learn and have done the best of my ability is to open up to that emotional side of themselves and the spiritual side of themselves as well as the cognitive intellectual side of themselves.
Melinda Wittstock: I see that happening more and more. A lot of the men on my team, the chairman of my board, very, very conscious people. It could just be that going back to your point about who you surround yourself with is very important. I tend to now in my life attract that, and it makes all the difference in the world, but I see a lot more men embracing their, I guess we’ll talk in archetypes here, but embracing more of that kind of feminine archetype, embracing intuition, more empathetic, more willing to collaborate, that sort of thing.
Melinda Wittstock: Women too finding more of a balance there as well because for a long time, women, and I’m old enough to remember, often being the only woman in the room, only role models were men, and a lot of women felt they had to act like dudes, except we’re not and that gets all inauthentic and out of alignment as well. I’m encouraged or at least in my crowd or the entrepreneurs I know, there’s more of a move towards that. I don’t know if that’s true of hardcore engineering, right? [crosstalk 00:51:13] run tech teams.
Gay Hendricks: Well, I don’t think so.
Melinda Wittstock: Having run tech teams, oh my goodness, that’s a tough one.
Gay Hendricks: It really is. Although I think one of the encouraging things that I’ve seen over the past 20 years, we teach a lot of relationship seminars and workshops. When we began way back, it was always 75% women, 25% men, but now, many of our trainings are 50/50. In one a year or two ago, my wife phoned me and said, “Guess what? There are more men here than women.” It was a breakthrough moment for us.
Melinda Wittstock: This is why it’s so good, Gay, that you do this work. Maybe for some men, there’s some stigma around it, or they’ve been the macro that’s running in their brain as they always have to look strong, in control, all these sorts of things, and so being intuitive or being… That seems scary.
Gay Hendricks: Yes. Well, also, you got to remember too that for most of human evolution, people moved around as hunter-gatherers. So, if you’re a man out with a bunch of your buddies hunting a woolly mammoth, you tend to communicate very sparsely but also in grunts and short words. You don’t go off into philosophical explanations or anything. You’re after that woolly mammoth.
Melinda Wittstock: Right. Yeah, you got one shot.
Gay Hendricks: That’s right.
Melinda Wittstock: So you better be focused. I mean, that’s another interesting one about focus where a lot of female entrepreneurs, they have business models that tend to connect the dots, tend to apply technology. No, I mean, all companies but I see more of a prevalence of that kind of business model, where there’s more connective tissue, I guess, inherently in the model or the things that are going on in the business. Men and particularly investors will say, “Can’t you be more focused?” No one is like, “I am-”
Carol Kline: It’s a different kind of focus.
Melinda Wittstock: “I am focused. What are you talking about?” It’s so hilarious how… Well, not, but as it plays out when you’re raising money for a company like venture capital or whatever, it can be quite difficult for women because it’s like these two types of brains and experiences are talking past each other.
Carol Kline: One thing I wanted to bring out, Melinda, because you talked about intuition, and that actually is the one step we’ve gotten about seven steps in here. I’m keeping track.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh good. We’re getting through them. This is awesome.
Carol Kline: The eight? Yeah, not exactly like bing, bing, bing, but we’ve hit them, but the eight secret, and it’s not number eight, but a secret today that we’re going to talk about in our book has to do with intuition and your inner GPS, your intuition, your integrity, your values, and your actually being present in your body. That is one of a real key to luck. In much of the literature, the scientific literature about lucky people, they don’t second guess themselves. They tend to be very clear about… They look inside. They find things, and they’re true to their values.
Carol Kline: We have some great stories of how that plays out, but if you want to try and be at the right place at the right time, there’s no way to calculate that on the level of the intellect, but if you go to your inner self, your deep inner presence, and you are guided by that, then you’ll find yourself in the right place at the right time for magical wonderful things to happen to you always.
Melinda Wittstock: I love that sense of embodiment, because we can get very much in our heads, very left brain dominated in that willful place, and miss all the inspirations and opportunities that we’re being bombarded with all the time, but we’re so focused there that we miss those things. We don’t even hear the intuition.
Carol Kline: Right. Gay actually is the one that introduced me to the concept of what he calls essence pace. It has to do with moving through space in a way that is connected to your center, and you’ll arrive at the right place at the right time.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh my goodness, talk more about that, Gay. I want to hear all about that. That sounds cool, “essence pace”.
