What Do Lucky People Do?

Richard Wiseman, writing on Forbes.com, says he spent 10 years studying the exceptionally lucky and the exceptionally unlucky. He concludes that lucky people do things to generate good luck. His advice is similar to stuff discussed on this blog and in My Start-Up Life. Excerpt:

The human brain is amazingly good at detecting what it wants to find. When you are hungry, your brain focuses on finding food. When you are thirsty, it looks for liquid. The problem is, your brain can become so focused on seeing what it expects to see, it misses things that are obvious but unexpected. Lucky people tend to have a somewhat relaxed view of life. They are less concerned with mundane details and more prone to look at the bigger picture. Ironically, by trying less, they see more…

Of course, being lucky isn’t just about adopting a relaxed attitude toward life. Lucky people possess a whole host of opportunity-attracting traits. For example, many of them go to considerable lengths to introduce variety and change into their lives.

The theory behind this "do something different" behavior is simple. Imagine living in the center of a large apple orchard and having to collect a large basket of apples each day. At first, you will be able to find apples wherever you go. But as time goes on, it will become more difficult to find apples in the places you have visited before. But if you venture into other parts of the orchard, your chances of finding apples increase tremendously.

And it is exactly the same with being lucky. You will quickly exhaust your potential opportunities if you keep talking to the same people, taking the same route to and from work and going to the same places on holiday. But introducing new or random experiences is like visiting a new part of the orchard–suddenly you are surrounded by hundreds of apples.

5 Responses to What Do Lucky People Do?

  1. Ashish says:

    Recurring thoughts Ben about what you’ve been saying about Exposing to Randomness and getting out of comfort zone…
    One the similar note, one pretty simple things restless people miss out is that they go around cribbing how good their “Bad Luck” is while they never even realize when and where they’ve been Lucky! I mean it it’s not easy to acknowledge the Luck factor when you’ve already got what you want and busy in Merry-making…Luck contributes to smallest of the small cherish-able moments that sum up our life…and whenever I m low and people say to me “Hard Luck Boy” or “Luck is against you” I wonder about all the impoverished people around I’ve observed who fancy to live a single day like the way I live it, who still smile as if to mock at Luck…and then I say Naah I am not that unlucky! And I drive myself back to light.

    Hope you get the point.

  2. Chris Yeh says:

    Wow, this is a post that really applies to my life. Throughout my life, I’ve always been told that I’m phenomenally lucky, which seemed like a bit of a back-handed compliment.

    Now I can tell people that my relaxed attitude allows my mind to focus on the big picture, and that my wide-ranging interest in learning new things help me find more opportunities than the average bear.

  3. Krishna says:

    Besides luck, it illustrates how to sculpt one’s own destiny.

    Super post, Ben. I’ll swing it to my blog.

  4. Kelvin says:

    Interesting post Ben. It makes one rethink that adage on how a persons makes his own luck.

  5. Electra says:

    Nice blog, Ben. My Dad always said that LUCK is when preparation meets opportunity. So half of being “lucky” is in your readiness! Perception is everything, and when you do the groundwork and take the necessary steps, while keeping your eyes peeled for opportunity, with that attitude and hopeful mindset- “luck” will surely come your way.

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