Some of us go through life as though we have a dark cloud hanging over our heads. Some of us seem walk in sunshine. Why is that? Well, living a charmed life is not all just random chance. Our thinking and behaviour can make a big difference in how lucky we are.
Here are ten ways to change bad luck into good luck:
- Relax, don’t rush: You won’t find that $10 bill on the sidewalk if you are in too big a hurry.
- Let life be unexpected: So you went to the party hoping your friend would be there. She wasn’t. Don’t let your disappointment rob you of a chance to have a great conversation with someone else who is there instead. You never know where it can lead.
- Soften your thoughts about bad luck: Imagine that there is a good reason for a setback, even if you don’t know what it is. Your outlook as a whole becomes more positive, and a positive outlook brings about a more positive life.
- Make decisions with your gut: You may *know* that the new boyfriend you just met is bad news. Don’t ignore your gut and go out with him anyhow. Move on instead.
- Be open to new experiences: Eat a new food. Learn another language. Go a different route to work. If you’ve ever driven your car to the office on a Saturday night rather than during the daytime through the week, you can see how it seems like an entirely different world. Different perspectives open you to more opportunities.
- Broaden your attention: In a special test for luckiness*, a scientist had several people scan a newspaper and tell him how many photos were inside. What he didn’t tell them was that he had placed an half-page ad on the second page of the paper saying “STOP COUNTING – THERE ARE 43 PHOTOGRAPHS IN THIS NEWSPAPER.” No one saw it until later. While focus is good, relaxed focus is better.
- Talk, don’t isolate yourself: Open a conversation in passing with someone at a bus stop or while waiting in line at the grocery store. Join a group where you can share an interest with others. The more you can connect in a relaxed way with others, the more opportunities will open up.
- Don’t dwell on what you don’t have: Focus instead on life’s little blessings: A cool drink on a hot day, The first sign of daffodils in the spring, The scent of coffee in the morning.
- Rejoice in the good luck of others: You may wish you were the lottery winner instead of the person who won, but the good fortune of others can boost your own when you feel happy for them.
- Remind yourself about how lucky you are: Keep a “Lucky Jar” and fill it with every copper or dime or banknote you have found on the sidewalk. The more you begin to notice these pennies, the more pennies there will be. You may be surprised at how quickly the jar fills up.
(First published in Starry Night March 2007)
* from “The Luck Factor”, by Richard Wiseman