GoodluckLuck is something you have or don’t have, right? Wrong. Turns out, being “lucky” is just a state of mind.

Some of you have heard of Richard Wiseman before and others may have heard about his “luck” studies. If not, I wanted to share this with you.

Wiseman’s conclusions are stunning. Anything that happens to you isn’t because of luck. He says, “[Lucky people] are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.”

Pretty neat stuff. So the next time someone says, “Oh, I’m just unlucky,” you can point them to this article.

Check out the rest of the article for details on how to create your own luck :)

Be lucky – it’s an easy skill to learn

By Richard Wiseman

A decade ago, I set out to investigate luck. I wanted to examine the impact on people’s lives of chance opportunities, lucky breaks and being in the right place at the right time. After many experiments, I believe that I now understand why some people are luckier than others and that it is possible to become luckier.

To launch my study, I placed advertisements in national newspapers and magazines, asking for people who felt consistently lucky or unlucky to contact me. Over the years, 400 extraordinary men and women volunteered for my research from all walks of life: the youngest is an 18-year-old student, the oldest an 84-year-old retired accountant.

Jessica, a 42-year-old forensic scientist, is typical of the lucky group. As she explained: “I have my dream job, two wonderful children and a great guy whom I love very much. It’s amazing; when I look back at my life, I realise I have been lucky in just about every area.”

In contrast, Carolyn, a 34-year-old care assistant, is typical of the unlucky group. She is accident-prone. In one week, she twisted her ankle in a pothole, injured her back in another fall and reversed her car into a tree during a driving lesson. She was also unlucky in love and felt she was always in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Over the years, I interviewed these volunteers, asked them to complete diaries, questionnaires and intelligence tests, and invited them to participate in experiments. The findings have revealed that although unlucky people have almost no insight into the real causes of their good and bad luck, their thoughts and behaviour are responsible for much of their fortune.

Take the case of chance opportunities. Lucky people consistently encounter such opportunities, whereas unlucky people do not. I carried out a simple experiment to discover whether this was due to differences in their ability to spot such opportunities.

I gave both lucky and unlucky people a newspaper, and asked them to look through it and tell me how many photographs were inside. 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 2in 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.

For fun, I placed a second large message halfway through the newspaper: “Stop counting. Tell the experimenter you have seen this and win £250.” Again, the unlucky people missed the opportunity because they were still too busy looking for photographs.

Personality tests revealed that unlucky people are generally much more tense than lucky people, and research has shown that anxiety disrupts people’s ability to notice the unexpected. In one experiment, people were asked to watch a moving dot in the centre of a computer screen. Without warning, large dots would occasionally be flashed at the edges of the screen. Nearly all participants noticed these large dots.

The experiment was then repeated with a second group of people, who were offered a large financial reward for accurately watching the centre dot, creating more anxiety. They became focused on the centre dot and more than a third of them missed the large dots when they appeared on the screen. The harder they looked, the less they saw.

And so it is with luck – 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.

My research revealed that lucky people generate good fortune via four basic principles. They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.

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Guide to Inspired Life
Vishen Lakhiani

Vishen Lakhiani

Vishen Lakhiani is the founder and CEO of Mindvalley — a ground-breaking company comprised of innovators, artists, technologist and dreamers from over 30 countries around the world. Vishen also created the transformational program, Consciousness Engineering.

32 Comments

  • Eth_Jones says:

    Astounding stuff
    reiterates what ive heard before just in so much planier terms
    we truly make ourse4lves lucky or unluck.
    by seeking for luck in the wrong places where the odds are fixed. rather than taking advantage of oppertunitys

  • Kris says:

    This is so very true. I win on lottery scratch tickets all the time andI am now making exceptional passive income with this company that I found on the net by shear accident.
    http://www.geniusfunds.com/?c=993362
    I also found a way to lose 40 lbs in under 3 months that is painless and am now
    selling my menu's
    Life keeps giving me more and more positive things daily.
    I wake up looking forward to making money without struggling and also with
    a fantastic feeling of happiness.
    One should always remember to choose happiness, choose weath and choose
    living life to the fullest and life will give you all of that and more
    Liveinpassion@aol.com

  • Eli says:

    Is there a difference between bad "luck" and bad "fortune"? Age 4, I watched my informally adopted grandmother get killed on the train tracks as she was coming to get me to bake cookies, age 7, pimped out by my brother, raped by his friend (age 15), age 19, birth and death of first daughter, near fatal hemorrhage, age 21, death of husband to combat, age 31, broken back, confined to wheelchair for life, age 34, out of wheelchair, age 35, youngest daughter raped, age 36, grandmother to twin boys and the first legal open adoption in the state, age 50, near fatal scorpion sting, age 54, gastropareses, age 54-57, sepsis 17 times, 3 heart attacks, and another near fatal hemorrhage. My friends describe me as an optimistic , and I wonder if maybe I was Hilter in my past. Even as I finished typing this, I touched "something" and the whole thing disappeared, and I had to retype it all.

    Any thoughts?

