The Surprising Link Between Attitude, Superstition and Luck
Do you know somebody who is “lucky” in everything they do in life?
Do you ever wonder why it seems as though some people get all the breaks? They have great relationships … more money than they’ll ever need … happily going from one great opportunity to the next, and even when they do stumble, they always manage to turn the ‘problem’ into yet another opportunity?
Then there are others who, no matter how hard they try, seem to attract nothing but hardship and bad luck. They never seem to be able to catch a break. They go from bad relationship to bad relationship; living from paycheck to paycheck, having to put out one fire after another.
Could it be true then that some people are simply born lucky and others not?
UK Professor Richard Wiseman, author of The Luck Factor and reigning expert on ‘luck,’ invested over a decade researching and conducting a variety of experiments to determine whether luck is merely chance or if there are things we can do to become luckier in life.
Teaming up with the British Association for the Advancement of Science Professor Wiseman carried out a large scale study surveying 4,000 people to examine the psychology of luck and his findings are enlightening as well as encouraging.
Who are the lucky and how are they different?
Lucky people are generally more relaxed and therefore tend to notice more around them. Unlucky people tend to be anxious and narrowly focused and therefore tend to miss things. As a result, lucky people are not only able to see and respond to positive opportunities, but they’re also able to see and take steps to avoid dangerous situations, more so than those who are unlucky.
Lucky people tend to smile more. They tend not only to attract more people into their lives, but also inspire others to be positive and as a result they also attract more opportunities – in their careers, business and personal lives.
Lucky people are more intuitive … and their intuition is generally right. Rather than spending too much time trying to assess information, they trust their gut.
Lucky people believe they will succeed. Because of this belief they persevere in the face of obstacles. Unlucky people are easily deterred and tend to give up.
The Superstition Connection
So how does superstition influence luck … or does it?
Wiseman’s survey results revealed that people who consider themselves lucky tend to carry out superstitious behaviors that are designed to bring them good luck – in contrast, people who consider themselves unlucky believe in superstitions that result in bad luck.
- 49% Of lucky people regularly cross their fingers compared to just 30% of unlucky people.
- 18% Of lucky people become anxious if they break a mirror, compared to 40% of unlucky people.
- 55% Of unlucky people dread the number 13, compared to just 22% of lucky people.
The most important point I want to make here is that superstition is not a determining factor in whether you have good or bad luck.
In fact, the results of all of the studies that have been conducted on luck support the belief that people make their own luck – it’s simply that lucky people who are superstitious tend to carry out behaviors that make them feel good, whereas the superstitious behaviors of unlucky people cause them to expect the worst.
The bottom line … so can you improve your luck? Absolutely!
Here are Professor Wiseman’s four top tips for improving your luck:
- Learn to listen to your gut instincts – they are normally right
- Be open to new experiences and breaking your normal routine
- Spend a few moments each day remembering things that went well
- Visualize yourself being lucky before activities or events.
- Luck is very often a self fulfilling prophecy – believe you are lucky
I’d like to add another ‘tip’ not included in the Professor’s list - make peace with your past. Negative mental reruns of past mistakes or conflicts are bound to adversely affect self-esteem and when you’re feeling down on yourself it’s going to be pretty hard to be positive, let alone visualize yourself as being lucky.
Like so many things in life, improving your luck comes down to you and a positive attitude. Your “luck” really does depend on the choices that you make. When you experience obstacles and detours in life you will always have two choices – try to turn them to your advantage . . . or just complain about them as bad luck.
Your luck, in the end, will always be pretty much up to you.
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