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  • Writer's pictureCarole Stizza

Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya?






March is the month we think about Luck. With St. Patrick’s Day, 4-leaf clovers, Spring, and Leprechauns, the idea of luck permeates a lot of marketing campaigns. The questions always arise: Do you feel as if luck is selective, manifested by the magical few, recognized as something possible, or even intentionally created? 


In the world of positive psychology, Luck is usually thought of as an attribution.


An attribution is a decision we make about the cause of an event or the reason for something happening in the world. In an article about Luck and psychology, I was reminded that luck is usually referenced when external events cannot be directly explained. For example, people who believe in luck tend to see life events as something they don't directly control. And, that believing in luck can be a way to defend against the chaos of life.


In the world of business, luck is often referenced as something one can manifest through relationships and skill. As an outcome of being prepared to recognize the opportunity as one you are ready to handle. When defined, Luck is a whim of chance. It is defined as intangible, something outside of personal control. Yet social scientists view it differently. They see luck as the result of personal actions, an alchemy of openness to new experiences, and a penchant for chance-taking.


So, do you feel lucky?  Are some people luckier or unlucky?


Psychology Today shares that Stephen Mark, a British academician, found that those who view themselves as lucky tend to behave much differently than those who see their lives as plagued by bad breaks. Mark observed that lucky people have this in common: They regularly change up their routine, vary their environment, and mix with a broad swath of people. He determined that this positive, go-getter attitude results in new experiences and the enthusiasm to take advantage of them.


In short, he found the more varied one’s routine, the more chance encounters one will have. The greater the opportunities one is exposed to, the greater the potential for good outcomes, which many view as luck. Steve Jobs, the iconic founder of Apple, once said, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”


What do you think about Luck?


In coaching, I get to merge all the ideas around luck to explore how you think about luck. It’s often connected to if you are a glass half full versus glass half empty thinker. And yes, even cynics can be optimistic about luck.


Do your habits matter?


Richard Wiseman—who incidentally began his career as a professional magician—agrees that luck, or the absence of it, is primarily determined by measurable habits.


4 Habits of Lucky People


Wiseman studied the principles of luck in a 10-year research project that included 400 men and women, ages 18 to 84, who hailed from all walks of life. His study confirmed that lucky people have a powerful hand in the outcomes, in their own good fortune. Here are a few habits of lucky people:


  1. They are awake to possibility. Lucky people are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities.

  2. They listen to their gut. Lucky people trust their intuition and act on it.

  3. They map out their desires. Lucky people manifest a positive future by creating self-fulfilling prophecies and actively embracing positive expectations.

  4. They make lemonade out of lemons. Lucky people adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.


How would you approach your habits differently if you knew doing so would increase your luck?


Please read the Psychology Today article to learn more.  I’d love to hear what you decide.

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