You probably know someone that is ALWAYS lucky. That friend who randomly meets interesting people, who stumbled upon an amazing apartment, and who found her dream job while not even looking for it. These things never happen to you! Sounds familiar?
So, is it true that some people are luckier in life than others? And is there a way to simply become a lucky person yourself? Let’s see what science has to say about it.
Do some people have more luck than others?
Yes. Research shows that some personality traits attract luck. Being extraverted is one of them. When you are more open to human interaction, there is a higher chance of meeting great people. On the other hand, anxious people are less likely to take advantage of new opportunities.
According to Richard Wiseman, psychology professor and author of The Luck Factor: “Lucky people create, notice, and act upon the chance opportunities in their lives.”
How can you create your own luck?
We now know that some people are more lucky than others. They attract more luck because of their personality, behavior and mindset. By studying these lucky people we can uncover behaviors that attract luck.
1) Create your own opportunities
Put yourself out there
It’s pretty simple. How are you going to create and optimize opportunities when you are sitting at home doing nothing? You have to go out there. You have to try new stuff. You have to be open to meeting new people and having new experiences.
This means you have to take some more risks than you are used to. Yes, you have to get out of your comfort zone. Go to that interesting event where you don’t know anyone. Go travel alone. Have dinner with that fun person you just met.
Putting yourself out there is difficult when you are stuck in your routine. How will anything serendipitous happen, when you have planned every minute of your day?
As Wiseman says: “Unlucky people tend to be creatures of routine. They tend to take the same route to and from work and talk to the same types of people at parties. In contrast, many lucky people try to introduce variety into their lives.”
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity
The Roman philosopher Seneca was right. Luck is not about ‘just being lucky’. When you want something, you will have the best chance of getting it when you know your stuff. Let’s say you are a consultant who is secretly dreaming of becoming a fashion journalist. While meeting with a business client he tells you that his wife is the owner of a top notch fashion magazine and is looking for new employees. You feel bad because you would LOVE to do that, and now you actually have a personal connection to land your dream job. BUT…you have never written a fashion article. Not ONE. Not even for yourself.
You can have all the opportunities in the world but without preparation it’s pretty hard to take advantage of them.
We always think that celebrities are exceptionally lucky to have achieved their status. But remember that all of them have WORKED HARD to get there. It’s one of the most competitive fields to become successful in and without preparation you are nowhere. Beyonce wasn’t just lucky, she worked hard. As did Oprah, Walt Disney, Elon Musk, Jimmy Fallon and so on.
2) Look on the bright side of life
Let’s back to the whole ‘putting yourself out there’ part. You are probably thinking: ‘When I put myself out there more, I also have a bigger chance of being unlucky. I might meet some jerks. I might get sick from a meal. I might miss my flight!’
True. And misfortune WILL happen to you. It happens to all of us. But another difference between lucky and unlucky people is that lucky people see the GOOD in the BAD. They see what could have been worse. Or they notice what this misfortune brought them that turned out to be a good thing after all.
They are also more optimistic: they EXPECT good things to happen. Optimistic people are luckier because believing in a good outcome actually increases the chance of a good outcome. You are more likely to persevere and you are more resilient when you have a positive look on something.
3) Listen to your intuition
The study by Richard Wiseman shows that around 20% more lucky than unlucky people used their intuition when making financial and career decisions. Around 85% of lucky people reported trusting their intuition when it came to personal relationships and career choices.
Lucky people know how to listen to their intuition. When having to make a decision, lucky people not only THINK but also FEEL. Intuition is important because our brain can subconsciously detect certain patterns which we don’t consciously recognize as such. When something doesn’t feel right, unlucky people tend to brush this off more and stick with the rational decision. These hunches however, can prevent us from making bad decisions.
Now it’s your turn. Everyone can use a little more good luck. Will you put this into practice?