"The Luck Factor" by Richard Wiseman 

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People are not born lucky.  Instead, lucky people are, without realizing it, using four basic principles to create good fortune in their lives.  Understand the principles and you understand luck itself.  More importantly, these principles ca be used to enhance the amount of good luck that you experience in your life.

 

Luck Profile

 

Do not spend too long thinking about each statement and answer as honestly as possible.

 

   Statement                                                             Your Rating (1 - 5)       

 

1.  I sometimes chat to stranger when standing in line at the supermarket or bank.

__________________________________________________________

 

2.  I do not have a tendency to worry and feel anxious about life.

__________________________________________________________

 

3.  I am open to new experiences, such as trying new types of food or drinks.

__________________________________________________________

 

4.  I often listen to and act on my gut feelings and hunches.

__________________________________________________________

 

5.  I have tried some techniques to boost my intuition, such as meditation or just going to a quiet place.

__________________________________________________________

 

6.  I nearly always expect good things to happen to me in the future.

__________________________________________________________

 

7.  I tend to try to get what I want from life, even if the chances of success seem slim.

__________________________________________________________

 

8.  I expect most of the people that I meet to be pleasant, friendly and helpful.

__________________________________________________________

 

9.  I tend to look on the bright side of whatever happens to me.

__________________________________________________________

 

10.  I believe that even negative events will work out well for me in the long run.

__________________________________________________________

 

11.  I don't tend to dwell on the things that haven't worked out well for me in the past.

__________________________________________________________

 

12.  I try to learn from the mistakes that I have made in the past.

 


50% of people consider themselves lucky.

36% of people consider themselves neutral.

14% of people consider themselves unlucky.

 

I wonder if this 14% unlucky corresponds with the percentage of the population who are Introverted Intuitive Perceivers on the Meyers Briggs personality scale as their natural personality is the opposite of the traits mentioned above.  This would point to why some people seem to be "naturally" lucky and others "naturally" unlucky.

 

 

Lucky people create, notice and act upon the chance opportunities in their life.

 

Lucky people are often convinced that opportunities are the result of pure chance.  They just happen to open the newspapers at the right page, come across the right page on the Internet, walk down the street at the right time or go to a party and meet the right person but my work revealed that these seemingly chance opportunities are the result of lucky people's psychological make-up.  The way they think and behave makes them far more likely than others to create, notice and act upon chance opportunities in their lives.

 

One example is Wendy, who wins huge numbers of contests she enters.  She explains,  

"I win a lot of competitions and prizes, but I do put a huge amount of effort into it.  People always said to me they think I'm very lucky because of the amount of competitions that I win.  But then they tell me that they don't enter many themselves, and I think, 'Well, if you don't enter, you have no chance of winning.'  They look at me as being very lucky, but I think you make your own luck...as I say to them 'You've got to be in to win." 

    Personality Dimensions

 

After years of research, most psychologists agree that there are only five underlying dimensions to our personalities: five dimensions which we all vary.  These dimensions have been found in both the young and old, in men and women and across many different cultures.  These dimensions are often referred to as Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Neuroticism and Openness. 

 

I compared the personalities of lucky and unlucky people on the five dimensions of personality.  The first dimension I examined is referred to as 'Agreeableness'.  This is a measure of the degree to which someone is symapathetic towards others and willing to help them.  I wondered whether lucky people were the recipients of large amounts of good fortune because then tended to help others and so others tended to help them in return.  Interestingly, lucky people scored no higher on Agreeableness than unlucky people.

 

The second dimension that I examined was that of Conscientiousness.  This is a measure of the degree to which a person is self-disciplined, strong willed and determined.  Perhaps lucky people experienced more good fortune because they simply worked harder than unlucky people.  But once again, there was very little difference in the Conscientiousness scores of lucky and unlucky people.

 

The groups did, however, obtain very different scores on the remaining three personality dimensions - Extroversion, Neuroticism and Openness.  The differences explained why lucky people constantly encounter chance opportunities in their lives while unlucky people do not.

 

 

Lucky people build and maintain a strong 'network of luck'.

 

My research revealed that lucky people scored much higher than unlucky people on a dimension of personality known as Extroversion.  Extroverts are far more sociable than introverts.  They enjoy spending time visiting friends and going to parties, and tend to be attracted to jobs that involve working with other people.  Introverts are far more inward looking.  They are happy to spend time on their own, and feel most contented when engaged in more solitary activities, such as reading a good book.

