Does being lucky exist?


By Celine Wallace

Wellness Expert and Founder of Sattva Soul Retreats

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Firstly, what is luck? And why do some people consider themselves as lucky while others feel unlucky? Luck by definition is 'Success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one's own actions.' That definition in and of itself is an exciting idea, the idea that things can happen to us by chance. Do you believe in that concept?

Many believe being "lucky" or "unlucky" is also a question of perspective, someone has experienced a severe car accident can see the situation as "unlucky" after breaking an arm. On the other hand, this same person could say, "I'm very lucky to be here." When looking at luck from an objective view, I wanted to research all the different thought trains and find studies written on the topic. When I was researching, I stumbled upon Psychologist Richard Wiseman's work, author of "The Luck Factor." In one of his studies, he recruited 700 people who considered themselves as both lucky and some unlucky. Interestingly enough after a series of tests, the "lucky" group were believed to be twice as likely to win the lottery when compared to the "unlucky" group, but in reality, there was no difference in winning between the two groups.

In his next study, he investigated the life satisfaction of the two groups. The "lucky" ones said they felt significantly more satisfied with their lives than the "unlucky" subjects. He continued to investigate through a series of elegant experiments that "lucky" people have more good things happen to them than the "unlucky" ones and its not because of chance or luck. The "lucky" subjects were people who were significantly more extrovert and open than the others. They were twice as likely to smile and engage in eye contact than the "unlucky" people. This translates into maximizing the probability of positive opportunities. The "unlucky" subjects would meet and speak to fewer people, reducing the likelihood of positive outcomes from occurring. For example, if they met a director of a company at a dinner that was seeking someone with their profile, then that would not be due to luck. Instead, by being social and interacting with people, you maximize the probability of such events occurring. If you had been in this situation without being social and interactive, you might not have spoken to this person, and you would not have been "lucky" to get the job.

Another trait found that was really interesting was that the "lucky" subjects weren't as anxious as the "unlucky" subjects. They were more confident, outgoing and relaxed which allowed them to notice opportunities and be more open than those who were anxious. This positive attitude and shift in awareness, in addition to being open and interactive, allowed them to be able to detect opportunities, which was also a competitive advantage than those who felt 'unlucky.'

In conclusion, a positive attitude is a gateway to opportunity it comes down to a matter of opinion, but in my studies and research, it seemed that being "lucky" is determined by your state of mind and the way you engage the world. So, I pose the question, do you led with a lucky or unlucky mindset? I know what I'm choosing.

Celine Wallace