    • Rosie says:

      I heard of other people like this, some say its bad feug shui and that you need to use the energy around you in a different way, it a simple process. Check into it. Also others have put positive images up where they can see them of things they desire (deep feeling) to attract. It is also believe by some that you are not to mention or give most of your attention to these thing you prefer not to re-attract, by not "feeling that bad feeling" because you become a magnet to the things that match what your "feeling" sometimes easier said than done. Lucky people think of their past feelings with luck and therefore recreate something else that brings that same great feeling. A happy exciting thought is way stronger than a strong negative emotion, so your luck can change pretty quick by hold thoughts that make your heart sing. Our life is said to reflect back to us our thinking & feeling style. That's why they say it is not that we inherit neg. health etc, but our life (thinking & feeling=belief) style that determines what we attract! Look for the good things in your past, and write them down only the good. Lucky people sometime have just as many bad, but the good outweighs and get their full attention and with great gratitude. Gratitude naturally give you that top feeling we all need as fuel for our life. I hope this can get through to where your good feeling are. May you find and except peace of mind and happiness.

  • Eth_Jones says:

    Astounding stuff
    reiterates what ive heard before just in so much planier terms
    we truly make ourse4lves lucky or unluck.
    by seeking for luck in the wrong places where the odds are fixed. rather than taking advantage of oppertunitys

  • puttaraju says:

    it is 100% true, the good luck or bad luck, just it is a mental attitude, just go on do the work mechanically with the presence of mind this mechanical work becomes
    magnetic work which gives lot of happiness, it brings confidence in the life, it turns into positive thinking, you will enjoy the life, true happiness tremendously flood into the mind

  • puttaraju says:

    it is 100% true, the good luck or bad luck, just it is a mental attitude, just go on do the work mechanically with the presence of mind this mechanical work becomes magnetic work, you will understand the life better, a fool will wait for the luck an intelligent will create the luck, it is learning era, learn from the worst, every failure brings experiance, every unluck shows us the new path, unluck is a key to a luck, wisly one should open it
    all this is for happiness, be happy weather you are lucky or unlucky, if you are lucky help others, if you are unlucky take help from others, do it for the happiness.

  • Kris says:

    This is so very true. I win on lottery scratch tickets all the time andI am now making exceptional passive income with this company that I found on the net by shear accident.
    http://www.geniusfunds.com/?c=993362
    I also found a way to lose 40 lbs in under 3 months that is painless and am now
    selling my menu's
    Life keeps giving me more and more positive things daily.
    I wake up looking forward to making money without struggling and also with
    a fantastic feeling of happiness.
    One should always remember to choose happiness, choose weath and choose
    living life to the fullest and life will give you all of that and more
    Liveinpassion@aol.com

  • Eli says:

    Is there a difference between bad “luck” and bad “fortune”? Age 4, I watched my informally adopted grandmother get killed on the train tracks as she was coming to get me to bake cookies, age 7, pimped out by my brother, raped by his friend (age 15), age 19, birth and death of first daughter, near fatal hemorrhage, age 21, death of husband to combat, age 31, broken back, confined to wheelchair for life, age 34, out of wheelchair, age 35, youngest daughter raped, age 36, grandmother to twin boys and the first legal open adoption in the state, age 50, near fatal scorpion sting, age 54, gastropareses, age 54-57, sepsis 17 times, 3 heart attacks, and another near fatal hemorrhage. My friends describe me as an optimistic , and I wonder if maybe I was Hilter in my past. Even as I finished typing this, I touched “something” and the whole thing disappeared, and I had to retype it all.

    Any thoughts?

    • Rosie says:

      I heard of other people like this, some say its bad feug shui and that you need to use the energy around you in a different way, it a simple process. Check into it. Also others have put positive images up where they can see them of things they desire (deep feeling) to attract. It is also believe by some that you are not to mention or give most of your attention to these thing you prefer not to re-attract, by not “feeling that bad feeling” because you become a magnet to the things that match what your “feeling” sometimes easier said than done. Lucky people think of their past feelings with luck and therefore recreate something else that brings that same great feeling. A happy exciting thought is way stronger than a strong negative emotion, so your luck can change pretty quick by hold thoughts that make your heart sing. Our life is said to reflect back to us our thinking & feeling style. That's why they say it is not that we inherit neg. health etc, but our life (thinking & feeling=belief) style that determines what we attract! Look for the good things in your past, and write them down only the good. Lucky people sometime have just as many bad, but the good outweighs and get their full attention and with great gratitude. Gratitude naturally give you that top feeling we all need as fuel for our life. I hope this can get through to where your good feeling are. May you find and except peace of mind and happiness.

  • Leila says:

    Luck used to be thought of as random – it's embedded in the word. Amazing that now it's possible to break it down into attitudes and actions. Thanks for the article.

  • Daniel says:

    Positivity attracts good luck much the same as negativity attracts bad luck. It is just that simple. I've subscribed to that all my life, it just plain works!

  • BRJ says:

    Thanks, I have just learnt how lucky I am. I have followed most of the principles mentioned, had some wonderful experiences, met some terrific people and turned most of the challenges into positive outcomes. Funny, I have never approached wealth in the same way – I have been happy to have enough to get bye. Maybe I will try a little expansion and see where that takes me. I will keep you posted.

