Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Lucky or Unlucky

Why do some people get all the luck while others never get the breaks they deserve? Professor Richard Wiseman, a psychologist says he has discovered the answer. Richard J. Wiseman is a Professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom.

He says this about his study....

Ten years ago, he set out to examine luck. He wanted to know why some people are always in the right place at the right time, while others consistently experienced ill fortune. He placed advertisements in national newspapers asking for people who felt consistently lucky or unlucky to contact me.

Hundreds of extraordinary men and women volunteered for my research. Over the years Professor Wiseman interviewed them, monitored their lives and had them take part in various experiments.

He carried out a simple experiment to discover whether their disparity in luck was due to differences in their ability to spot opportunities.He gave both lucky and unlucky people a newspaper, and asked them to look through it and tell him how many photographs were inside. He had secretly placed a large message halfway through the newspaper saying... 

"Tell the experimenter you have seen this and win $50." This message took up half of the page and was written in type that was more than two inches high. It was staring everyone straight in the face, but the unlucky people tended to miss it and the lucky people tended to spot it.

Unlucky people are generally more tense than lucky people, and this anxiety disrupts their ability to notice the unexpected. As a result, they miss opportunities because they are too focused on looking for something else. They go to gatherings intent on finding their perfect partner and miss opportunities to make good friends. They look through newspapers determined to find certain types of job advertisements and miss other types of jobs. 

Lucky people are more relaxed and open, and therefore see what is there rather than just what they are looking for. His research eventually revealed that lucky people generate good fortune through four principles. They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient, "never say die" attitude that transforms bad luck into good. 

Professor Wiseman recommends these four tips for becoming lucky

  1. Listen to your gut instincts - they are often right
  2. Be open to new experiences and breaking your normal routine
  3. Spend a few moments each day remembering things that went well.
  4. Visualize yourself being lucky before an important meeting or phone call
Remember the happiest people in the world are not those who have no problems, but those who learn to enjoy things that are less than perfect.

After reading this article I thought about I lucky or unlucky? I think when I was younger I placed more emphasis on luck, now I think luck comes in the form of attitude and belief. Sure I would love to win the lottery (ofcourse to win I need to buy a ticket), but we all know that money does not buy happiness or luck.  

When I am out driving and I barely miss being in an accident, is that luck? or is it divine intervention? Through my beliefs I tend to think it was divine intervention, sometimes I really overwork my guardian angel.   I am walking down the street and spot a $20 bill on the that luck or divine intervention? Divine intervention if I am in desperate need to feed my children or luck if I just pick it up and jam it into my purse along with the other $20's. 

As a photographer I feel that I am open to possibilities whenever I hold a camera, possibilities such as witnessing the flight of a bird, an amazing sunset, a blooming flower, or children laughing. Just as the Professor said, we become skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, we become the lucky ones. 


Carol said...

This is really interesting. As I was reading the researcher's findings I was thinking that photography has honed those "noticing skills" in me. And although I dont consider myself exactly adventurous, I do feel that I have become open to things as I've aged. It occurs to me also, that feeling lucky is a perception. If you practice gratitude regularly, how can you not feel lucky?

AFishGirl said...

I always found this quote interesting: What we focus on, grows. Great post.

kelly said...

What an interesting post Deanna! I love these kinds of exploration in the human experience. Thank for the reminder to be open and make my own luck. xoxo

Dotti said...

A lot of goodness in this post. As photographers, we do hone our skills to see details but it's still far too easy to get distracted and miss so much goodness. I'll tell you who's lucky! The great-grandmother who gets to call that charming child "hers"!

diane said...

And some say you make your own luck. Personally, I always thought I was on the "unlucky" side.....never winning anything. But after reading this I realize that I had all the luck in the world through my husband, family and friends.
Thanks for sharing!
diane @ thoughts&shots

Post a Comment

Thank you for sharing part of your day with us. If for any reason you are unable to leave a comment here on this post, please leave your comment on our Facebook page or in our Flickr discussion group. We love hearing from you!

© Focusing On Life