 

Additional research revealed that there are three ways in which lucky people's extroversion significantly increases the likelihood of them having a lucky chance encounter - meeting a large number of people, being a 'social magnet', and keeping in contact with people.

 

First, the more people they meet, the greater opportunity they have of running into someone who has a positive effect on their lives.  (In the book, "The Tipping Point," these individuals are referred to as 'Connectors'.)

 

Many lucky people also reported how they consistently experienced good luck by simply connecting with the people they met on a daily basis.  As stated by one individual, "I've learned that if you initiate conversation with people you can get a lot out of it - to me, it improves my luck immensely.' 

 

Another way in which lucky people increase the likelihood of chance encounters in their lives revolves around a concept known as 'social magnetism'.  Psychologists have noticed that certain people seem able to draw other people towards them.  These 'social magnets' often find that whenever they go to parties or attend meetings, strangers initiate conversations with them.  When they walk along the street, people frequently ask them for directions or the correct time.  For some strange reason, other people just seem drawn to them.  Perhaps not surprisingly, far more extroverts than introverts are 'social magnets'.

 

Research has revealed that these people attract others because, without realizing is, 'social magnets' exhibit the types of body language and facial expressions that other people find attractive and inviting.  Interestingly, lucky people exhibit exactly the same pattern of behavior.

 

The differences between the lucky and unlucky people were dramatic.  The lucky people smiled twice as much as unlucky people and engaged in far more eye contact.  However, perhaps the biggest difference emerged when we examined the degree to which they engaged in 'open' or 'closed' body language. 

 

Lucky people tended to engage in three times as much 'open' body language as unlucky people.  Lucky people's body language and facial expressions attract other people to them, and the more people they meet, the greater the probability of them having a chance encounter.  The more people they talk to at a party, the greater their chances of meeting their dream partner.  The more people they talk to about business, the greater the chances of meeting a new client or someone who has a beneficial impact on their career.

 

Lucky people are effective at building secure, and long lasting attachments with the people that they meet.  They are easy to get to know and most people like them.  They tend to be trusting and form close friendships with others.  As a result, they often keep in touch with a much larger number of friends and colleagues than unlucky people, and time and time again, this network of friends helps promote opportunity in their lives.

 

From a connector who has built an impressive network dating back to school and organizes parties for 50 of her closest friends:   

I'm a collector of people; I like people and don't have any problems making friends.  And I try to keep in touch with them all.  You can't keep in touch with everybody, but I try my best.

 

 

Connectors are sincere and authentic.

 

These characteristics are effective because they help set up, and maintain a huge 'network of luck'.  Sociologists have estimated that on average we all know approximately 300 people on first name terms.  Those 300 individuals know 300 people themselves, who also know 300 people.  You are only two handshakes away from 90,000 new possibilities for a chance opportunity, just by saying hello to one new person.  See how this increases your odds?

 

Without realizing it, lucky people behave in a way that maximizes the chance opportunities in their lives.   They talk to many other people, attract other people to them and keep in touch with people.  This results in a massive 'network of luck' and a huge potential for chance opportunities.  It only takes one chance encounter to change a life.

 

 

    So what can you do?

 

Go to more events or parties.  Try to find somebody that's interesting to talk to and engage in discussion on topics of their choosing.  People will be drawn to you if you are interested in them.  Don't just talk to people, listen as well.  It's about sharing information, and you need to go to a lot of effort to connect with other people.

 

It's a probability game.  If you meet twenty people in a week, chances are you're going to meet someone who's interesting.  So, part of it is just improving your odds of experiencing nice events, nice encounters, by getting yourself out there.

 

Lucky people have a relaxed attitude towards life

 

Quite often, we are simply unaware of the opportunities that surround us because we are too focused on looking for something else.  Because lucky people tend to be more relaxed then most, they are more likely to notice chance opportunities, even when they are not expecting them.

 

Lucky people's ability to notice opportunities is a result of their relaxed way of looking at the world. It is not that they expect to find certain opportunities, but rather that they notice tem when they come across them. 

 

In contrast, unlucky people tend to be more anxious.  They might be focused on getting to a meeting on time, thinking about finding a new job or worrying about the problems in their lives.  As a result, they have a very narrow, focused, beam of attention that can cause them to miss the unexpected opportunities that surround them on a daily basis.

