“Nobody gets justice. People only get good luck or bad luck.” – Orson Welles
Do you believe in luck? In some ways I think I do. I definitely think that some people are naturally more lucky than others.
Take my mother, (Please, take her, my Dad would say.) She is definitely lucky. She has this uncanny knack of picking the most unlikely looking winner at the races simply because she likes the colour of the jockey’s hat or the horse’s name. She doesn’t study form, she is often not at all bothered by the odds but she will say she just ‘had a feeling.’
Mr B on the other hand is the complete opposite. He really couldn’t pick a winner in a two horse race. It is bizarre. In fact I often wait until he has chosen who he is backing before I decide on mine. It is a very useful way of shortening the odds. He is also supremely unlucky at cards and gets dealt the most useless hands on a regular basis.
He can’t be that unlucky though, he did marry me after all *scoffs*.
Some would argue that there is no such thing as luck, but simply the ability to spot opportunity. Is this luck then, or more of a talent? I recently stumbled across a fascinating study that was published in the Telegraph over 10 years ago. It makes for really interesting reading and one particular test would certainly provide support for this argument.
Richard Wiseman, a psychologist, recruited 400 members of the public who classed themselves as consistently lucky or consistently unlucky. He gave each of them a newspaper and asked them to tell him how many photos were inside. The unlucky people took an average of two minutes to do this. The lucky group took just a few seconds. Why? The second page of the newspaper contained a message in text more than two inches high that read, ‘Stop counting. There are 43 photographs in this newspaper.’ The lucky people tended to spot it, the unlucky group tended not to.
A second message was placed halfway through the paper which read ‘Stop counting. Tell the experimenter you have seen this and win £250.” Again, the unlucky people tended to miss it.
From this, and many other experiments, Mr Wiseman determined that unlucky people are often more tense and their anxiety will often disrupt their ability to notice the unexpected, thus missing out on potential opportunities. He also argues that lucky people generate good fortune via four basic principles. They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, they make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, they create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and they adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.
It is fascinating.
So, what do you think? Would you class yourself as lucky or unlucky? Are you a glass-half-full or glass-half-empty type and do you think this affects your own luck? Please let me know. I am truly interested in hearing more about this.