Is luck an actual “thing” in the universe? And if so, how can we acquire more luck?
A friend of mine is the quintessential happy-go-lucky type – things just happen to fall into his lap. He has a beautiful wife, a couple of well-behaved kids, a gorgeous home, money, education, friends, vacations, happiness…
I asked this friend how he came to be so lucky in life. He told me that he wasn’t as lucky as I perceived him to be. He then told me about all the problems that have come up in his life. There were a lot, from medical issues to losing both parents at a young age, to getting robbed… The key, he said, was to focus on the positive and never dwell on the negative. He said, “Everything I have is a direct result of my frame of mind.”
What he was saying wasn’t that profound. It wasn’t even an original concept – it’s the basic tenet of the widely successful book, The Secret.
I don’t know if there is some mysterious force in the universe that causes luck. If there is, it is not clear how it chooses to interact with human beings. Does it reward positive-minded people, does it act randomly, or does it work like karma – rewarding good-doers (from this life or past lives)?
I think the best kind of luck is self-made luck – the kind of luck you get by aligning yourself so that you have multiple options. What does that mean? Sometimes this can occur by consciously deciding where to sit at a blackjack table, being likeable, or having a positive outlook. If these “skills” do not come naturally to you, then you have some work to do.
Lucky people tend to be smart and ambitious. They align themselves in particular situations which they believe will be produce more favourable opportunities for them. This is even true of the lottery winner. Ask the lottery winner how many times he failed before he won.
The key to being lucky, it seems, is to have a particular acuteness for recognizing opportunities and responding swiftly and aptly when such opportunities arise. And the ability to recognize opportunities is vastly increased by a positive attitude and optimistic outlook.
The opposite is true of the habitually unlucky person. There are five main reasons why you are unlucky.
- You lack foresight.
- You do not align yourself with situations that will give you the best odds of producing favourable outcomes.
- You do not work hard and take steps to improve yourself.
- You do not recognize or take advantage of opportunities if and when they arise.
- You have a pessimistic outlook on life and focus on the negative.
Sometimes fortunate situations are in the guise of misfortune, it all depends on how you choose to look at it. The unlucky person could just be so pessimistic about life that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Even in the face of misfortune, there is still a possibility to create luck. As the saying goes, there is power in positive thinking.
Article by Edward Mullen
Host of The Edward Mullen Podcast