About twenty years ago, researcher Richard Wiseman decided that he wanted to figure out what makes someone particularly lucky or unlucky, but what he found is that he could help anyone become luckier.
Over the course of the two decades, Wiseman worked with 400 different participants who either identified themselves as lucky or unlucky. He then had everyone look through a newspaper and count how many pictures were in it. On average, unlucky people took 2 minutes to complete the task, while lucky people took less than 5 seconds. The catch is that Wiseman put a large picture on the second page of the newspaper that said “Stop Counting. There are 43 photographs in this newspaper.” He even added a picture halfway through that said “Stop counting. Tell the experimenter you have seen this and win £250,” but still almost no unlucky seemed to notice.
Wiseman found four basic principles to lucky people: noticing and making more opportunities, listening to intuition, using positive expectations, and simply ignoring misfortune. Taking these principles, Wiseman worked with a small group of unlucky people to try and help them create better luck. After one month, 80% of the group was happier, more satisfied with their lives, and luckier.
- What is good and bad luck?
- Can someone be lucky or unlucky?
- Was Wiseman able to change the unlucky people? Why or why not?