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?


About danspira

My blog is at: http://danspira.com. My face in real life appears at a higher resolution, although I do feel pixelated sometimes.

Posted on July 1, 2010, in Learning, Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Fascinating, Danny.

    When are you opening Luck School? What about those of us middling types?

    I am sure I would miss the “there are 43 photos” sign, but on the other hand, I consider myself pretty lucky in life, love . . .

  2. Thanks Rosasharn! I think us middling types can improve our luck…. it ain’t a binary thing… there are more than two types of people in the world, apparently 🙂

    As for joining my Luck School, that’s simple. Just send ten easy monthly payments of $77.77 made out to

    Dan Spira
    c/o Joy Luck Happy Fun Excellent Club
    777 Serendipity Drive
    Cloverleaf, TX 77015

  3. “There is no such thing as luck. There is only adequate or inadequate preparation to cope with a statistical universe.”

    – Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

  1. Pingback: Get More Money & Love with an Abundance Mindset… maybe. | Dan Spira

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