Luck has always been a bit of a mystery. When events are determined by chance, with seemingly no pattern between good or bad results, it’s hard to know whether luck can be measured or if it’s simply an intangible factor in everything we do. The old saying goes that luck is simply preparation meeting opportunity, but some people do seem luckier than others.
Every now and then, you read the news about one lucky winner who won a massive amount of money at an online casino. But is it really all about luck? And why do some people have more than others? Whether it’s in finding a job, winning a jackpot or being born in the right place and time, what exactly is behind luck and is it possible to improve it? We take a closer look to find out.
What Exactly is Luck?
Luck is the force that affects everything around us, leading to good or bad results. However, it affects different people differently. One event might bring good luck to one person but bad luck to others. It’s often a matter of perspective. Also, sometimes we might think we’re the victim of bad luck when in actual fact, we’ve been lucky. For example, someone might miss their flight due to traffic, but then the plane they were supposed to be on crashes.
Luck and talent both play an important role in our success, but luck often factors in far more heavily than many people realise. Physicists modelled the career success of a thousand simulated people. each with the same amount of talent and an equal chance of encountering a lucky event or unlucky event. When encountering a lucky event, success was doubled by a value proportional to their talent, while an unlucky event would halve their success. At the end of the 40-year simulation, there was a small proportion of people who held a much greater proportion of success than the rest of the population.
Studies like this show that luck is something that can have a major impact on our lives, leading to more success, happiness and wealth. It’s interesting to think about how different our lives might have been if not for random chance affecting us in positive or negative ways.
How to Improve Your Luck
So now we know just how much luck can impact our lives, is there any way to improve it? Lots of people over the years have claimed to be able to improve a person’s luck, either through magic crystals, potions or other mumbjo-jumbo. However, there has been plenty of research on this topic and according to some scientists, there are real ways to improve how lucky or unlucky you are.
Richard Wiseman, a psychology professor, claims that “luck isn’t something paranormal. It’s something that we are creating with our thoughts and behaviour”. He ran a series of tests designed to improve people’s luck by making them think more like lucky people, with 80% of those who applied his techniques claiming an increase in luck.
Wiseman’s techniques are simple:
- Maximise opportunities – Lucky people are more likely to act on opportunities they find, while unlucky people are more likely to be frozen by analysis paralysis. Although this can be risky, it usually leads to much better results overall.
- Listen to hunches – A large number of lucky people say that they trust their personal intuition when it comes to making decisions. Usually, our hunches are correct as they take our memories and ideas from our subconscious to help us make the right decisions.
- Expect good fortune – By being optimistic, you’re more likely to try things and have more resilience to keep working on something until it goes in your favour. Even though pessimists usually have a more accurate view of the world, optimists are luckier because their optimism pushes them to make the most of opportunities.
With these techniques, anyone can behave more like a lucky person. While it may not help them win the lottery, it will improve how they deal with bad luck, help them to make the most of their luck and lead to an increase in happiness.