Janelle's Blog

The Survivors Club-Part 2 of 2


I set the book, The Survivors Club, on the night stand beside my bed after I had turned the last spell-binding page. Most people never have events in their lives that compare to the stories told by Ben Sherwood, New York Times bestselling author. My mind wandered through the stories I had read in the book…stories of people who survived extreme experiences—stories of those who wouldn’t give up.

Read The Survivors Club-Part 1 to learn more of Ben Sherwood’s background in survival training and how he used his own experiences, combined with scientific research, to amaze you with real-life stories.

When I came to a section of the book that talked about luck, I almost closed my mind since I have never believed in any form of luck. However, that is the interesting thing about reading. You can broaden your perspective of life and situations by seeking to understand other people’s point of view.

Ben Sherwood cites researcher Richard Wiseman, who has interviewed people that consider themselves to be lucky and unlucky. Wiseman has four factors that he thinks constitute a lucky person.

First, lucky people constantly happen upon chance opportunities.

“Being in the right place at the right time is actually all about being in the right state of mind,” Wiseman writes. He says those who think they are lucky operate at a heightened awareness of the world around them, seizing opportunities others miss, and have a “network of luck” by being more social.

When I was in the hospital recovering from a mastectomy, thoughts ran rampant through my mind. My imagination worked overtime thinking mostly of the possibilities of how my life was ruined because of breast cancer. I imagined my husband would divorce me (I’m celebrating my 44th anniversary this year). I imagined my friends would have nothing to do with me, but that, too, wasn’t the case. I imagined I would not be able to maintain my femininity, but these years later, I cherish my femininity more than ever.

The mind can block opportunities or open the door to new possibilities.

If you want that “network of luck,” try going to our website social network of survivors and friends at MyNBCF. You’ll find caring, loving people who can relate to your difficulties.

Second, lucky people listen to their hunches and make good decisions without really knowing why.

Wiseman writes, “Lucky people’s gut feelings and hunches tended to pay off time and time again. In contrast, unlucky people often ignore their intuition and regret their decision.”

Many times I have been able to avert bad situations when I follow my instincts. And, when I override my instincts, I always asked myself why I didn’t listen to them.

When you make several good decisions, others follow. Your first thought will go to the best way to do something instead of how to avoid what is right. People who continually pile up their mistakes and won’t listen to advice others give them frequently go down wrong paths. They become unlucky in everything they do.

Third, lucky people persevere in the face of failure and have an uncanny knack of making their wishes come true.

Persistence is underrated in my opinion. Whether it is an athlete or scholar, neither will tell you that they completed their accomplishment by giving up too soon or letting go of their dreams. Your dreams have to be in front of you at all times. When you grow weary, take a breather, refresh yourself, then refocus on your goals.

Fourth, lucky people have a special ability to turn bad luck into good fortune.

Breast cancer survivors must not allow their struggle with breast cancer to stop them from achieving success in their lives. Breast cancer is a turn in the road, not a dead end. Let the best part of you emerge in time of greatest need and the worst part will fall away.

I can’t say I now believe in luck. But, I do believe the principles Ben Sherwood points out will help you find a better way of living and coping with life.

Thought for Today:

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”—Seneca quotes (Roman philosopher, mid-1st century AD)

Live Life,


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