Is good luck a real phenomenon or just a myth? While it may seem too intangible to be possible to some people, it’s undeniable that some individuals just seem to enjoy a series of fortunate breaks that boost them to ever greater heights of success, while others struggle to deal with one setback after another. Do these people just happen to be born that way, or are their actions becoming self-fulfilling prophecies? Do your thoughts and actions have the power to shape events?
An extensive recent study into the issue has shed some light on the matter, concluding that ‘luck’ is indeed real in one sense – but that individuals largely make it themselves. The good news is that we can all improve our luck – if we understand how to do it.
Make The Most Of A Good Thing
Even the least fortunate of us gets a lucky break from time to time, however minor. The difference is that ‘lucky’ people have more of a propensity for recognising good fortune when it strikes and making the most of it – grabbing small opportunities and enhancing them. It’s a skill we should all develop. If we can ‘tune in’ to recognising a fortunate event when it happens, then those moments won’t pass us by. You can reprogramme your internal monologue to pick up on and amplify chance happenings, and then one thing does tend to lead to another. In other words, you need a bit of ‘fake it til you make it’. Tell yourself you’re lucky, and you will be. Open up your mind to the possibility of good things happening to you, then practice picking up on it.
Many find a gratitude journal to be a great starting point, as it creates a conscious process of focus on positive events. The process is that each night, you note down a few things that have made you feel grateful, or that have been positive about that day. This simple process shifts your mindset to recognising and celebrating the great things happening around you, even when they are quite minor. And once you can see them clearly, focus on how you can build on them and make them go further. Over time, this will alter your psychological make up – it doesn’t mean more positive chance circumstances will happen to you, but it does mean you’ll be primed to recognise and act upon those which do, so you are unconsciously creating or noticing positive changes in your life. Open up new opportunities by trying new things, learning and getting out into the world and you can become this ‘lucky’ person.
Trust Your Intuition
It seems that there really is some validity to the old gut instinct. Whatever it may be, individual who report following their own hunches on things generally seem to experience more good fortune. Tuning into your inner voice can be tricky if you have spent years pushing it to one side in favour of hard analysis of the evidence, but it can be done – and it’s likely you’ll be the happier for it. No one is saying that you need to reject all rationality. But accepting that your base feelings are a valid source of information as well is a huge step. When we over-rationalise and ignore our instincts, we become unhappy as we are neglecting an important part of what it means to be human. Our hunches are actually based on highly compressed data sets that our brains weave together from past experiences, so they aren’t as irrational as they may at first appear. Instead, instinct and preference are evolutionary tools that our brains use to ‘fill in the blanks’ about a situation without being overwhelmed by active processing. So there you go – not so irrational after all!
Turn Bad Situations Around
Negative situations do happen to fortunate people – but the way they deal with them is proactive. Take the example of a bad accident at work – as likely to happen to anyone. Someone who is ‘unlucky’ will see it as further proof that they are unfortunate. They may wallow in the sensation of ‘why me?’, as this has become their comfort zone. They see only the negatives – they will lose time and money, the event may impact their career – and they won’t take any steps to support themselves through a hard situation. Should the same thing happen to someone who sees themselves as lucky – they will immediately be thankful that the accident was not worse. They will see it as a temporary setback, not as proof that they are unlucky. Then they will proactively week good support mechanisms, be that contacting a counselling support service such as the Samaritans to help them process any negative feelings they may struggle with, or bringing in expert legal support such as contacting David Resnick & Associates to support them with any legal actions required. The important thing is they they will have taken control of the situation and made those initial steps to turn it all around. This the accident is still a negative happening, but the spin they put on it is far more positive and allows them to feel they are steering their lives back onto the right path, not that fate has decided bad things will happen to them.
Learn To Expect Good Fortune
Another huge component of being a lucky person is simply expectation. Lucky people expect good things to happen to them. This further reinforces the positive cycle in their lives. So believe that you are fully intended to have the best luck in your life and you will. Incorporate some positive mindfulness techniques into your life and over time you will experience what you expect. It’s very simple but equally it requires a little discipline at the outset, especially if you are more used to thinking of yourself as an unlucky person. But you can turn it around- the key is to take small steps and consciously reprogramme your thoughts. It may feel artificial to begin with, but the brain cannot distinguish between the information you feed it, so with enough repetition, it will begin to accept your positive monologue as the truth. And before you know it, you will be one of those people who are ‘just born lucky’.