Gay Hendricks: Yes, a lot of us move either too fast for our own essence pace or too slow for our own essence pace. What I mean by that, I mean, just start physically for one moment. As you’re walking down the street, for example, there’s a certain pace that feels good to you and your body. If you exceed that, it doesn’t feel good. If you walk slower than that, it doesn’t feel as good, but then if you expand that idea out into other areas of your life like the way you move through your relationships or the way you move through your business day, the ideal state is when you’re moving through things at your own pace at a pace that feels good to you.
Gay Hendricks: That might be fast. That might be slow, but a lot of us get in a hurry, for example, and get out in front of our own essence pace, or we get sluggish for various reasons and get behind our own essence pace. It’s important to move through life at your own essence pace because that puts you in the right place at the right time for ideal things to happen to you. If you’re always out in front of the moment, for example, or just behind the moment, you’re not there when the good stuff happens. It’s like that John Lennon Song of long ago said, “Life is what’s happening while you’re busy making other plans.”
Melinda Wittstock: Right. It’s true. I’ve heard it said that if you want to make God laugh, just tell him you have a plan. It’s interesting you say about this because I realized actually that through a lot of my life, I was in such a hurry, because we’re all driven by these should’s, wherever they come from, media, friends, parents, the society generally, stories we tell ourselves, and so you think you have to hit a certain milestone by this date. You got to get the to-do list. You got to go, go, go, go, go, go, go. In my case, my Chinese animal, I’m a rabbit, so I’m fast. I walk fast.
Melinda Wittstock: I used to live in New York, and fast, fast, fast. Then I think I found my essence pace. I had to… I was missing things, or I was too ahead. I know exactly what you’re talking about, and I didn’t have the language for it, but there’s such a big shift and has been over the last, oh god, six, seven years for me to find that correct pace, not let my mind go way out ahead or whatever, and bring everybody home.
Gay Hendricks: I found exactly the same thing that I spent the first half of my life in a hurry. Now, I consider hurry a sign of mental illness.
Melinda Wittstock: Exactly. It’s true, but at the time, I guess we’re driven by, again, these unforeseen things thinking that we have to be at a certain place at a certain time. It’s funny actually.
Carol Kline: Well, for those of us fast walkers, I just want to say that you can have the essence pace go quickly as long as you’re present. We have a definition of the essence pace is that you’re centered. I love that because I am a fast walker but I noticed that unless I’m really present and intentional about it, it does get to be just anxiety. It’s just out in front.
Melinda Wittstock: Exactly. That is my New York walk that my partner teases me about. When we go back to the city, he’s like, “Okay, there it is again, Melinda. You’re [inaudible 00:59:35] go back into your fast walk.” I’ve really become conscious of it, but how funny. I love that essence pace. Is there one more in this list? I mean, everybody listening here today, you must get this book, Conscious Luck: Eight Secrets to Intentionally Change Your Fortune. I can’t wait to read it myself.
Gay Hendricks: One other thing I really want to get in, though, is an important one in the book that we touched on a little bit today. I think we’ve touched on all of them, but the idea that you can rededicate any negative emotions you feel in your body. You can rededicate them to being an attractor fields for good luck. I talk a lot about shame in the book and some experiences I had discovering shame in myself, and where I felt it in my body and then realizing, “Oh, well, that territory is now opened up.” Just like if I had a field if I were a farmer, and suddenly realized that I had a garlic field, but I wanted to replant it with roses, that would be, “Okay, you could just do that.”
Gay Hendricks: So I realized I’m going to dedicate this whole field of shame I felt inside about childhood stuff. I’m going to rededicate that field to being an attractor field for good luck. In many of my seminars over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of watching people that I was teaching that to actually do that on the spot. Then they’ll go out for lunch during the seminar and come back with these wild tales of lucky things that happened through them over lunch. I never get tired of hearing that.
Melinda Wittstock: I love that though because it’s a powerful visual to literally plant a feeling, and rededicate it, just consciously say, “I think there’s so many tools like this that are actually quite elegantly simple when you get to them, but a beautiful visualization there.” Gosh, I could talk to you both for a lot longer. You’re just going to have to come back, but this was amazing. Thank you so much, so inspiring. Again, I want you to tell everybody where they can get the book.
Gay Hendricks: Yes, the best place is to go to consciousluck.com, just like the title of the book, consciousluck.com. There are places you can buy the book. The usual place is Amazon and Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million and places like that, but you can also get a number of interesting bonuses like two meditations that we’ve recorded specially in our own voices to use it morning and evening to replant the field for good luck every day.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s wonderful. Well, Carol and Gay, thank you so much for putting on your wings and flying with us today.
Gay Hendricks: Thank you. It was wonderful.
Carol Kline: It was a great flight.
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