 

It is a vicious circle.  If you are late, disorganized, introverted and have many things in your life that drain your energy, bad luck will be your ongoing experience.  Because of the bad luck, you will be further behind, disorganized, introverted and experience more energy drains.  To break the cycle of 'bad luck' takes a great deal of awareness and a tremendous commitment to reverse the process.  It may take a solid year before you are able to work your way out of the negative downward spiral and into the upward one.  This takes courage and patience, because there is a strong tendency to react based on the desperation that the 'bad luck' creates.

 

Lucky people do not go to parties and meeting trying hard to find their dream partners or someone who will offer them their perfect job.  Instead, they are simply relaxed and therefore more attuned to the opportunities around them.  They go to parties and listen to people.  Lucky people see what is there, rather than trying to find what they want to see.  As a result, they are far more receptive to any opportunities that arise naturally.

 

In short, lucky people are skilled at spotting any opportunities that naturally arise.  They are not actively looking for these opportunities, but their relaxed approach to life helps them notice what is happening around them.  It is rather ironic, but by not trying too hard to look, they end up seeing far more.

 

 

Lucky people are open to new experiences in their lives

 

Many of the lucky participants went to considerable lengths to introduce variety and change into their lives.  Before making an important decision, one lucky participant would make a list of the various options and roll a dice to decide which one he should actually chose.  Another person described a special technique that he had developed to force him to meet different people.  He had noticed that whenever he went to a party, e tended to talk to the same type of people.  To help disrupt this routine, and make life more fun, he thinks of a colour before he arrives and then chooses to speak only to people wearing that colour.

 

Imagine living in the centre of a large apple orchard.  Each day you have to venture out into the orchard and collect a large basket of apples.  The first few times it won't matter where you decide to visit.  All parts of the orchard will have apples and so you will be able to find them wherever you go.  But as time goes on it will become more and more difficult to find apples in the places that you have visited before.  And the more you return to the same locations, the harder it will be to find apples there.  But if you decide to go always to parts of the orchard that you have never visited before, or even randomly decide where to go, your chances of finding apples will be massively increased.

 

It is exactly the same with luck.  It is easy to exhaust the opportunities in your life: keep on talking to the same people in the same way; keep taking the same route to and from work; keep going to the same places on holiday.  But new or even random experiences introduce the potential for new opportunities.  It is like visiting a new part of the orchard.  Suddenly you are surrounded by hundreds of apples.

 

   The Experiment

 

A $5.00 bill is put on the pavement directly outside a coffee shop.  Martin, a lucky gentleman, and Brenda, an unlucky lady, are told to go to the coffee shop and wait until they were met by someone involved with the luck project.  Four actors were inside, unknown to Martin and Brenda.  One was dressed as a successful businessman, the other three were not.

 

Martin arrived at the shop first.  He immediately noticed the $5.00 and picked it up as he entered the shop.  Once inside, he ordered a coffee and sat down next to the successful businessman. Within minutes, Martin had introduced himself and offered to buy the man a coffee.  The man accepted, and a few moments later the two of them were talking.  No project representative arrived and eventually Martin left.

 

Brenda walked over the $5.00 without noticing.  She ordered a coffee and sat next to the businessman.  Unlike Martin, she sat quietly and didn’t say a word to anyone.  When interviewed, Brenda looked at me blankly and said that it had been an uneventful morning.  Martin gave a colorful description of how he had found the $5.00 on the street, and had a very enjoyable chat with a successful businessman in a coffee shop.

 

Same opportunities.  Different lives.

 

SUMMARY

 

Lucky people are more likely than unlucky people to create, notice and act upon chance opportunities.  They do this in various ways.  They initiate conversations with more people because they are extroverts.  More people start to chat to them because of their ‘social magnetism’.  They are good at keeping in touch with people, too.  Lucky people are also more relaxed than unlucky people, and this makes them more able to notice unexpected chance opportunities in many different aspects of their lives.  Finally, lucky people also introduce more variety and new experiences into their lives, and this also helps to increase the likelihood of them experiencing, and maximizing chance opportunities.

 

 

Maximize your chance opportunities

 

Lucky people create, notice and act upon the chance opportunities in their life.

 

Sub-principles:

 

  • Lucky people build and maintain a strong ‘network of luck’.

  •        Lucky people have a relaxed attitude towards life.

