Do you believe in Luck?

There is a Japanese proverb that says, “The day that you decide to do it, is your lucky day.”

So, what is luck?

There are very divided opinions on it. Some say there is no such thing. It’s a matter of chance, it isn’t a property, it’s not predictable, you can’t replicate it consistently, even going as far as using quantum mechanics to explain why it doesn’t exist.

Yet there are others who say luck is real. In fact, a team of researchers at UCLA and Columbia Universities in the USA and Professor Richard Wiseman believe that they can prove it scientifically.

Maia Young, Ning Chen and Michael Morris conducted a research study in 2009 at UCLA and found that luck can be put into two camps – Stable and Fleeting.

Those in the Stable group believe that luck is a constant phenomenon, you’re either lucky or you not. On the other hand, those that see luck as Fleeting believe that it is totally unpredictable, good, bad or none at all.

What was particularly interesting about the research was that those who actually believed in luck, the Stable group, were proven to have a higher drive to succeed, higher motivation and that they had more control over their own lives.

Those that saw luck as random, often asked, “What’s the point?” and this scepticism undermined their desire to push on, to even try.

Professor Wiseman, who’s based at the University of Hertfordshire, and who has published many books and articles on Public Understanding of Psychology, discovered that there are particular patterns that follow those that believe in luck and different ones that don’t.

In his 2003 research paper, The Luck Factor, good luck is down to your attitude. Lucky people tended to be more open minded, easy going and happy, whereas those who didn’t believe in luck tended to be more anxious, tense and negative.

He even gives some tips and techniques for increasing your luck;

  1. Maximise opportunities – keep an open mind, don’t wait for things to happen, take control and be confident in anything that is unknown.
  2. Listen to your instinct – listen to the signals your mind and body send you; your inner voice is trying to help you.
  3. Expect good luck – find the positives in everything you do, use your energy to stay optimistic.

The famous South African golfer, Gary Player, famously once said in response to a journalist calling him lucky, “The more I practice, the luckier I get.”

So, how do you feel about luck? Well, it sounds as if you do make your own, the key component being your attitude towards it.

So, what do you think? Do you feel lucky?

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