Using “Conscious Luck” to Take Your Next Big Leap with Gay Hendricks
What if we could create our own luck? How would you feel if being lucky… was within our control? The good news… it’s possible! Today we are going to give you the secret to finding and using “Conscious Luck” to take your next big leap.
Several years ago, a friend recommended a book called The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks of Hearts in Harmony with Katie and Gay Hendricks. Gay Hendricks has served for more than 40 years as one of the major contributors to the fields of relationship transformation and body-mind therapies. Throughout his career, Dr. Hendricks has coached 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 New York Times bestseller Five Wishes, which has been translated into 17 languages.
Dr. Hendricks received his Ph. D. in counseling psychology from Stanford University. After a 21-year career as a professor at the University of Colorado, he founded the Hendricks Institute, which offers seminars in North America, Asia, and Europe. Gay has offered seminars worldwide and appeared on more than 500 radio and television shows, including Oprah, CNN, CNBC, 48 Hours, and others.
He is also a founder of The Spiritual Cinema Circle. In recent years, his passion has been writing a new series of mystery novels featuring the Tibetan Buddhist private detective, Tenzing Norbu. Ten’s first adventure was The First Rule of Ten, followed by The Second Rule of Ten, and more to come.
Not only did The Big Leap help me see how I can actually control time and expand the possibility of abundance in my business, it shifted the way I approach and enjoy everything in my life, even when faced with seemingly difficult situations. The Big Leap has given me tools to put my experience and my results firmly in my own control. It is required reading for my clients and central in what I teach as I help you up level your video and marketing skills. Since then, reading other books by Dr. Hendricks have had similar effects. Five Wishes, The Joy of Genius… all hugely impactful. And he’s done it again!
His newest book Conscious Luck, which he wrote with Carol Kline, shares eight secrets to intentionally changing your fortune.
He has stayed safe and busy during the pandemic. Since people have been home a lot more, they are taking more e-courses. Katie is starting their Conscious Loving Advanced Training virtually, as all of their courses and seminars have transitioned to the virtual space, which is super cool because their audience is more global than before.
Gay’s friend Stephen Simon is a film producer. Around 2003, they created The Spiritual Cinema Circle, a community of thousands of people around the world who received monthly DVDs that included a feature and several shorts of an uplifting nature.
- One time, they got an email from a woman who said she lived in a small village in Pakistan but would walk all day long to get to the US Aid location where they had Gay’s DVDs. It’s a testimony to “how human beings have an immense amount of potential that we don’t get to use.” Gay has tuned into people everywhere through his teachings around the world. “The greatest source of pain is not hunger, but the hunger to make a contribution to open up to our full potential and the heartbreak that comes from not being able to do that.”
Flat on his back
Gay understands this. He was born with some crazy medical problems in his thyroid, so he was very fat when he was a kid. They put him on amphetamines to help him lose weight. It wasn’t until he had an enlightenment experience at 24 that he was able to lose more than 100 pounds and become a much more fit 6’ tall person.
When he was 24, he was in a relationship he had been in for a couple of years that he realized was a mistake and didn’t know how to leave it. We have all felt trapped in some place where we knew it was good for our mental or physical health to leave but you couldn’t.
One day, he went out for a walk on a cold winter day in New Hampshire. He stepped on a patch of ice on the road that was covered in snow, and he fell flat on his back. He didn’t knock himself out, but he describes it as an “out of Hendricks” experience. For about two minutes, he had a very new vision of himself. It was as if he could see down through the levels of himself. He could see how his fat was covering deeper stuff inside him, like feelings he had been repressing. But at the bottom, there was a vast, open space of pure creative consciousness that didn’t have any kind of programming on it. He realized he could lead a new life for himself.
Upper Limit Problem
Once you go on a diet, you start to lose some weight. Then you hit the upper limit problem. You lose weight for three days but have an overwhelming urge to binge-eat half a jar of peanut butter. He lost 35 pounds in his first month of dieting after the enlightenment experience. As a result, he felt amazing. But one day, he was walking down the street and saw a family eating a banana split. In that moment, he lost consciousness, ran inside, and asked for one of those. He sat down and gobbled down the whole thing in 20 minutes. About 20 minutes after that, he got the worst stomach ache of his life. All of that junk food hit a body that was more pure after a month of eating super well.
The job is to let yourself feel good for longer and longer periods of time. Don’t sabotage yourself. So this became Gay’s life obsession: helping people break free from their own patterns of self-sabotage and create a new life that is informed but not limited by their past.
