Do you consider yourself lucky or unlucky? Well, if you feel unlucky, like most of us do, we have good news. According to a 10-year research conducted by Psychologist Richard Wiseman, luck is predictable and you can indeed, control it.
Richard Wiseman conducted a 10-year research studying luck. By placing newspaper ads, he gathered two groups of people: people who considered themselves very lucky and people who considered themselves very unlucky. These two groups were asked to participate in certain experiments in order to identify how this difference in perception influences the outcome of their actions.
For example, in one experiment he asked participants to look through a newspaper and count the number of photographs within the issue. On average, it took the unlucky people 2 minutes to count the photographs but, lucky people were able to find them in just 2 seconds. Why? Because on the second page there was a huge headline that read “Stop counting – There are 43 photographs in this newspaper”. And if this wasn’t enough, halfway through the paper, there was a second large message: “Stop counting, tell the experimenter you have seen this and win $250”. Again, the unlucky people missed the opportunity because they were still too busy looking for photographs. This shows that lucky people chase (and encounter) opportunities whereas unlucky people do not. (the article continues after the ad)
In other experiment, he asked lucky and unlucky people to imagine that they were waiting to be served in a bank. Suddenly, an armed robber enters the bank, fires a shot, and the bullet hits them in the arm. Would this event be lucky or unlucky? Unlucky people tended to say that this would be enormously unlucky and it would be just their bad luck to be in the bank during the robbery. In contrast, lucky people viewed the scenario as being far luckier, and often spontaneously commented on how the situation could have been far worse. As one lucky participant commented, “It’s lucky because you could have been shot in the head – also, you could sell your story to the newspapers and make some money”! The differences between the lucky and unlucky people were striking. 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.
From these examples as well as from several other experiments he performed during his 10-year research, Professor Richard Wiseman identified the four basic principles that lucky people use to create good fortune in their lives.
Here they are:
Principle One: Maximise Chance Opportunities
Lucky people are skilled at creating, noticing and acting upon opportunities. They do this in various ways, including networking, adopting a relaxed attitude to life and by being open to new experiences.
Principle Two: Listening to Lucky Hunches
Lucky people make effective decisions by listening to their intuition and gut feelings. In addition, they take steps to actively boost their intuitive abilities by, for example, meditating and clearing their mind of other thoughts.
Principle Three: Expect Good Fortune
Lucky people are certain that the future is going to be full of good fortune. These expectations become self-fulfilling prophecies by helping lucky people persist in the face of failure, and shape their interactions with others in a positive way.
Principle Four: Turn Bad Luck to Good
Lucky people employ various psychological techniques to cope with, and often even thrive upon, the ill fortune that comes their way. For example, they spontaneously imagine how things could have been worse, do not dwell on ill fortune, and take control of the situation.