You’ve either got it, or you haven’t. Is that true?
I was really lucky the other day. I went for my daily walk and decided to leave all my money and cards and phone behind. I just took my keys and left the house.
After an hour or so, I started to think 'I wish I had some money on me. I'd love a cup of tea after this long walk.'
I just kept walking in a mindful kinda way.
And then it happened. I saw a 20 pound note on the street! Just lying there staring at me.
I looked around and no-one was nearby that could have dropped it....I was slightly in shock!
I lent over to pick it up. There were more notes underneath. It was 50 pounds altogether!
I managed to find some people nearby and asked them if they'd lost money. They all said no.
So.....I decided to celebrate with a cup of tea, a nice piece of cake. And gave the rest to charity and as presents.
The lucky experience got me thinking. Does mindfulness make me luckier?
And is luck completely down to chance?
No, actually. Ten years of research by Professor Richard Wiseman and colleagues has found that luck is a skill you can learn!
Wiseman discovered four principles of luck. These are just made up facts - they were tested and checked after looking at thousands of case studies.
Here’s an important point - don’t think about what you’re not already doing and try to improve them....Instead, consider which of these principles you already do and how you can enhance them even further.
Principle One: Maximize Your Chance Opportunities
If you’re more relaxed, smiley, hang out with other people and try out new things, then lady luck is more likely to be on your side.
So, my personal example here is when I got to stay in a cool, Italian villa last year. I happened to make friends with him on the flight, and he ended up helping me out when I forgot my drivers licence and couldn’t easily get to my hotel.
When you’re mindful, you’re much more likely to spot chance lucky opportunities.
Principle Two: Listen To Your Lucky Hunches
If you want to be luckier in your life, listen to your intuition - your gut feelings.
When my brother asked if there was a book out called ‘Mindfulness for Dummies’,
I immediately had a look online. When I didn’t find the book, I emailed dummies.com and one thing led to another.
Mindfulness boosts your bodily awareness, which links up with a stronger and more accurate gut instinct.
Principle Three: Expect Good Fortune
Expectations have a direct effect on your actions. So if you’re expect good from other people, they’re more likely to give that to you.
I do expect good from other people. But not always from situations and life. I put things out there and if they work, great. And if they don’t, I don’t push.
Maybe low expectations from life makes me less lucky, but I feel it makes me less stressed and more happy too!
Mindfulness makes you more positive. This helps to raise your expectations and makes you more kind and understanding of others.
Principle Four: Turn Your Bad Luck Into Good
Everyone experiences some bad luck. The question is, how do you see and handle when life doesn’t go your way?
Lucky people see the positive from seemingly bad luck. They see the positive in negative situations and circumstances.
I recall a time when I missed a bus by just a few seconds. I had to wait half an hour for the next bus. I had recently read the book ‘The Luck Factor’ and thought about the positive - how I had more time to relax, how it may somehow mean I get a better bus etc.
Then, when I did get the bus, on the journey I noticed that the bus I missed had broken down! So I was lucky after all. It just didn’t feel like that at the time.
Mindfulness helps you to be aware of moments of bad luck, and helps to catch negative rumination in its tracks.
Luck School: Keep a lucky journal
This is where Wiseman’s work gets really interested.
The question was: can unlucky people be trained to be lucky. And can lucky people become even luckier.
The answer was a resounding yes!
Simply start a luck journal. Jot down every day, for a month, whenever you follow any of the four principles of luck. Remember, do more of what you already do well, rather than trying to improve areas that just don’t feel natural to you.
For example, if naturally just don’t like socialising, but like trusting your intuition, focus on making more use of your intuition to start with. Journal about that. Notice when the decisions you make based on your gut feelings lead to lucky outcomes.
Wiseman’s book has lovely strories of people who have had perpetual bad luck and unhappiness. And yet after a month of ‘luck school’, found better luck and more happiness for the first time in their lives.
So….shall I prepare for the next lottery win?
Not quite. Lotteries are effectively completely random, and these principles don’t work in that area. Annoying, I know!
But, when it comes to applying for job, building a career or business, finding a partner or just having a great day, these principles really do work.
Final tip - People who are lucky believe they are lucky people. So, simply thinking of yourself as a lucky person is more likely to make you luckier!
Are you a lucky as well as mindful person? Have any stories of luck in your life? What are your tips for living a lucky life? Share in the comments section below. Who knows….it may lead to a lucky outcome!