  •        Lucky people are open to new experiences in their life.

 

Increasing The Luck In Your Life

 Build and maintain a strong ‘network of luck’.

 

The secret of lucky individuals lives is that they enjoy being with people.  They like spending time with friends, going to parties, and chatting to strangers.  The more people they meet, the greater the likelihood of them encountering a ‘chance’ opportunity.  In addition, lucky people also have a kind of ‘social magnetism’ – people are attracted to them because of their body language.  Think more about your body language in your social life and at work.  Make smiling a habit.  Smile when you see someone you know or someone that you would like to make contact with.  Don’t try to fake it by putting on a false smile.  Instead, think about how you genuinely feel.  Also, force yourself to adopt an ‘open’ posture.  Uncross your arms and legs, and keep your hands away from your face.  Initiate and maintain friendly amounts of eye contact.  Open up and have fun trying to attract people to you.  Finally, remember that lucky people invest a great deal of effort in keeping in touch with the people that they meet. 

 

Use open rather than closed questions.  Most important of all – don’t be afraid of rejection.  Your first few attempts may simply involve a brief interaction and nothing more.  Don’t take it personally – perhaps the person was busy or just didn’t feel like chatting – instead, keep on going.  There are lots of people out there and many will be delighted what you made the effort to talk to them.

 

Try to look at the world through the eyes of a child – without expectations and prejudice.  See what is there rather than what you expect to be there.  Relax, have fun, do not let your expectations limit your vision.

 

 

Lucky people make successful decisions by using their intuition and gut feelings.

 

Lucky people are largely unable to explain their luck.  They are unconsciously competent at doing the things that create the luck in their lives.  Unlucky people are the same, except that they are unaware about what they are doing to create their poor luck.  They are unconsciously incompetent about the things that create their bad luck.

 

 

Lucky people listen to their gut feelings and hunches

 

Robert is an aircraft safety officer.  Often his colleagues spend hours going through all of the different things that might be wrong with the aircraft, but Robert simply trusts his intuition about where to look first.  Time after time his lucky hunches are amazingly accurate.  Robert’s intuitive hunches are based on years of working with complex avionics systems.  His unconscious mind has managed to learn more about these systems than he is able to explain consciously.

 

 

Lucky people take steps to boost their intuition

 

Exercise: To find out how you really feel about your options, simply choose one of them and commit your decision to paper.  So, if you are uncertain about whether to finish a relationship, just write a letter to your partner explaining that it is all over.  If you are uncertain about whether to hand in your notice at work, just go for it and write your resignation letter.  Now stop.  How do you feel right now?  You are holding your future in your hands.  Do you really want to send that letter or is there something inside telling you that it doesn’t feel right?  Is that your intuition or are you simply afraid of change?  When it came to the crunch, what did your inner voice say to you?

 

Relying on intuition means avoiding reacting to irrational fear.  It means having extra time and energy in order to be able to access your subconscious.

 

 

Expect Good Fortune

 

Lucky people’s expectations of good things happening to them are massively higher than the expectations held by unlucky people.  Lucky people see any bad luck in their lives as being very short lived.  They simply shrug it off and don’t let it affect their expectations about the future.  Unlucky people are convinced that any good luck in their lives will only last for a short period of time, and will quickly be followed by their regular dose of bad luck. 

 

Unlucky people are convinced that any good luck that does happen to them will soon fade away and that their future will continue to be bleak and miserable.  Lucky people dismiss any unlucky events in their lives as short lived and transitory.  In doing so, they are able to maintain their expectations of a bright and happy future.

 

What impact do these unusual and extreme expectations have on people’s lives?  Our expectations have a powerful effect on the way in which we think, feel and act.  They can influence our health, how we behave towards others and how others behave towards us.  My research revealed that the special kind of expectations held by lucky and unlucky people had a huge impact on their lives.  The unique way that lucky people thought about their future was responsible for them being more effective than most when it came to achieving their dreams and ambitions.  Likewise, the unlucky expectations held by unlucky people resulted in them being especially ineffectual at getting what they wanted from real life.

 

It all came down to the way in which their extreme expectations about the future had the power to become self-fulfilling prophecies.

 

Self-fulfilling prophecies do not just affect one’s level of attainment in school or the workplace.  They affect our health, how we behave with others and how others respond to us.  In fact, they affect many aspects of our lives much of the time.  My work revealed that the extremely different expectations held by lucky and unlucky people had the potential to transform into especially powerful self-fulfilling prophecies and this, in turn, explained why lucky people frequently achieved their dreams, whilst unlucky people did not.

