Make Yourself Lucky!

The Luck Myth

We often describe events as ‘our good luck’ when actually they are the result of hard work and preparation. Conversely, we sometimes deplore our bad luck when things don’t go our way. Either way we are absolving ourselves from any responsibility in the matter. Random events do occur over which we have no apparent control, but, we do have control over how we respond to them and that, research has found, is what makes the difference between people who consider themselves lucky or unlucky.

Can You Make Yourself Lucky?

Well, the research would suggest that you can. My own experience of working with people over many years certainly bears this out. If you can change your habitual, unproductive (unlucky!) way of thinking you can change your behaviour. Changing your behaviour can produce a different result, one that you want and might just call lucky!

Dr Richard Wiseman spent several years researching with people who called themselves either lucky or unlucky. He and his team discovered some fascinating differences in how the two groups thought and behaved. People who described themselves as lucky were creating their own luck through their mental attitudes and behaviour. Having identified some basic principles about changing thoughts and behaviours the team then went on to teach these principles to the ones who considered themselves unlucky. Almost all the participants reported significant life changes including increased levels of luck, confidence and success.

Try This

When training, I often play the Pollyanna game and would like to share it with you. In brief, the game involves looking for the positives in anything bad or unlucky that has happened. I usually do this in the context of managing change in the workplace but you can apply it to anything. For example, getting a redundancy notice is usually not great news but, if for a few moments, people can allow themselves to think creatively of all the possible good that might flow from it, like a new job with new friends, the
opportunity to learn a new skill, create the perfect garden, use the time getting fit, and so on they can often turn their negative thought patterns around.   Lucky people play this game all the time.

Here’s another example. Parking in the nearest town to me is always difficult. Sometimes I have to park quite a distance from where I want to be and it can be stressful. So I have a little Pollyanna conversation with myself, about how lucky I am to have a car to park at all, how lucky I am that I can walk the distance into town, how lucky I am to be getting in a bit of exercise etc. I could spend the walk bemoaning my bad luck at having to park so far out of town, the fact that the drizzle of rain will make my fringe (bangs) curl, that too many tourists come to my town, etc. If I adopt the second approach you would see a grumpy middle aged woman stomping through town with a scowl on her face and you’d probably avoid me. The first me though, is smiling and much more relaxed and do you know what, people smile back at me, reinforcing my feeling that all is well with the world and the virtuous circle begins. Don’t stomp – smile!

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Posted on January 30th, 2009 by

2 Responses to “Make Yourself Lucky!”

  1. Well, now, Jane, your readers can see how responsive you are and how lucky we are to have your great content to inspire us!

    I agree that looking at thing positively seems to bring more positive in our lives. Call it law of attraction or lucky or the power of positive thinking, it works.

    From my viewpoint, I tell people I wish them blessings because I find that I believe in blessings more than luck.

    I also believe that negative thinking is also as powerful. We don’t wish people “unluck.” but lots of people do it for themselves. They see life through dark shades and certainly not rose-colored glasses. That point of view can seem also to attract “unluck.” Only when a person makes a concentrated effort to find good and blessings in their days are they likely to break that cycle.

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