In this week's New Age Notebook, I am going to address a subject that
often comes up in the chat rooms: LUCK. Why is it that some people seem to
be born with horseshoes up the wazoo while others battle an endless string
of disasters and setbacks? Is there such thing as being born under a lucky
star? Is it karma or a curse? While some are eternal victims of Murphy's
Law: "if something can go wrong, it will.", others seem to be able to get
away with murder and suffer no consequences at all.
Luckily, I came across a very interesting article in the London Telegraph
about this subject by Richard Wiseman, a researcher who has been studying
extremely lucky and very unlucky people for the past ten years. His goal
was to find out if it was possible for anybody to become "luckier."
Wiseman asked hundreds of people who felt they were either "very lucky" or
"very unlucky" to fill out diaries and take part in questionnaires. I. Q.
tests and experiments. The findings have revealed that although unlucky
people have almost no insight into the causes of their good and bad luck,
their thoughts and behavior are responsible for much of their malfortune.
First he refers to what is called the "chance opportunity" or "lucky
break." We all know that lucky people consistently encounter them, while
unlucky people do not. Wiseman performed a test in which he asked both
fortunate and unfortunate people to search through a newspaper and find
out how many photographs were inside.
On average, the unlucky people took about two minutes to count the
photographs while the lucky people took just seconds. Why? Because the
second page of the newspaper contained the message: "Stop counting. There
are 43 photographs in this newspaper!" This message took up half the page
and was written in type that was more than five centimeters high. It was
staring everyone in the face, but the unlucky people tended to miss it and
the lucky tended to spot it. For fun, Wiseman apparently placed a second
large message halfway through the newspaper: "Stop counting. Tell the
experimenter you have seen this and win $700£." Again, the unlucky people
missed the opportunity because they were still stuck in the past -- too
busy looking for the original 43 photographs.
So it seems that being too obsessed or attached to pursuing one goal,
tends to make you somehow blind to opportunity and somehow unlucky.
Personality tests also revealed that unlucky people are generally much
more tense than lucky people, and research has shown that anxiety disrupts
people's ability to notice the unexpected. The harder they looked, the
less they saw. Unlucky people miss chance opportunities because they are
too focused on looking for something else.
Wiseman opened a "luck school, conducted all kinds of experiments and in
the end concluded that lucky people generate good fortune by using the
following three techniques:
USE YOUR INTUITION! Unlucky people often fail to follow their intuition
when making a choice, whereas lucky people tend to respect hunches. Lucky
people are interested in how they both think and feel about the various
options, rather than simply looking at the rational side of the situation.
Gut feelings act as an alarm bell - to consider a decision carefully.
VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE! Unlucky people tend to be creatures of
routine. By contrast, lucky people try to introduce variety into their
lives. Doing the same thing every day, or thinking about the same thing
every day creates a rut that prevents you from encountering opportunity.
ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE! Lucky people tend to see the positive side
of ill fortune. If they get a bad break, they cheer themselves up by
saying "it could have been worse." When one of Wiseman's extremely lucky
subjects broke his leg, he cheerfully explained that it could have been
worse - he could have broken his neck.
So, in a nutshell, how do you change your luck? Think outside the box,
think positive, don't dwell on the past and if you fall off your horse,
get right back on it. According to Wiseman, good or ill fortune is not
karma, its not a curse and its definitely not magic. It is self-created.
By: Sam Stevens