People have different attitudes towards luck. Some deny its existence, believing that success only comes from talent and hard work. Others try every means to attract fickle fortune: hanging horseshoes on walls, eating four-leaf clovers, buying special amulets, and so on. Today, we will try to understand what luck is and how to really attract it.
Meaning of the concept
According to dictionaries, luck is called the desirable outcome of a particular event that does not depend on the actions and efforts of the person involved. That is, it is some kind of random chance or unpredictable coincidence that leads to success.
For example, winning the lottery, roulette, or other gambling games are often called luck. In simple words, it is a pleasant coincidence that happens. The closest synonyms for this concept are luck, a stroke of luck.
In the past, two phrases were used in the Russian language to denote luck: good luck (luck) and bad luck (failure, misfortune). Today, these expressions are already outdated, but in English, the constructions good luck and bad luck are still used, and literally – good and bad luck.
The concept can be viewed from two sides. One point of view is superstitious. It is adhered to by people who believe that luck is pure chance, a product of playful fortune that blindly gives people treats and bonuses without any logic, but at the same time, whose favor can be earned by enticing it with something. They chase after luck with the help of omens, talismans, furniture arrangement according to feng shui, numerological codes, and other tools.
Another point of view is psychological-scientific. According to this theory, luck is either a chance that cannot be influenced, or the result of personal choice, perseverance, thinking, strategy, and tactics. In this article, I will adhere to this approach.
What religions and people say about luck
Despite differences in the fundamental ideas of different religions, the opinions regarding luck among the leading world religions generally coincide:
- Buddhism. The founder of this philosophical movement and Indian religion taught his followers not to believe in luck, because the essence of Buddhism is that everything has its material or spiritual cause. A person creates his own destiny, his own luck. However, in many Buddhist countries, people wear amulets that are blessed by monks.
- Christianity. The Bible also denies chance and asserts that any chance occurrence, whether it is winning a battle, a race or gaining wealth, is God’s will. In the Book of Proverbs it is said: “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.” This indicates that even chance events, such as rolling dice or flipping a coin, are subject to God’s will. However, in the early stages of its development, Christianity allowed for many practices of ritual sacrifices, which were performed to obtain divine grace, in other words, luck.
- Islam. Muslims also do not have the concept of luck or coincidence, there are only human actions, which are determined by Allah and based on the merits of choice. To improve one’s life, one must pray to the Almighty and serve Him, observing His commandments. At the same time, “for the sake of obtaining the blessing of the Almighty” and in this religion, sacrifice is also practiced.
A few curious facts! In China, luck is considered a permanent character trait like intelligence or optimism. At the same time, luck, in their understanding, can easily be combined with hard work. On the other hand, Westerners are reluctant to talk about luck. They prefer to believe that their success is solely their own merit. And if someone fails, they say that he just got unlucky!
The Scientific Approach to Luck
Numerous studies have been conducted on the topic of luck, and they all boil down to a single idea: luck is not a myth, a winning streak does exist, but it is created by the person themselves.
For example, Harvard students E. Boskocsky, D. Ezikovitz, and K. Stein analyzed video recordings of over 83,000 basketball shots made by players in the National Basketball Association and concluded that a player who has already made 1-2 successful shots can continue to win with a probability that is 30% higher than the average.
Why does this happen? The reason is that after the first win, the player gets excited and begins to believe in their abilities more, and the task in front of them seems less difficult. As a result, they become more active, making complex moves, taking shots from disadvantageous positions, and so on. In other words, their behavior and attitude towards the game increase their chances of success.
Another study was conducted by Jumin Xue and Nigel Harvey from the University of London. They reviewed approximately 500,000 online bets on the outcomes of football matches and found that a person who wins three times in a row has an almost 67% chance of correctly guessing the bet on the fourth time. If they win the fourth time, the probability of winning the fifth time increases to 72%. At the same time, the chances of success in the next bets for a player who lost in the first and second rounds are much lower.
The solution to this phenomenon was again found in behavior. A winning player becomes more cautious with their bets, while a losing player becomes more reckless and takes risks.
In a series of experiments, management professor Maya Yang from the University of California found that the number of achievements is directly related to a person’s belief in their luck. Those who believe that they are lucky and favored by fate are much more likely to succeed.
In 2010, another study was conducted on golf players who were told that they were given a “lucky” ball, and they showed much better results than players using a “regular” ball.