    • Yvonne says:

      Amazing to find a similar person like me. I am a winner in all respects yet wealth as in financial wealth is not easy to come by. Will have to take my can-do attitude and use it to change my mindset ref financial wealth. If you have any ideas do share it with me.

  • Rina says:

    If it is so simple, then how to become a lucky person? Please don't tell me that I need to start to behave differently. It is not simple. Tomorrow I have a big interview. So, I am studying ( a lot…).
    Should I just forget about it and watch TV? And of course I am nervous…. Who wouldn't be?

  • puttaraju says:

    it is 100% true, the good luck or bad luck, just it is a mental attitude, just go on do the work mechanically with the presence of mind this mechanical work becomes
    magnetic work which gives lot of happiness, it brings confidence in the life, it turns into positive thinking, you will enjoy the life, true happiness tremendously flood into the mind

  • Colleen Maranda says:

    Vishen, may I suggest that posters be required to keep any links (not just those for self promotion) in their signature only?
    I find Richard Wiseman's article fascinating, refreshing and uplifting. As more of us learn and practise the easy but powerful skills he is teaching, the whole of humanity -and therefore the planet – benefits as beautiful, natural consequence.
    I wonder if Eli's tragic experience at age 4, led to subsequent painful experiences largely through feelings of unworthiness (self-blame). She begins by reporting her adopted grandma's fatal accident occurred "as she was coming to get me to bake cookies". Her subsequent painful experiences would have compounded to intensify her self-defeating image of self. I am certain, every one of us carries a raft of subconscious self-imposed and undeserved "guilt" for various events. This directs our expectations, which are aligned with what we subconsciously believe we deserve.

    • AMPowers says:

      I totally agree with what you are saying. We must always realize that not only our actions but OUR THOGHTS as well have led us to where we are today. In accepting our role in the past, and not judging it…just accepting it, we are able to understand and recognize the power we have over ou own lives, whether we considered ourselves unlucky unworthy in the past. It reminds me of Jesus talking to Mary Magdeline in the Bible. She felt unworthy of even Jesus' presense. Jesus response….come along and drop the past…so what if you were a prostitute….come with me and change your life!!! Very powerful concept. Shed your guilt, shed your old self-image and take charge!

  • puttaraju says:

    it is 100% true, the good luck or bad luck, just it is a mental attitude, just go on do the work mechanically with the presence of mind this mechanical work becomes magnetic work, you will understand the life better, a fool will wait for the luck an intelligent will create the luck, it is learning era, learn from the worst, every failure brings experiance, every unluck shows us the new path, unluck is a key to a luck, wisly one should open it
    all this is for happiness, be happy weather you are lucky or unlucky, if you are lucky help others, if you are unlucky take help from others, do it for the happiness.

  • puttaraju says:

    it is 100% true, the good luck or bad luck, just it is a mental attitude, just go on do the work mechanically with the presence of mind this mechanical work becomes magnetic work, you will understand the life better, a fool will wait for the luck an intelligent will create the luck, it is learning era, learn from the worst, every failure brings experience, every unluck shows us the new path, un luck is a key to a luck, wisely one should open it

  • Joe says:

    This is excellent.

  • Rina says:

    If it is so simple, then how to become a lucky person? Please don't tell me that I need to start to behave differently. It is not simple. Tomorrow I have a big interview. So, I am studying ( a lot…).
    Should I just forget about it and watch TV? And of course I am nervous…. Who wouldn't be?

  • There is no question that people who are more relaxed and easy going are able to spot opportunity. Because they allow life to flow. I have found in my own life that to be true. When we are anxious or tensed and stressed, we cut off the flow of life itself. Energy can't flow through a clogged pipe. I talk about this all the time on my blog.

  • Colleen Maranda says:

    Vishen, may I suggest that posters be required to keep any links (not just those for self promotion) in their signature only?
    I find Richard Wiseman's article fascinating, refreshing and uplifting. As more of us learn and practise the easy but powerful skills he is teaching, the whole of humanity -and therefore the planet – benefits as beautiful, natural consequence.
    I wonder if Eli's tragic experience at age 4, led to subsequent painful experiences largely through feelings of unworthiness (self-blame). She begins by reporting her adopted grandma's fatal accident occurred “as she was coming to get me to bake cookies”. Her subsequent painful experiences would have compounded to intensify her self-defeating image of self. I am certain, every one of us carries a raft of subconscious self-imposed and undeserved “guilt” for various events. This directs our expectations, which are aligned with what we subconsciously believe we deserve.

  • Colleen Maranda says:

    We are more likely to employ Richard Wiseman's skills for "good luck" when we firstly believe and accept that we have always acted to the best of our ability (regardless what society or other people tell us), that we are all divine beings and worthy of highest love (harmony). – My comment is continued, below…

  • Colleen Maranda says:

    We are more likely to employ Richard Wiseman's skills for “good luck” when we firstly believe and accept that we have always acted to the best of our ability (regardless what society or other people tell us), that we are all divine beings and worthy of highest love (harmony). – My comment is continued, below…

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