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What’s Luck Got To Do With It….

#luck #increasing your chance of Luck # studies on luck # Richard Wiseman #Stephann Makrin.

I have been going on about elite performers for some time now. It is fascinating to observe an elite performer, no matter the genre, doing their thing. I was busy digging up more information…when I received this comment…

“Bev I sure enough agree that determination and big(ly) goals are necessary ingredients to success. So is anticipating the future. However, they are not sufficient. The hard to accept fact and the elephant in the room is that there is no guarantee to success and many people set big goals, work their ass off, predicting the future and are failing on these big goals over and over again…but history doesn’t mention them…I think you should look at yet another aspect of success: chance, luck…or whatever you call it”

Its a brilliant comment. One that needs attention. I was asked to look at it and that’s what I did…

Is there someone you know that always lands on their feet? They always get the job…the last tickets for the concert…the best holiday deals. Let’s call it luck. Fortuna is the Roman Goddess of luck. The daughter of Jupiter. She is depicted as a youthful woman with a wheel and a ‘horn of plenty.’ It is said that she is fickle, easily bored and always up for a good time. Fortuna is blind so she can not see to whom she is bestowing her favours. Great! That could explain why luck is so random.

Richard Wiseman Professor of Psychology at my old university the University of Hertfordshire in England has done a number of cool experiments on luck. In one study he asked people to identify themselves as lucky or unlucky. He then gave them each a newspaper to read. On one half of the newspaper he wrote in large letters “Tell the experimenter you have seen this and you win £250.” The people who said that they were lucky were more likely to see the ad. Wiseman found that ‘lucky’ people are open to new experiences….have a ‘get up and go’ attitude…. are optimistic….see more opportunities. Wiseman noted that the people who said they were ‘unlucky’ seemed anxious, distracted from their powers of observation and therefore didn’t pick up on opportunities.

Stephann Makri lecturer in Information Interaction at City University London…another one of my stomping grounds, says that people fall into two main camps. There are those who believe that luck is totally outside of one’s control and there are those who believe that luck cannot be controlled but it can be influenced. In one study he asked a number of creatives to come up with solutions to this question…

“What would you do to increase their encounter with luck’

The results were… vary your routine…work in different environments…with diverse groups…mix it up at home and at work. Whatever you do don’t get stuck in a rut

The idea is that although you cannot control chance encounters or good things happening to you…you can do a lot to put yourself in particular places and times and hope that one day you’ll be in the right place at the right time. In other words increase your chances of probability.

All studies agree that you are more likely to be lucky if you consider yourself a lucky person. Do you consider yourself lucky? Do you count your lucky stars for your family, health and roof over your head? Are you grateful for what you already have? These are all conditions of luck.

You can look at luck through many windows. Our ideas on luck run from Fortuna the Goddess to four leaf clovers, horses shoes and rabbits feet. From studies of chance in physics to the Law of Attraction.

According to the Buddhist teachings on cause and effect, luck is the result of 3 interlinked actions.

1. Karma. They believe if you do good deeds… then good will return to you.
2. Strong support. They believe that in order to be lucky you have to hang out in all the places where you would like a piece of the action. Artists hang out at art galleries…singers hang out with musicians and business people with business people. By taking this action you are supporting luck.
3. Contributing support. They believe that you need to develop habits and rituals. So that when luck strikes you are ready to seize the day. By doing this you are contributing to your luck. The Buddhist teachings and modern research share similarities it seems.

In my humble opinion the best way to look at luck is with a very open mind indeed. Because after all is said and done we have no clue to what extent luck plays in a person’s success. All we know is that it does. What I noticed is that elite performers, those folk with the winning edge all have similar profiles. They worked hard…they go out and made things happen…they have a healthy relationship with mistakes and failure…they stay focussed…they never take setbacks personally and they are shit hot at what they do. They do their share of the bargain. In fact they consistently do their share…their 50% of the deal. They keeping pushing hoping that luck and her crew is around the corner. Luck is around the corner….but which one! That for luck to know and for you to find out!

I’ll leave you with this story…
“I was practicing in a bunker down in Texas and this good old boy with a big hat stopped to watch. The first shot he saw me hit went in the hole. He said, “You got 50 bucks if you knock the next one in.” I holed the next one. Then he says, “You got $100 if you hole the next one.” In it went for three in a row. As he peeled off the bills he said, “Boy, I’ve never seen anyone so lucky in my life.” And I shot back, “Well, the harder I practice, the luckier I get.” That’s where the quote originated.” Gary Player. Golfer…

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