It sounds crazy at first: How can you possibly become luckier?
But it turns out luck isn't chance and magic. There's a science behind it.
1. Maximize opportunities
It makes intuitive sense: if you lock yourself in your house, how many exciting, serendipitous things are going to happen to you? Not many.
Lucky people create, notice, and act upon the chance opportunities in their lives.
Certain personality types are luckier because they tend to create scenarios that maximize opportunities and thereby increase luck. [Luck Factor]
Who is more lucky?
- People who are extroverted: More time with others, more interesting possibilities.
- People who aren't neurotic: Tense, anxious people are less likely to notice and take advantage of opportunities.
- People who are open to new experiences: If you resist the new, you're probably not going to have many interesting things happen.
Are you an introverted neurotic who only listens to oldies and watches reruns? That's okay.
In the end, it's your behavior that matters. By acting more extroverted, less neurotic, and more open, you can increase luck.
If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you always gotten.
2. Listen to hunches
Lucky people act on their intuitions across many areas of their lives.
Lucky people make successful decisions by using their intuition and gut feelings… Almost 90 percent of lucky people said that they trusted their intuition when it came to personal relationships, and almost 80 percent said it played a vital role in their career choices… About 20 percent more lucky than unlucky people used their intuition when it came to making important financial decisions, and over 20 percent more used their intuition when thinking about their career choices. [Luck Factor]
Lucky people take more steps to boost their intuition as well.
They're more likely to respond to problems by meditating, clearing their mind, coming back to the problem later, or finding a quiet place to think about it.
Again, this isn't something innate or unchangeable. Want to increase luck in your life? Go with your gut more often.
3. Expect good fortune
Plain and simple — it's optimism.
You're more likely to try new things, follow through on opportunities, and have them succeed if you believe they'll work out well.
On average, lucky people thought that there was about a 90 percent chance of having a great time on their next holiday, (and) an 84 percent chance of achieving at least one of their lifetime ambitions…[Luck Factor]
Lucky people have "grit."
Lucky people attempt to achieve their goals, even if their chances of success seem slim, and persevere in the face of failure. [Luck Factor]
What do you need to do? Be optimistic. Persevere. Funny as it sounds, believe you're lucky and you're more likely to actually be lucky.
4. Turn bad luck into good
Lucky people aren't always lucky — but they handle adversity differently than unlucky people.
- Lucky people see the positive side of their bad luck.
- Lucky people are convinced that any ill fortune in their lives will, in the long run, work out for the best.
- Lucky people do not dwell on their ill fortune.
How do you respond to disappointment?
Giving up, getting gloomy and locking yourself in the house won't help the world offer you better opportunities. Instead, imitate lucky people when things don't go your way.
These principles work:
Not only did Wiseman find that lucky people had these qualities in common, he was able to make unlucky people more lucky by having them apply the ideas.
In total, 80 percent of people who attended Luck School said that their luck had increased. On average, these people estimated that their luck had increased by more than 40 percent. [Luck Factor]
Not only were they luckier, participants also scored higher on life satisfaction after trying Wiseman's principles.
So making yourself lucky can also make you happy. Now that's good fortune.
And if you enjoyed this post, share it with friends. We could all use some good luck. :)
Join 45K+ readers. Get a free weekly update via email here.
More from Barking up the Wrong Tree
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Hey, bosses: Stop giving bonuses to your employees
- Why the Sony hack changes everything
- Why torture doesn't work: A definitive guide
- What the media gets wrong about Jeb Bush
- Why Obama was right to give Cuba a 'full bailout'
- 10 things you need to know today: December 18, 2014
- You should be furious about Hollywood's gutless retreat on The Interview
- Vox, derp, and the intellectual stagnation of the left
Subscribe to the Week