Thursday, February 05, 2009

Lucky? or do we make our own Luck?

I have always thought that we make our own luck. This theory is contrary to the book I just finished "The Outliers" which was very eye opening but had me agreeing and disagreeing with every alternate chapter.

The gist of this book is that Bill Gates, the beetles, Tiger Woods, etc. are who they are more by luck and happenstance then drive and determination. I disagree with that. I think we make our own luck. I think being open to opportunities and seizing them is luck.

Recently in Newsweek they identify lucky people by the following four criteria:

First, lucky people frequently happen upon chance opportunities. "Being in the right place at the right time is actually all about being in the right state of mind," Wiseman writes. As his newspaper experiment shows, lucky people are more open and receptive to unexpected possibilities. They tend to be more relaxed about life, and they operate with a heightened awareness of the world around them. Quite simply, they spot and seize upon openings that other people simply miss. They also tend to be more social and maintain what Wiseman calls a "network of luck." Most of us know around 300 people on a first-name basis. According to Wiseman, that means you're only two handshakes away from 90,000 people who could bring chance opportunities into your life.

Second, lucky people listen to their hunches and make good decisions without really knowing why. Unlucky people, by contrast, tend to make unsuccessful decisions and trust the wrong people. "My interviews suggested that lucky people's gut feelings and hunches tended to pay off time and time again," Wiseman writes. "In contrast, unlucky people often ignore their intuition and regret their decision." In survival, this kind of instinct can make all the difference.

Third, lucky people persevere in the face of failure and have an uncanny knack for making their wishes come true. They're convinced that life's most unpredictable events will "consistently work out for them." Their world is "bright and rosy," Wiseman writes, while unlucky people expect that things will always go wrong. Their world is "bleak and black." When Wiseman gives lucky and unlucky people a puzzle that is actually impossible to solve, the reactions are very telling. "More than 60 percent of unlucky people said that they thought the puzzle was impossible, compared to just 30 percent of lucky people. As in so many areas of their lives, the unlucky people gave up before they even started."

Fourth, lucky people have a special ability to turn bad luck into good fortune. Of all four defining factors involved in luck, Wiseman believes this one plays the most important role in survival. Wiseman's conclusion echoes the work of Dr. Al Siebert, one of America's foremost authorities on survival psychology. After more than 40 years investigating what he calls "the survivor personality," Siebert believes, "life's best survivors not only cope well, they often turn potential disaster into a lucky development."

The full article can be found here.

If you believe in God then it’s hard for you to believe in luck. God is the ultimate decision maker. That makes the four criteria above a lot more acceptable.

A lot of it is pure perception:
If you crashed your car, you’re lucky you didn’t get injured.

If you fall off a ladder, you’re lucky you broke your arm and not hit your head.

Looking on the positive side helps keep positive thoughts which helps motivation. We all know that motivation is the key to success.


"I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed "

Looking at it that way, then I am successful. What do you think?


1 comment:

Healthy Chelle said...

Love this post. Very well prepared and I like how you threw the God disclaimer in there. Felt like it was just for me :)

For me, it is totally the God thing. Each of your four criteria has a "Christian spin".

1. Christians know that being at the right place at the right time is not luck or coincidence, its God.

2. Christian people listen to their hunches and make good decisions because they have faith in God and often know the prompts are from Him. Some (not all) unbelievers make unsuccessful decisions and put no trust in God.

3. Christians persevere in the face of failure. They're convinced that life's most unpredictable events will "consistently work out" because they know Who is in control. For nonbelievers, this tends to be one of the few times they give God any recognition (read - blame).

4. Christians have a special ability to faithfully believe God will use bad circumstances for the betterment of His Kingdom.

Amen and Amen! :)