 

Lucky people attempt to achieve their goals, even if their chances of success seem slim, and persevere in the face of failure.

 

Unlucky people give up before they even start.  Clearly, unlucky people’s expectations about competitions are very likely to become self-fulfilling prophecies.  By not entering competitions, they severely reduce their chances of winning, and exactly the same attitude affects many important areas of their life.  The resulting lack of any attempt to change their lives can easily turn unlucky people’s low expectations about the future into a miserable reality.

 

These attitudes provide a striking insight into how unlucky people create much of the bad luck in their lives.  If they don’t attend an exam, then they are certain to fail.  If they don’t try to look for a job, then they will remain unemployed.  If they are reluctant to go on dates, then they reduce their chances of finding a partner.  They also illustrate the power of self-fulfilling prophecies.  Unlucky people are so convinced that they are going to fail that they often do not make any attempt to achieve their goals, and this, in turn, transforms their expectations into a reality.

 

Anxious people have problems concentrating on what they are doing, and are often thinking about their worries and problems rather than what is happening around them.  As a result, it isn’t surprising that unlucky people report having lots of accidents.  In addition, other work has shown that such anxiety can affect the body’s immune system and can lower defenses against illness.  In short, unlucky people’s expectations about the future cause them to feel anxious, and these anxieties then cause them to have more than their fare share of accidents and illness.  Lucky people are the opposite.  They have a far more relaxed attitude towards life and so are far less likely to be accident-prone and to suffer from anxiety related illnesses.

 

Lucky people’s expectations about the future do not encourage them to engage in risky behavior.  Instead, their positive expectations motivate them to take control of their lives.  They attempt to achieve whatever they want from life even if the likelihood of them being successful is quite low.  Lucky people’s high expectations motivate them to persist, even in the face of considerable adversity.

 

People with more positive expectations about the future tend to take steps to ensure a healthy lifestyle.  They exercise more, eat a balanced diet, take appropriate preventative measures and pay attention to medical advice. 

 

When given an impossible task, lucky people tend to persist in the face of all odds.  Research has demonstrated that lucky and unlucky people’s expectations are responsible for them achieving, or failing to achieve many of their ambitions and goals.  Unlucky people expect things to go badly wrong and so often give up before they begin and rarely persist in the face of failure.  Lucky people expect things to work out will and are much more likely to attempt to achieve their goals, even if the chances of success are slim.  They are far more likely to persevere.  These differences actually cause many of the apparently lucky and unlucky events in their lives.  They could make the difference between whether they win or lose competitions, pass or fail important exams and succeed or fail in finding loving partners.

 

 

Lucky people expect their interactions with others to be lucky and successful

 

Lucky people expect to meet people who are interesting, happy and fun to be with.  They expect their interactions to go well and be successful.  Unlucky people are the opposite.  They believe that they are destined to meet people who are far more downbeat, sad and boring.  These very different expectations affect how others respond to them.

 

In the workplace, lucky people expect those around them to be productive and competent, and they expect their meetings to be successful and profitable.  In contrast, unlucky people do not expect their colleagues and clients to be especially competent, or their interactions with them to be especially successful.  Research has shown that, when it comes to business, these sorts of expectations really matter.

 

Time and time again, studies have shown that managers’ expectations have a profound effect on the productivity of their staff.  Managers with high expectations about their subordinates motivate the people around them to perform well, whilst those with poor expectations cause them to become despondent and unproductive.  Throughout the business world, expectations have the power to become self-fulfilling prophecies.

 

 

Summary

 

Lucky people do not take dangerous risks, they do imagine that their future holds nothing but good luck.  They have high expectations about the future, but do not expect to achieve the impossible. 

 

Lucky and unlucky people seem to be living in different worlds.  No matter how hard they try, unlucky people seem unable to obtain their goals while lucky people effortlessly achieve their lifelong dreams and ambitions.  My research has revealed that the two groups of people have very different expectations about the future.  Unlucky people are certain that their future will be bleak and that there is nothing they can do about the situation.  Lucky people are the complete opposite.  They are certain that the future is going to be wonderful, and that great things lie in store for them.  These unusual and extreme expectations exert a considerable influence over people’s thoughts and behavior.  They determine whether they try to achieve their goals and how long they persist in the face of failure; how they behave towards others and others respond to them.  This, in turn, transforms their expectations into potent self-fulfilling prophecies that affect their personal and professional lives.  Lucky people do not achieve their ambitions by chance.  Neither is unlucky people destined never to get what they want from life.  Instead, their extreme expectations are responsible for much of their success and failure.  Lucky and unlucky people have strong expectations about the future, and these expectations have the power to create that future.

