\ Feeling Lucky? | Christina Brandt

Feeling Lucky?

I’m one of those people who always seems to have what I call “good luck within my bad luck.”  I’ve run out of gas (within five feet of a gas station).  I have flat tires (in my driveway).  Recently, my car’s transmission died (in my garage).  When I picked the repaired car up on a rainy day, I discovered my windshield wipers didn’t work (as I was driving out of the lot).

In each case, I could have held onto the first part of those stories – flat tire, ran out of gas, etc. – but what helped me cope was the fact that in each case the scenario could have been so much worse.  I could have been on the side of a highway, stuck in an unsafe area, or far from available help or resources when each of these things happened.

I could cite examples about my health, career, and relationships as well, but I think you get the point:  my choice in how to think about the situations allowed me to experience less suffering.  Sounds fairly grand, using the word “suffering,” but let’s examine this a bit further.

My friend Betsy urged me to read Dr. Richard Wiseman’s The Luck Factor:  How to Increase Luck in Your Life.  Wiseman conducted years of interviews and experiments with over 400 volunteers and came up with an interesting conclusion:  luck is something that can be learned.

He determined the Four Essential Principles of Luck:

Creating Chance Opportunities – According to Wiseman, “lucky people create, notice and act upon the chance opportunities in their lives.”  They build and maintain what Wiseman calls a strong “network of luck,” meeting a large number of people and developing relationships with them.  A relaxed attitude towards life gives lucky people an edge, too.  Being calm and relaxed helps lucky folks notice opportunities more than those who are anxious and neurotic.  They’re also more likely to create novelty in their lives, welcoming new experiences.

Feeling Lucky – Wiseman says “lucky people make successful decisions by using their intuition and gut feelings.”  They listen to their “inner voice” and consider what it’s trying to tell them.

Thinking Lucky – “Lucky people’s expectations about the future help them fulfill their dreams and ambitions,” says Wiseman.  They “expect their good luck to continue in the future.”

Denying Fate – Wiseman’s Principle Four says “Lucky people are able to transform their bad luck into good fortune.”  Turns out, I’ve been employing this principle all along, as described earlier.

Want to be a lucky duck?  Work on the following:

  • building and maintaining relationships
  • being relaxed and calm
  • being open to new experiences in your life
  • listening to your hunches
  • using techniques such as meditation to boost your intuition
  • assuming interactions with others will be positive
  • not dwelling on ill fortune

Funny…haven’t I been writing about these activities in my newsletter all along?  My clients would tell you we work on these activities in our work together, too.  Dr. Wiseman’s a smart guy!

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