Adhere to general feng shui tips but haven’t seen a change in your luck? Don’t be too quick to trash the ancient practice—you probably haven’t been applying it properly. But before you figure out how to actually make it work in your favour, you should first understand the basics of Chinese geomancy. We got feng shui masters Dato Joey Yap and Adelina Pang to shed some light.

What is feng shui?

Simply put, feng shui is the observation of qi (energy) in an environment where a person lives or works. When you balance out the energies correctly, you’ll see an improvement in the quality of your life—like progress in your health, wealth and relationships.

According to Adelina, qi fills all things and takes a vague form. Basically, everything is a form of energy, and as you might expect, there are two types: positive and negative.

How does feng shui work? 

“For the application of feng shui to be effective, you have to evaluate the energy flow of your environment,” says Adelina. If this is for your home, you should get an evaluation on the exterior of your building and your interior space—the latter of which involves a focus on the positions of your doors, stoves and beds, among other things.

A feng shui master will not only tell you where the positive and negative energies are, but also the changes you should make to balance them out and create a more harmonious living environment.

“Think of qi as a Wi-Fi connection. It’s already present, so all you need to do is to connect to the right one and avoid the negative sectors,” explains Joey.

And here’s the thing: feng shui will still work for you (if applied properly, that is) even if you have your doubts about it.

Adelina says: “You don’t have to believe in it for it to work. Feng shui is based on science [metaphysics], not spiritual or mythical traditions. It just has to be applied by an expert auditor for it to work.”

Why feng shui isn’t working in your favour

For one, you should probably seek out personalised feng shui advice from a master if you’re serious about trying to turn your luck around—what works for another may not necessarily work for you. And if you haven’t already had one, you should get a bazi (destiny analysis planning) reading done to understand your strengths and weakness and recognise the opportunities around you.

Already had a bazi reading but things still haven’t been looking up? It’s probably because you’ve been resistant to change and haven’t actually been heeding the master’s advice.

“A bazi reading can tell you, say, which relationships you should nurture, and the potential health issues in your way. But there is no point of knowing your future when you are not ready to change yourself, like if you aren’t willing to take the necessary precautions to protect your health. There is only one person who can change your destiny, and that’s you,” says Adelina.

“Many things are uncertain in life and we are here to help you prepare for the difficult times. When you’re willing to make changes to yourself, you can better plan ahead and make informed decisions that will benefit your life the most.”

She emphasises that you also shouldn’t rely solely on feng shui because it only has power over a certain aspect of your life.

“The way you act and behave, as well as your attitude towards things and the decisions you make, have great effects on your life. Also, you need to consider your life destiny when weighing the outcome of events.”

No such thing as “lucky colours”

Been trying to turn things around by wearing your “lucky colours”? There apparently is no such thing.

“Colours do not affect feng shui in any way. The colour of your walls, cabinets, tiles or carpets should boil down to your personal preference. They give a psychological impact more than an actual feng shui effect and will not improve nor worsen your luck or wealth capabilities in any way,” says Joey.

Adelina agrees: “Colours have little influence in feng shui and are more of a psychological thing. They just affect our moods but we should try to avoid vibrant colours such as red, orange and yellow as they may empower the energy of sickness or obstacles.”

Some tips for luck in your life

But that’s not to say you can’t rely on general feng shui tips for a boost in luck, of course. If you’re looking for love this year, both masters say that you should be located in and/or use the area of the southwest. And they both suggest using the water element at home or in the office to activate this energy: Adelina suggests placing fresh flowers in a bowl of water while Joey suggests setting up a water feature.

If it’s career opportunities that you want, Joey says that you should position your desk in the southeast sector: “If your main door is located in this sector, there’s a chance that you’ll be given greater responsibilities this year. And if you’re a business owner, you can tap into the energy here for business expansion and potential partner collaboration.”

And if you want to enhance your self-improvement this year, he recommends using the northeast area.

“Make this area your work or study area to improve your literary or communication skills. If your main door happens to be in this sector, it could provide ample opportunities in 2020.”