 

Attempt to achieve your goals, even if your chances of success seem slim, and persevere in the face of failure.

 

Exercise-Carry out a cost-benefit analysis

 

Some lucky people acknowledged that motivating yourself to persevere in the face of failure is sometimes difficult.  Some said that they carried out the following exercise whenever they felt like giving up.

 

First, write down your goal in a luck journal.  Now draw a vertical line down the centre of the page and write the heading ‘benefits’ at the top of one column and ‘costs’ at the top of the other.

 

Now imagine how you might achieve your goal through good luck.  Imagine yourself being successful and attaining whatever it is that you really want to happen.  As if by magic, your dream has become a reality.  In the benefits column, write down all of the benefits that would flow from achieving your goal.  Think of everything that you can how achieving the goal might make you feel better, and enrich your personal or professional life; how it might improve your income, add meaning to your life or help the people that you care about.  Keep on adding to the list as you think through the various ways in which you would benefit from achieving your goal.

 

Next, in the ‘costs’ column jot down some of the things you will have to do to make an effort to attain your goal or carry on persisting.  Perhaps you will have to write a few more letters, faxes and emails, make a few more telephone calls.  Perhaps you might have to attend a few more meetings.  Perhaps you will have to change some of your habits.

 

Now take a step back and look at the two lists.  Nice again, imagine yourself achieving your goal, and compare the costs associated with the benefits.  When most people complete this exercise they realize that the benefits far outweigh the costs and find themselves thinking that it is time for action.

 

 

 

Lucky People Are Able To Transform Their Bad Luck Into Good Fortune

 

When asked to imagine an accident where they tripped, fell and sprained an ankle, the difference between lucky and unlucky people was amazing.  Many unlucky people saw nothing but misery and despair when they imagined themselves experiencing the bad luck described in the imaginary scenarios.  Lucky people were the opposite.  They consistently looked on the bright side of each situation and spontaneously imagined how things could have been worse.  This made them feel better and helped maintain the notion that they were lucky people living lucky lives.

 

Lucky people tend to imagine spontaneously how the bad luck they encounter could have been worse and, in doing so, they feel much better about themselves and their lives.  This, in turn, helps keep their expectations about the future high, and increases the likelihood of them continuing to live a lucky life.  However, this use of ‘counter-factual thinking’ is not the only way in which lucky people imagine how bad luck could have been even worse.  They also compare themselves with other people who have experienced even more ill fortune.  The basic idea can be illustrated with the help of a simple optical illusion.  The two black circles below are the same size.

 

 

 

Lucky people tend to lessen the impact of their ill fortune by comparing themselves to people who have been unluckier then themselves.  In short, lucky people soften the emotional impact of any bad luck that they have encountered, by imagining how the situation could be even worse and by comparing themselves to people who have experienced far greater ill fortune than they have.

 

 

Lucky people are convinced that any ill fortune in their life will, in the long run, work out for the best.

 

Sometimes what appears to be bad fortune can turn out to be an opportunity to take a new path that is even better than the one you are on.  This is often the case when one is let go from a job, doesn’t get the job or has a business that fails.  The lessons learned and the opportunities that follow can often be many times better than the original.

 

 

Lucky people do not dwell on their ill fortune

 

Mood affects memory.  If one is in a bad mood, they focus more on the negative information that comes across their radar.  When unlucky people ruminate on the bad luck that they have encountered, they feel even more unlucky and sad.  This, in turn, makes them think more about the ill fortune in their lives and, as a result, feel eve more unlucky and sad.  So the downward spiral continues, plunging them further and further into an unlucky worldview.  Their memories affect their mood, which then affects their memories.

 

Lucky people are able to avoid this process by being able to forget about the unlucky events that have happened to them, and instead focus on their good luck.  Their positive memories then make them feel happy and lucky and this, in turn, causes them to think about other times when things worked out well for them.  Instead of spiraling downwards, their memories and moods work together to make them feel luckier and luckier.

