Wednesday, June 17, 2009
The Luck Factor
Several friends have been blogging about luck in the past few days. Steph writes of a formula to partially explain her luck. (Luck=opportunity + preparedness) Quite serendipitously, I was reading a book about luck. Richard Wiseman, a scholar from the UK, has spent his career studying the luck phenomenon and all things paranormal. In his work, he takes a hard look at serendipity, and one of the many conclusions that he reaches, that I love, is that serendipity is really not so serendipitous--it is really quite ordinary. We may not recognize it, but luck/karma/serendipity happens all the time. He teaches us to attune ourselves to it.
He asks readers to write down the memory of how they met their partner or spouse, how they found their current career, and how they met their closest friend. Was there some chance encounter at play in founding that relationship or causing the spark that made that decision for you? Most people begin to realize how lucky they are when they imagine how they met their best friend and realize that they wouldn't know this person if they had taken a different class or their car hadn't broken down in front of that store. When you take the long view of luck, you begin to see how lucky you really are.
Wiseman concludes that improving your luck is a factor of several things: 1) Opening yourself up to as many experiences as possible. Doing things, going places, meeting people, trying new foods. 2) Following your instincts and hunches. 3) Knowing what you want and going after it. 4) (My number one) Learning to recognize and appreciate how lucky you are. Becoming a glass half full kind of person goes a long way in making yourself feel more lucky.
So Steph and Dr. Wiseman and the Lucky girl seemed to have stumbled upon some great wisdom. I wish you all much luck and the wisdom to know when you have it. Please let me know about your lucky encounters. Or better yet, open up your journal and write about them.