I’ve been thinking about luck lately. It started over a chat where someone was professing how unlucky she is: with romance, at work and in everyday, ordinary circumstances. As she continued ticking off a litany of misfortunes to me, I encouraged her to be more positive because I didn’t want her to attract more negative things.
A few days after that conversation, I stumbled upon an article that detailed an experiment on luck by a professor in England, Richard Wiseman. I had read of Wiseman’s work years ago and was fascinated; it felt like serendipitous timing to find it again. Once more I read of how Wiseman studied the phenomenon of luck and came to this conclusion: whether or not we have luck is mostly in our control, in the way we think.
Wiseman believes only 10% of what happens to us is random; the other 90% is based on our thoughts and attitudes. In his experiments people who considered themselves lucky were more likely to notice opportunities and have fortunate things happen to them. On the flip side, the ones who called themselves unlucky missed the exact same opportunities.
I started asking around. Almost everyone I spoke to defined themselves as unlucky or only lucky every now and then. A few of them didn’t try to sugar coat it. One said, “I have the worst luck in the world.” Another shot me a despondent look and said, “I’m the unluckiest person I know.” (And they had plenty of “evidence” to back it up.)
I tend to go back and forth. Sometimes I feel like good fortune is sprinkling on me in a flourish. Other times, I feel like one bad thing after another is being hurled at me full force with no time to catch my breath in between.
“I’ve been lucky. Opportunities don’t often come along. So, when they do, you have to grab them.”
I think I’m going to try and feel luckier. Why not? I’m curious to see what will happen.