Strategies of Luck

Would you say you are lucky or unlucky? A July 2003 article in Fast Company caught my eye because lucky people seem to employ motivation strategies that unlucky people don't. Is luck just a function of better mental software? Consider the following insights.

Make Your Own Luck

While most people think luck is due to chance, Richard Wiseman, head of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, says that luck is mainly defined by the way you think. Here are some of his findings:

  1. "Unlucky people are stuck in routines. When they see something new, they want no part of it." (Motivation style: traditionalist and processor) They have a hard time seeing the good in a bad situation (problem solver).
  2. Lucky people always want something new (revolutionary).
  3. To become luckier, be less focused (innovator). Focused, driven people miss opportunities because they can't see them. Opportunities are all around you, if you're driven in one direction, you're not going to spot the others.
  4. Lucky people rely on gut instincts (leader). People are amazingly good at detecting patterns of success and failure. Experience refines your patterns of success and your instincts.
  5. There's no such thing as bad luck (achiever): If something bad happens, they ask: What good can come from this? "Subjects would say: I'm the luckiest person alive and then come up with dreadful stories. They can have the same life events as an unlucky person and look at them entirely differently.

Building Your Luck Strategy

They say that luck is preparation meeting opportunity. If so, how can you start to build your luck strategy?

  1. Wiseman recommends keeping a luck diary. Simply write down everything good that happens each day. It builds a mental focus on luck.
  2. Try something new. Take a different route to work. Try a new restaurant. Reverse the way you do something, just to build alternate strategies.
  3. Practice using your gut instincts in relatively risk free environments. Use your instincts to choose something new from a menu. Trust a hunch about which way to go or what to do on a weekend.

What is Luck?

From the KnowWare® perspective, what makes a person "lucky?" The luckiest people are achievement-oriented leaders who try new and innovative things. They take intelligent risks while their unlucky counterparts avoid taking any risk. Lucky people, faced with difficult situations, ask themselves: "What good will come from this?" They focus on the lucky side of every situation, and often get more than they expect. Which way would you rather live your life?

Rights to reprint this article in company periodicals is freely given with the inclusion of the following tag line: "© 2008-2024 Jay Arthur, the KnowWare® Man, 888-468-1537, ."