Learn To Be Lucky
Imagine the following learning objective: Upon completing this training, given a random probability of life events, the learner will demonstrate the ability to be luckier than before, by a factor of 80% or more.
Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire, has done some clever experiments investigating what makes people “lucky” or “unlucky.” He then took his research and applied it to demonstrate that a person can change their luck through training. A brief description of his work:
(HT to DRZ)
Put this concept of deliberately having the right attitude together with the concept of hard work per Thomas Jefferson (“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it”) and you’ve got a winning combination… but it’s not an easy combination to achieve, because “trying too hard” can get in the way of luck. As Wiseman’s experiments show,
…unlucky people miss chance opportunities because they are too focused on looking for something else. They go to parties intent on finding their perfect partner and so miss opportunities to make good friends. They look through newspapers determined to find certain types of job advertisements and as a result miss other types of jobs. Lucky people are more relaxed and open, and therefore see what is there rather than just what they are looking for.
Another take on this: In his recent philanthropic pledge / open letter in FORTUNE magazine (HT to MF-G), Warren Buffett exemplifies two complimentary (and self-reinforcing) conditions: Demonstrating luck and demonstrating gratitude.
Feeling lucky, punk?
Posted on July 1, 2010, in Learning, Life and tagged Luck, Programming, psychologist, Richard Wiseman, The Luck Factor: The Four Essential Principles, Thomas Jefferson, United States, University of Hertfordshire, Warren Buffett, Wiseman. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.