What sets successful people apart
Maya Yang’s experience echoes the work of a psychologist from the University of Hartford and author of the book “The Luck Factor,” Richard Wiseman. According to him, luck comes to those who perceive it as a common human trait, not innate, but rather acquired and developed within oneself.
Wiseman’s research showed that lucky people are more likely to create their own luck through four key qualities:
- They are more observant, able to create and notice new opportunities, and timely seize them.
- They trust their intuition, listen to it, and therefore make more successful decisions.
- They have a positive attitude, believe in their success and their own luck.
- They have a philosophical attitude towards mistakes, which allows them to see luck even in failures.
People who consider themselves lucky are more optimistic, have better moods, are more satisfied with their lives, and experience less anxiety and depression than those who think of themselves as unlucky outsiders.
People who believe that they are unlucky in life are much less likely to take advantage of new opportunities because they are already set up for failure. They are very sensitive to all kinds of failures, often tense, anxious, and pessimistic.
In his book, Wiseman described an experiment where participants were asked to count the number of photographs in a newspaper, on one of the pages of which there was a large sign saying, “Everyone who sees this text will receive 250 pounds sterling.” Almost none of those who called themselves unlucky paid attention to this sign, while many of the “lucky ones” saw and received the promised reward.
The psychologist explained this by saying that “unlucky people” are fixated on their problems, on their inner world, while “lucky people” are open to new things and notice chance opportunities.
How to attract luck
I think if you’ve made it to this section of the article, you probably have almost no questions about how you can attract luck to yourself. To summarize all of the above, I will briefly outline a number of tips for those who want to catch luck by the tail and become lucky.
Develop trust in the world within yourself.
Be open, don’t hide behind the curtain of your own habits and stereotypes. Accept other people’s points of view, be observant and curious.
If you’ve always thought that there are lucky and unlucky people, here’s a useful belief: luck in life depends on your mindset and behavior! Plant this thought in your mind! And let it grow there. Your task is to regularly water it with your thoughts and faith.
Shift from scarcity thinking to abundance thinking.
People who consider themselves unlucky believe that all resources are strictly limited, that there won’t be enough money for everyone, good partners are taken, and there is no place under the sun left to occupy.
Successful people think differently. The world is limitless opportunities for them, where everyone and everything in life is abundant, so there is no need to compete, be greedy, push, and fight for resources.
Grow faith in your own luck.
If it makes it easier for you, use the “lucky ball effect”: find a t-shirt that “brings luck” or always carry a pen that is “charged for success” with you. Of course, it is charged with your thoughts and faith, not magic and wizardry.
Look at mistakes and failures as valuable lessons and necessary experiences.
You can look at the same situation in completely different ways. Accordingly, the reaction can also be different. The same event can cause sadness or joy for two different people. For example, for one person, being fired is a great tragedy, and for another, it’s an opportunity to finally find work that they love.
Look for the positives in everything.
And remember, you never know what a failure will turn into in the future. History knows millions of cases when a big failure eventually led a person to unprecedented heights of success.
Look at fortune not as a mythical force distributing good things randomly, but as a logical consequence of your actions.
Remember the times when luck smiled on you. Then think about what actions were necessary for the luck to materialize. This will help you see the connection between luck and behavior.
Develop optimism in yourself.
One difference between a loser and a lucky person is that the former only notices the negative: cloudy weather, low salary, high prices, problems with neighbors, etc. All his thoughts and conversations are focused on this.
The latter, however, knows how to accentuate the positive: he seeks solutions, discusses ideas and possibilities, finds things to be grateful for in the world and the people around him.
Don’t be afraid to act and step out of your comfort zone.
You can sit and complain about an unfair fate for a long time, but if you don’t take any action to change something, nothing will happen.
If you want to be happy and lucky – be it! You can be skeptical of this phrase, but success is always a choice. Sitting on the sidelines and being afraid, or being active and brave – it’s a choice. Giving up after the first failure or trying again and again – that’s also a choice. Choose!
Upon closer inspection, it is easy to see that lucky coincidences are simply a positive attitude that makes us open to new opportunities, perceptions of patterns, and active solutions. Each of us is lucky to the extent that we believe we are lucky. Luck always finds those who seek it and do not repel it.
Scientists claim that every person is born lucky. After all, the probability that a certain sperm will reach the egg despite all obstacles is so small that it cannot be calculated mathematically. And it is such “circumstances” that determine our entire existence. Isn’t that a huge stroke of luck and a reason to consider oneself lucky?
Friends, please share in the comments how you feel about luck.