Recently, I came across a study conducted by Dr. Richard Wiseman, famous for his research on Luck. Over the ten years that he interviewed hundreds of self-branded lucky and unlucky people, he came up with some interesting conclusions about why some are luck-jobs and others are doomed for failure.
“To a large extent, people make their own good and bad fortune”, says Wiseman. He also said that unlucky people are much more tense and anxious than lucky people, and that anxiety disrupts your ability to notice the unexpected. So if you’re tense and anxious, find someway to loosen up – exercise more, take up a hobby, relax by the pool.
Wiseman says that “lucky people generate their own good fortune”. Based on his findings, there are four things lucky people do that make them much luckier than everyone else.
#1. Lucky people are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities. This means actually getting off your ass and going somewhere new, doing something different, and noticing the little things around you when you’re there. You won’t win the lottery without a ticket and you won’t meet someone while sitting on your couch.
#2. Lucky people make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, or “gut feeling”. In our gut, the enteric nervous system has 100 million neurons, and it is part of the peripheral nervous system which exists outside of our brain and spinal cord. Compare this to 100 billion neurons in the human brain all the way down to 100,000 neurons in the brain of a lobster. Those who pay attention to their gut instinct will make better decisions more often.
#3. Lucky people have positive expectations and this becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. If you think you’re lucky, then your brain will find ways to prove you right. And if you think you’re cursed, you’re subconsciously going to be looking for events to validate that. It helps to keep thinking that you will find that special someone.
#4. Lucky people adopt a positive attitude when they run into bad luck. Lucky people tend see how things could have been worse, and this allows them to feel much better about themselves. In doing so, their expectations for being lucky remain high, and their chances of finding luck in the future are greater.
For more information, you can check out Dr. Wiseman’s blog, or pick up his book The Luck Factor.