Are you lucky or unlucky?

1926 US advertisement for lucky jewelry . &quo...

Watching Derren Brown's The Secret of Luck on TV at the weekend and a thought provoking programme about how essentially, we make our own luck.

Full of Derren's usual mix of psychology, illusion and showmanship it's basic premise was - Luck comes down to being open to new opportunities.

It's not that one person is necessarily luckier than another just that they are more likely to have a positive outlook on life and are more likely to take advantage of the opportunities that come their way.

To paraphrase another quote - "if you believe you're lucky or unlucky - you are."

One person who believed they were unlucky, managed to ignore all the opportunities presented to them, even when it was pretty obvious.  They had an expectation that they weren't lucky, therefore they interpreted their world and reacted to it in such a way that it lived up to their expectation. In the end, they took a risk, a big risk and their 'luck' changed.  Yes, this was a television programme, designed to entertain but the underlying message can be used by all of us.

Richard Wiseman, psychologist and author took a scientific approach to Luck and found that lucky people follow four basic principles:
  • They are skilled at creating and seeing opportunities.
  • They use their intuition when making decisions.
  • They have a more positive expectation
  • Are more resilient and turn bad luck into good.

Lucky people are more open and relaxed about life.  They're more self-aware and their thoughts and behaviour are responsible for their 'luck'.  Being more intuitive, they pay attention to their feelings - most of us ignore our intuition but we should pay attention to it more often.

Opportunity and 'chances' present themselves all the time, lucky people are less focused on just one objective and so are more likely to see them when it's not exactly what they're looking for, rather than unlucky people who don't recognise the opportunities, even when they're right in front of them.

“I'm a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it” - Thomas Jefferson

So if you'd like to have more luck in your life - believe you are, walk around with your eyes open, say yes, more often and see what changes.

1926 US advertisement "Why Be Unlucky?". (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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