Occasionally I write a blog that makes people mad. I guess this blog might anger some and stir up strange feelings in others. That’s okay. I’m not always going to say what you want to hear but maybe, just perhaps, I am saying something you NEED to hear.

I share a lot on social media, and that vulnerability has been helpful for many, but sometimes it seems to cause resentment in others. I often hear how “lucky” I am to be able to do what I do, or travel as I have, or be remarried after the loss of my late husband. It comes from having a big social media following, and it’s part of the process.

Just like many of you, I follow people on social media that I respect, appreciate, and learn from, and many of them have had similar “luck” like me. They are satisfied, happy, forward-thinking and willing to be vulnerable with their thoughts and feelings.

Ironically, I’ve never once thought to myself:

“Wow, they are so lucky, I wish I had their luck!!”

Typically the thoughts that run through my head are more along the lines of:

“How hard they must work.”

“How brave they are.”

I don’t see these people as lucky individuals because life has taught (often in a cruel way) that every single human on this earth has difficulties (granted, some have it worse than others) and we should never judge a book by the chapter we walked in on. For all I know, these people hit a horrific rock bottom before they pulled themselves up and made the changes in their lives that needed to be done to reach that level of success. Perhaps they had a terrible childhood, overcame significant life obstacles or silenced self-doubt to become who they are.

I see this pattern in all backgrounds and with all kinds of people. Somehow, we minimize the success of others to make ourselves feel better about being stuck in our current situation. We see someone else’s success as a judgment of our present financial status, life happiness or personal growth, rather than looking at all the ways they kicked ass in life, despite difficulties to improve their world!

As for me, I’ve overcome my fair share of crap to get to where I am today. I’ve blogged about many of my personal hardships, most of which go well beyond widowhood, and I’ve been open and forthcoming with my struggles. Still, people walk in on this current chapter, assume they know my life and cast a wide net of “luck” around my world.

Let me reframe this for those who are still reading.

Life is what you make of it….PERIOD.

You are going to have cards dealt your way that SUCK and are unfair and make you feel like the world has turned against you. These cards make you feel terrible, sad, weak and afraid. We all get these cards in life, and the difference between those who rise and take back their life and those who give up is all in their ATTITUDE.

Luck has little to nothing to do with what happens next in your life.

You have the opportunity to be a victim or a victor and each day you can make 100 different choices to start taking back your power.

My suggestion on how to start getting LUCKY?

#1 – Write a list of 3 things daily you will get done to better your life and take you where you need to go.

#2 – EXERCISE and move your body every day. Movement is a metaphor for life as you put one foot in front of the other.

#3 – Meditate and spend 5-10 minutes a day slowing down the waves of thoughts that overwhelm your life.

#4 – Learn and grow every day in life. Luck comes to the prepared.

#5 – Follow and surround yourself with individuals who make the most of each day and inspire you to do the same.

#6 – Practice GRATITUDE because if you never stop and see the good, you have NOW it will never grow.

#7 – Eat better because the food you consume makes a difference in the way you feel.

#8 – Stop making excuses for your lack of luck and start making progress. Baby steps count.

#9 – Don’t say, “yeah, but” when you notice someone else’s success. Instead, admire their guts and follow their lead.

#10 – Change your mind. Lucky people have a positive mindset and won’t settle for a life of negativity.

#11 – Get off the beaten path. The people who are often the most successful have been willing to go a different route.

#12 – Stop caring what others think. If you stop and worry about the opinion of others, you will never reach your potential.

#13 – Love yourself. You won’t ever get “lucky” if you hate who you are.

#14 – Be brave. You can’t be lucky if you aren’t willing to take a few risks.

Now, some have read this, and are still going to say, “yeah, but” and tell themselves all the ways they just can’t because of X, Y, and Z. For them, life is just impossible.

To those people I will say….you are right, you can’t.

As Zig Ziglar once said, “Your attitude determines your altitude.”

Rise or fall.

In this life, only you decide, and only you define you.


temp-post-imageMichelle Steinke-Baumgard is an author, speaker, fitness coach, mother and remarried widow. After losing her husband Mitch in 2009 she turned to exercise as an outlet for grief and a way to handle stress. Michelle found it so powerful that she eventually quit her corporate job to become a fitness trainer. Since then Michelle has been featured in Fitness Magazine, Shape Magazine, Woman’s Day Magazine, contributed to articles for Prevention Magazine, The Huffington Post, and countless other media outlets. In addition to her virtual training business, Michelle recently launched her own non-profit focused on helping widows and widowers complete bucket list dreams to honor their late spouse while moving boldly into their future.Pick up a copy of Michelle’s new book on presale, Healthy Healing, and learn how and why fitness matters during life’s hardest moments.



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