Feeling Good Inside
Gay asks the question at the beginning in The Big Leap: Am I willing to increase the amount of time every day that I feel good inside? This seems simple, but it’s counterintuitive. In life, there is one big task, which is to do whatever you can to expand the amount of love and pure creative energy in your life. This is Gay’s life purpose and has been for 40 years, as he inspires others to do the same. It doesn’t matter if he is doing it in front of millions of people on TV or in front of one person sitting next to him on the airplane.
Here’s the problem: Human beings have a built-in fear mechanism that makes us contract when we feel fear. Then we start feeling exhilarated, where we think life is working and we feel the flow of intimacy. Some fear then comes up. That fear throws us into what Gay calls Personality #2.
Our 2 personalities
- Personality #1 is outgoing, fun, wants to meet people, wants to contribute to the world, wants to feel the flow of intimacy.
- Personality #2 is our defensive history of things that we have been traumatized by, such as the moment you realize you can’t please everyone. This personality doesn’t know how to get attention in a positive way, so it acts out in problematic ways. We need to understand how to keep Personality #2 glued in place.
Many people have a deep fear that there is something fundamentally wrong with or bad about them that they need to fix, or which means they don’t deserve things like love. That’s just not true; that’s a figment of our programming. Everyone deserves love, abundance, and creativity. We need to learn to love this part of ourselves and discover why we came to feel that way.
You were born incredibly lucky; each one of us was in a sprint with hundreds of thousands of other sperm and you won. As soon as you become one with the egg, there is a moment of unity where the tops of our heads blow off and release all the genetic information. So why are men skittish about relationships? The first time it happened, men’s heads blew off… Anyway. Of all the species on the planet, you got born into the species where you can have a conversation about it, so let’s celebrate that, too.
A dear friend of mine, a coach, gave us all a copy of Five Wishes, a book I love. The copy she gave me was printed upside down. I was so thrilled. In Conscious Luck, Gay talks about brushing your teeth with your other hand in order to shake things up. I have to flip this book upside down in order to read it, which gets me out of my habitual way of thinking. In life and business, it’s so easy to assume that someone is not on our side. But these moments are actually signs that we can shift into a new level of possibility.
The Four Zones
- The Zone of Incompetence: Where you’re doing things you’re not good at.
- The Zone of Competence: Doing stuff you’re good at but someone else could do it just as well.
- The Zone of Excellence: where you’re doing things you’re really good at that get you props, yet it’s not ultimately satisfying because it’s not tapping into your true genius;
- Your Genius zone: Which is what you most love to do and what you’re most suited to do here in your time on this planet.
The Fear of Outshining
A second fear that Gay shares in The Big Leap is the fear of outshining other people. Many people in service-oriented professions who have an urge to help other people reach their full potential often also have a fear of outshining them. This often stems from a feeling of compassion during childhood where you have some talent but other people in your family don’t have it, so you feel you have to hide it. The trick is to learn how to shine in a way where your illumination helps other people shine themselves, not steal from them. The more you live in your true potential, the more it inspires others to do the same. There is a world waiting to support you if you allow yourself to be supported.
How do birds get across the sky? They don’t do it with so much effort; they ride the currents and soar. There is this hummingbird that only weighs a couple ounces and flies 500 miles across the Gulf of Mexico from Guatemala to Alabama without stopping to eat because that’s the thing to do. They like that trip apparently. Then they fly back later. Somehow, they are tapped into a larger flow of energy. In Gay’s opinion, we all have access to that flow for free.
Think of luck as wind currents that you learn to ride. The winds of luck are always blowing. In Conscious Luck, Gay lays out eight pathways to tap into that luck. These allow you to make a lot less effort. Gay started living in his genius zone about 40 years ago and actively worked on expanding the amount of time he spends in this zone every year. He has a new book called The Genius Zone coming out soon.
The Genius Zone
A lot of us spend time in what Gay calls the incompetence zone, doing things you’re not good at.
In 1977, Gay figured out that what he is doing right now is his genius zone. Now he is 75 years old, and he is clearly way too excited still about what we’re talking about today. Gay didn’t know how to make a living at this at first. But he set up a group of six other psychologists who were all dissatisfied with the medical machine. They realized you need to do more than just talking; the whole being needs to be involved in the process of transformation. The next year, his income doubled. The year after that, his income tripled.
Once you get honed in on your genius zone, it doesn’t feel like work anymore. It doesn’t matter if you do it three or 13 hours a day. Gay got up at 4am this morning. 5am-8am is Gay’s creative sweet spot. Katie likes to sleep in until around 7:30 or so, so the first couple hours, it’s just Gay and the cats.
