Make Your Own Luck

We’re all unlucky, aren’t we? We’re always less lucky than the next person. It’s so easy to point at someone else and say, “You’re so lucky…”

What an easy way to write yourself off. What an easy way to excuse yourself. What an easy way to label someone else as an exception. Here’s the truth though, they’re not an exception, they’re not lucky, and you’re not unlucky—the grass is always greener on the other side.

“You’re so lucky you can be so selective.” No, I choose to be selective.

“You’re so lucky you can go to bed so early.” No, I make sleep a priority. I choose to go to bed early.

“You’re so lucky…” No, I am in charge of the decisions I make.

As are you.

Rather than writing someone off as lucky, ask them, “How did you get to this point?” Very often, the question isn’t even of how, but why do they make the decisions that they make.

Your luck is a series of decisions. Your luck stems from a mindset. Those who believe they naturally attract misfortune will continue in doing so. When you recognize that your luck is a series of decisions, you put yourself in a position to change it—to define it.

Richard Wiseman conducted a study to better understand if some people are actually less lucky than others, and if so, why. In Wiseman’s study, he gathered two groups of people: those who considered themselves lucky, and those who considered themselves unlucky.

For the study, both groups were asked to flip through a newspaper and count the number of photographs. While the unlucky group took 2 minutes to count the photographs, the lucky group only took a couple of seconds.

What made the lucky group so much faster? Perhaps it was luck? On the second page of the newspaper read a message, “Stop counting. There are 43 photographs in this newspaper.”

Those who considered themselves unlucky are inherently in a mindset that the odds are always stacked against them, whether they’re conscious of that mindset or not. Wiseman’s study is a perfect example of that. The unlucky group was too concerned with messing up or failing that they completely glazed over the message with the answer.

“Lucky people are also open to novel opportunities and willing to try things outside of their usual experiences. They’re more inclined to pick up a book on an unfamiliar subject, to travel to less familiar destinations, and to interact with people who are different than themselves.” —Tins Seelig

My challenge for you this weekend is to write down 10 things you’re unlucky with, and then make it your mission to change your luck with at least one of the things you wrote down by Monday. Keep in mind though, you will never change your luck if you believe you’re inherently unlucky.