86% of Brits admit to engaging in superstitious behaviours such as crossing fingers, bringing along a lucky charm, touching wood, feeling anxious upon breaking a mirror or about the number 13, when it comes to drawing in good luck or avoiding bad luck (British Association for the Advancement of Science, 2003). Research into the concept of luck, however, reveals that people have more to do with how their lives turn out than they thought. Many people who are considered lucky by everyone else adopt certain attitudes and beliefs that are worth knowing and trying out for ourselves.
Be open to new experiences.
Don’t shut yourself off to new experiences and novel ways of engaging in familiar activities. Instead of saying no to an invitation to an event you think might be boring, or giving in to the urge of ordering your usual snack at your usual restaurant, give the “unknown” a chance to be known. Luck favours those who are open to a variety of experiences rather than those who stick to their regular routines.
Be more positive.
People who generally maintain a positive attitude toward life have been proven to take in a greater amount of visual and social information. On the other hand, people who are usually in a bad mood don’t appreciate as much of what goes on around them, leaving them prone to missing out on potentially beneficial opportunities.
Get to know as many people and have as many friends as you can.
The more friends you have, the more contacts are in your reach and the greater the chances are that opportunities for good luck will come your way. Having a wide circle of friends from diverse backgrounds allows you to learn about job openings, options for buying and selling, and other ways of maximising circumstances. These same opportunities abound online, so the more online contacts you have, the more chances you’ll have of availing these opportunities.
Do something different.
Do something you would not normally do. Walk instead of taking the bus, take an alternative route to work, get your groceries at a different store, or go to a new club. Changing some of your behavioural habits can transform your mental habits as well, allowing you to be more open to fortuitous meetings and opportunities that would otherwise not have come your way.
Sometimes, it pays to be less focused on a task as being too conscientious about performing a task shuts you off to unexpected or hidden opportunities. Being too intent on accomplishing a task in a certain way does not leave you much opportunity to notice extraneous stimuli that could lead to other opportunities or even to better ways of performing the same task. While striving to beat that deadline at the office, you may also take note of the conversations between colleagues or the trending stories online.
Do not be afraid to fail.
Sometimes, taking a risk doesn’t pan out well and you end up failing to meet your objective. That’s quite alright. Accept that failures are part of the adventure. Know that behind every success story of those considered the luckiest people in the world are several failures and regrets. What is important is that you do not lose heart. Failing at one endeavour means that you are free to engage in another or that you are given the chance to try a different approach.
Maintain a number of goals.
Whatever you are doing, do not have just one goal that you are focused on. Try to have as many goals as you can, to prime yourself to being open to possibilities and to increase the likelihood of attaining success in some of your goals at least. When you attend a party, try not to focus on meeting Mr. or Ms. Right, as you are setting yourself up for probable disappointment. Instead, aim to make new friends, deepen old acquaintances and even spot some career opportunities. Having several goals instead of one increases the odds that you will be “lucky” and attain some level of success.
Enhance your skills and add to your abilities. The more things you are good at, the more avenues open up to you. Taking short courses, cultivating your talents, and even simply reading up on a lot of topics allow you to establish new contacts and keep abreast of issues that could lead to something very productive and fortuitous later on.
Trust your intuition.
If you have a hunch or a gut feel, trust it, follow it, and you will probably end up being lucky. Intuition is never derived from thin air. It is usually based on information and stimuli that we have perceived, perhaps unconsciously, that is supported by good judgment and rational thinking. Strive to develop your intuitive abilities through relaxation techniques, meditation and being more perceptive about your physical and social surroundings.
Studies show that lucky people think and behave in particular ways that generate good fortune in their lives. How people react to you and what opportunities open up to you are often a function of how you act, how receptive and engaging you are, and of what your expectations are. When you expect good things to happen to you, you tend to seek out and be more aware of positive experiences and act in ways that elicit the occurrence of events and situations that happen when Fate smiles down on you.
The lesson is quite simple – we can create our own luck. Even though we seem to be having a string of misfortunes, you can put your chin up, knowing that ultimately, you are the captain of your fate!