One way you can tell you’re not in your genius zone is there is a presence of fear somewhere in your body. That is a great way to know that genius isn’t operating because when you’re in your genius, you feel a flow of exhilaration. First of all, cultivate the ability to know when you’re scared or not; most people feel butterflies in their stomach when they feel fear, but that may not be true for you. Figure out where you feel sensations of fear because that is a reliable indicator of recognizing you aren’t doing something in your genius zone.
Fear vs. Anticipation
However, it is important to distinguish between feelings of fear and feelings of anticipation. In Conscious Loving Forever After, Gay and Katie wrote about couples in their 40s and older. They found that the big factor of sustaining a relationship in these ages is creativity and finding new outlets for it. This makes for much better intimacy. One thing that happens in relationships is if one person is not learning much about the world or themselves, and the other person in the relationship is, that can be a real problem.
The very first time Gay ever went to Europe several decades ago, he was sitting on a park bench sipping an espresso. A woman in her 60s plopped down on the park bench next to him and wrote some notes in her journal. He commented on the new look of her sneakers. She said, “Yeah, they’re my sixth pair of sneakers this trip.” “Where did you walk here from?” “Arizona.”
She retired from being a school principal when she was 62 and decided to fulfill a lifelong dream of walking around the world. After asking her husband to come with her, he said, “no,” he was satisfied with his current life circumstances. He told her to go on the trip and he would visit her every few months. She started walking west, going from Arizona to California, taking a boat over to Asia. Then she decided to walk back east instead, walking to the east coast. By the time Gay met her, she’d been on this journey for a couple of years. As soon as that conversation was over, she got herself together and trekked off. He asked where she was going, and she said, “Portugal.”
I am big on a process called wet felting. During the pandemic, I have allowed myself to set aside some time to be creative in that wet felting away from my business and other parts of my life. I also take singing lessons every week, which is no longer part of my professional life. These times allow us to own our creative and feel who we are as humans. Owning our creative potential is one of the great things to do in life if we want to have fulfilled lives.
Five Wishes is really about how to figure out what the most five important things for you to accomplish in your lifetime are. Gay meets people all the time who say to him, “I read Five Wishes, and it turned my life upside down.” Now Gay can say he knows a person whose whole book was turned upside down…
Conscious Luck is Gay’s latest book, where he discusses eight secrets to intentionally change your fortune. What’s great about my copy of this book is that there is a CliffNotes version on the inside cover of the book, which is awesome since I am running my boys’ school right now, too.
If you can only do one thing that the book suggests, take a moment right now to create one new positive thought about your luck, “I’m willing to be luckier every day of my life.” See if you can honestly embrace this idea for yourself. Feel how that feels in your body.
First, open the willingness. Willingness gets you up to the gate, and commitment gets you through it. Take another minute of your life to focus on commitment. Would you be willing to make a commitment to increasing your luck every day of your life? You don’t know how yet, but it’s a commitment to figure it out. Once you begin to look for ways to increase your luck, that is the journey.
Gay has a multi-million-dollar story of making an accidental, unplanned visit in his office in Santa Barbara in the mid-90s. At that moment, a stockbroker had stopped in and was talking to Katie about an electronic start-up that he wanted them to purchase stock in. Long story short, they said yes and invested a small amount of money that became a large amount of money during the dot com era. Those moments of being in the right place at the right time, you can engineer those moments and make them more likely by doing things more actively.
No longer being served by your house or dwelling
Gay would immediately say, “Let’s wonder if you are no longer being served by your house or dwelling.” This is a metaphor for not wanting to be there anymore. He advises that she look into that. It’s a wink from the universe to figure out where you actually would love to live and love to drive. Even if you can’t afford to do so right now, it’s good to be aware of this anyway because these are the broadcasting signals the universe is looking for.
I have had a lot of guilt around the word “lucky” because someone I love and admire said to me, “Molly, don’t say you’re lucky. You’re creating this. It’s not luck.” This idea of being able to embrace the idea that I am lucky again and not feel shame around it, it’s a daily gratitude that I send Gay’s way.
If you want to learn more about Gay and his teachings, we have tons of links for you below! Remember to connect with us too, we would love to hear how you are using your “Conscious Luck” to take your next big leap!
Want more ways to help your clients? Check out our post on how to create experiences for your clients!
- The Big Leap Podcast with Gay Hendricks & Mike Koenigs
- Foundation for Conscious Living
- The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
- Conscious Loving by Gay Hendricks & Kathlyn Hendricks
- The Corporate Mystic by Gay Hendricks & Kate Ludeman
- Five Wishes by Gay Hendricks
- Conscious Luck by Gay Hendricks & Carol Kline
- The Genius Zone by Gay Hendricks
Connect with Molly