 

 

Lucky people take constructive steps to prevent more bad luck in the future.

 

Lucky people approach unlucky situation in a far more constructive way than unlucky people.  Unlucky people hardly ever spoke about trying to discover why they had not been successful in the past.  They were reluctant to learn from heir mistakes and so were far more likely to repeat them in the future.  In contrast, lucky people often spontaneously said that hey would treat their failures as an opportunity to learn and grow. 

 

Lucky people persist, and have more constructive responses, in the face of failure. In this way, they can turn bad luck into good.  Unlucky people often don’t try to learn from past mistakes or explore novel ways of tackling their ill fortune.  Instead, they were convinced that they couldn’t change the situation and just endured it.

 

Unlucky people are far more superstitious than lucky people.  Superstitious behavior is usually fairly harmless, but superstitious thinking has a dramatic and negative impact on the lives of unlucky people.  Lucky people take a constructive approach when they try to change their bad luck.

 

A quote from a lucky individual, “I have ways of coping with my bad luck.  I think, well, I can lie here and dwell on the problem, or I can think positively about what I can do to affect whatever fortune has handed me.  Luck is what it is.  People call things good luck or bad luck, but to me luck is just what it is.  It’s your choice to see the good or the bad.”

 

Lucky people take a far more constructive approach to the ill fortune in their lives.  They take action, persist and consider alternative solution.  All of this helps minimize the chances of them experiencing more bad luck in the future.

 

 

Summary

 

Lucky people are not born with a magical ability to turn bad luck into good.  Instead, often without realizing it, they employ four psychological techniques to overcome, and even thrive upon, the ill fortune in their lives.  First, lucky people imagine how things could have been worse and they compare themselves to people who are unluckier than them.  Second, they take the ‘long view’ and assume that something positive will come from their bad luck.  Third, they do not dwell on their bad fortune.  Fourth, they assume that there is something they can do about it – they persist, think about lateral ways around the problem, and learn from their mistakes.  Together, these techniques explain their uncanny ability to cope with, and often even thrive despite any ill fortune that comes their way.

 

Suggested Exercise

 

Distract Yourself-

 

When they experienced bad luck, some lucky people said that they found it helpful spending about thirty minutes or so venting their negative emotions – some cried, some took it out on a punching bag and some went into an open field and screamed – but all lucky people agreed that it was really important not to dwell on their bad luck.  Find a way to release your emotion and then move on.

 

Take constructive steps to prevent more bad luck in the future

 

Lucky people approach the problems in their lives in constructive ways.  Instead of relying on superstition, they persist, learn from their past mistakes and think through new and creative ways of tackling the bad luck that has happened.

 

Take five steps to the solution

 

Constructive problem solving involves five basic steps.  Work your way through them when you encounter bad fortune.

 

1.       Don’t assume that there is nothing you can do about the situation.  Make a decision to take control and not be a victim of bad luck.

2.       Do something now – not next week and not tomorrow, but right now.

3.       Make a list of all of your various options.  Be creative.  Think out of the box.  Try looking at the situation from different points of view.  Brainstorm.  Come up with as many potential solutions as possible, no matter how silly or absurd they may seem.  Ask your friends what they would do under the same circumstances.  Keep on adding more and more possible solutions.

4.       Decide on how you are going to move forward.  Consider each and every possible solution.  How long will the solution take?  Do you have the knowledge and skills to implement the solution?  What are the likely outcomes if you decide to adopt a particular solution?

5.       Most important of all, start to solve the problem.  Obviously, sometimes the solution might involve waiting rather than rushing to do something foolhardy – that’s fine, providing your inaction is part of a plan and not simple procrastination.  Also, be prepared to adapt your solution as the future unfolds.  Such self-restraint and flexibility are important aspects of being lucky. But the important point is that you start to concentrate on finding a solution rather than fixating on the problem.

 

Luck In Relationships

 

The notion that opposites attract simply isn’t true. Instead, a great deal of research has shown that people in happy, long-term relationships tend to be matched on a wide range of factors including their beliefs, intelligence, looks and interests.   

 

MORE 

To find out how to be lucky in relationships, the specific steps that were found to be most successful in increasing luck and how to get luckier when it comes to making money, buy the book. 

http://phoenix.herts.ac.uk/PWRU/RWhomepage.html

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