The biggest reason you don’t have the life you want is because you are focused on what you aren’t getting. You see only your lack of luck. Successful people live life as they desire because they focus on what they are getting. These people see all their options, and when they receive the benefits from wisely acting on the options, everyone else calls them lucky. It was Machiavelli who told us that success is 50% luck, and the rest is how we respond to that luck through cunning and bravura. Personally I believe that life is only 10% what happens to me and 90% how I respond to it, but this goes way beyond seeing the glass half empty or half full. This is the difference between seeing the glass or dying of thirst.
Most people hold the belief that some are just born lucky and others are not. They believe somehow that “fate” decides the lucky. The most interesting thing to me about the concept of luck is that the world’s biggest experts on the subject seem to be the ones who do not have it. The day I came to this realization was the day I realized the concept of luck was flawed. Think of it like this. What if the biggest experts on financial investing were all bankrupt and the people with the most money had no idea how they did it? It would tell you that something else is going on that no one is seeing. This is how it is with luck. Ask a lucky person why they are so lucky and the most popular answers will be either that they don’t know or that it’s because they expect good things to happen to them. The flaw in the logic of the second statement is simple. If you had been unusually lucky your entire life, would you not also start to expect it?
Ask a person who considers themselves unlucky about luck and expect everything from an emotional rant to a lengthy pseudo-scientific explanation based on something completely irrelevant like the day they were born on. They will include that the “fact” (as they see it) that because their luck has been so bad for so long, it means that their luck has to be about to change for the better. Ask them about a person who is lucky and they will tell you that because they have been so lucky for so long, they should be careful because their luck is about to run out. None of this is necessarily true. I have known people who spend their entire lives falling on their face and I have known people who always land on their feet, no matter what happens. The key to what I am about to show you is in the last part of that sentence, “…no matter what happens.” This has nothing to do with luck. It’s pure science.
There was a very interesting study done on luck by Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire. He gave a newspaper to both a group of “lucky” and a group of “unlucky” people. Both groups were asked to look through the newspaper and tell him how many photographs it contained. On average, the unlucky people took about two minutes to count the photographs, whereas the lucky people took just seconds. Why? Because the second page of the newspaper contained the message: “Stop counting. There are 43 photographs in this newspaper.” This message took up half of the page and was written in type that was more than 2 inches high. It was staring everyone straight in the face, but the unlucky people tended to miss it and the lucky people tended to spot it followed by adjusting their actions based on what they found.
It’s not about luck. It’s about keeping your eyes open.
I am the type of person who is considered lucky. I learned how to be lucky. I interact with as many people as possible to create as many opportunities as I can for myself. I separate from the negative and pursue the positive in very creative ways. I know when to hold on to value that others don’t see and when to let go for something better that I usually find hiding right in front of my face. It’s not that I have better luck than other people; it’s that I can see things that others can’t.
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