The Truth About Your Luck
John Woods, a senior partner in a large legal firm, narrowly escaped death when he left his office in one of the Twin Towers in New York seconds before the building was struck by a hijacked aircraft. Nearly eight years before, in 1993, he was on the thirty-ninth floor of the World Trade Center when it was bombed. He escaped without injury. In 1988 he was scheduled to be on the Pan-Am flight that exploded over Lockerbie in Scotland, but he canceled at the last minute because friends convinced him to attend an office party.
Is John Woods lucky? Do you believe in luck?
In June 1980, Maureen Wilcox bought tickets for both the Massachusetts lottery and the Rhode Island Lottery. Incredibly she managed to choose the winning numbers for both lotteries! But wait, she didn't win a penny--her Massachusetts numbers won the Rhode Island lottery, and her Rhode Island numbers won the Massachusetts lottery.
Would you consider Maureen Wilcox unlucky?
Some very lucky and interesting researchers decided to find out if luck truly existed. Then, they took it one step further and decided to find out how one can become "more" lucky. After decades of both quantitative and qualitative research, here is what they found.
There are four principles of luck:
1. Maximize your chance opportunities.
Lucky people create, notice, and act upon the chance opportunities in their lives. The way they think and behave makes them far more likely than others to create, notice, and act upon chance opportunities in their lives. Lucky people make friends easily and keep in contact with them. Psychologists call them "social magnets" because they know more people and continue to stay in touch. Statistically, they create more opportunities for themselves.
2. Listen to your lucky hunches.
Lucky people make successful decisions by using their intuition and gut feelings. Lucky people are more in tune with their emotions and feelings. They listen when their intuition provides information about people, decisions, and environments. (More to come on the science of intuition. It does exist!). Lucky people take daily steps to boost their self-awareness. They meditate more often, take actions to clear their minds daily, and find quiet places to think. (Helpful Hint: Self-awareness and Intuition decrease when using your cell phone and technology.)
3. Lucky people expect good fortune.
Lucky people's expectations about the future help them fulfill their goals and ambitions. They expect their good luck to continue in the future. Their personal narratives expect positive events, people, and experiences to "always be around the corner." They are no "pie in the sky" individuals. They attempt to achieve their goals, even if the chances of success seem slim, because they believe things can change at any time in their favor. They also persevere more often than others in the face of failure.
4. Lucky people turn bad luck into good.
Lucky people can transform their back luck into good fortune because they see the positive side of their bad luck. They learn from their mistakes and believe it prepares them for the future. (Growth Mindset!) They are convinced that any ill-fortune in their lives will, in the long run, work out for the best. Therefore, they take constructive steps to prevent more bad luck in the future.
It turns out being lucky isn't at all about luck! It is about the work and effort we put into goals and how we view our daily lives through our narratives. For my superstitious friends, studies found that unlucky people were far more superstitious than lucky people. So you can throw away your lucky rabbit's foot. It wasn't real anyway.
If you need to increase your luck, I highly recommend:
• The Luck Factor by Dr. Richard Wiseman • The Serendipity Mindset by Christian Busch • My three LUCK episodes on The Dr. CK BRAY Show. (Coming in late November)
Thanks to Dr. Wiseman and his research, which I have shared in this article and my podcast.
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