I've always been a big Carlos Castaneda fan, and his semi-fictional books have always been an inspiration. Now and then I revisit some of that information, and one piece in particular kept leaping into my awareness this past couple of weeks.
I believe it was the character Don Genaro, who, after appearing to Castaneda face to face in front of the casita where they were staying, suddenly and without warning re-appeared on the casita roof.
Flabbergasted, Castaneda blurted out, "What does this mean, Don Genaro?"
Genaro paused and looked out to the horizon for a long time from his perch on the roof, then said, "It's about getting in front of your life. If life is coming at you, you're doing it wrong. Be in front--like a leader of the pack." Genaro then jumped down off the roof, but seemed to be floating. "See? Live your life as a director, not a follower."
So many things seem to "happen to us", when actually we created them, or contributed to them happening. And yet, we seem to insist on being at the effect, or victim, of our circumstances and life events. When we assume the position of victim, or being at the effect, we give up any input energy that we may be able to change things with. That stance also leads to more victim-ness, as life saunters on like a slow moving tsunami, taking out the carefully built foundations and structures we've used to keep being at the effect.
One handy mind hack is to be mindful of when you put yourself at the effect of circumstances. Then say, "Interesting thing I created there. What is my next best move?" This replaces the inner rhetoric that usually goes on: "Damn. This pattern again. Will I ever learn? I'm tired of everything working against me."... etc. etc.
What we can create--and create in an instant--is an awareness of one of my favorite concepts: "Pronoia": The feeling and observation that Life is working in your favor. If you can perceive circumstances as being to your advantage, no matter how extreme or disadvantageous, then you've begun to "lead the pack".
Leading the pack also means seeing things the way they are NOW--not compared to the way they were, or some other past perceived joyful nirvana. Chances are that joyful nirvana is a self-defeating construct intended to neutralize best intentions in the present. "Youth is wasted on the young", or "The good ol' days are gone", or "It'll never be as good as it once was." These are all victim declarations, because they instantly dis-empower any present or future action to create brand new ways of joy and ease.
So assume the stance of Life Leader. Get out in front of circumstances simply by assuming that point of view. Then, sally forth confident that life is always working in your favor...