Horseshoe, bamboo, Maneki-neko, albatross, ladybug. Different cultures have put faith in a variety of lucky charms. My grandmother actually used a cornicello to ward off the evil eye and she was pretty serious about it. Do they really make a person lucky? I don’t know. But rather than rubbing that rabbit’s foot (that’s just morbid), I have a few more practical suggestions that will help you bring good luck into your life.
There Are Two Types of People…
We all know someone who seems to just cruise through life. Always in the right place at the right time. Good grades, well-paying jobs, wonderful partner and children. Compared to them, we feel at best average. Sometimes, we feel like bad luck magnets, struggling with health, financial, and personal difficulties.
I’d like to stop here and point out that while there are indeed differences based on class and opportunities, people tend to have similar life experiences. The difference often comes down to mindset.
You’re Only as Lucky as You Think You Are
The way you view your world and how you interact with it – basically, your perspective – is the key to bring good luck into your life. That is to say, you’re only as lucky as you think you are. As Bloomsberg University philosophy professor Steven Hales says “Luck might not be a genuine quality of the world at all. Luck judgments are a matter of perspective.”
A Quick Mindset Fix
Hales and experimental psychologist Jennifer Johnson teamed up for a fun experiment. They asked people to read factually identical stories. In one of them, a woman got 5 out of 6 winning lottery numbers. The story was framed however in two different ways. The woman either considered herself lucky for coming close or blamed her perpetual bad luck for not winning. The different frames deeply influenced how people perceived her luck. Hales argues that judgments about luck are inconsistent and changeable, “the predictable result of framing effects and idiosyncratic personality traits.”
The takeaway is obvious. If you choose to look for downsides, you will find them. When you cast things in a positive light, however, you can get rid of that negativity that weighs you down.
Luck Is a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
In another experiment, the psychologist Richard Wiseman ran an ad in a newspaper promising money for those who replied. Study subjects who identified as unlucky either did not see the ad or failed to respond to it. Their peers who described themselves as lucky responded, got the money, and continued to feel lucky. Luck is often just a self-fulfilling prophecy. You can make good luck for yourself by being bold, optimistic, and positive.
Don’t Leave Things Up to Chance
Sometimes in life we say something ‘wasn’t meant to be’. And that’s fine, up to a point. Luck is not about passively waiting for good things to happen, but being proactive about them. Talk to people you normally would not, start meditating, keep up your social connections. Try out new ways to bring in new opportunities.
Thomas Jefferson said, “I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” If you have a happy-go-lucky attitude and a strong work ethic consider yourself blessed – because that’s the way to bring good luck into your life.