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Luck Is A Four-Letter Word

Are you lucky to be wide awake this early in the morning watching me? If you think you’re lucky, you probably are. Very lucky indeed in my opinion!

But seriously, a British psychologist from the University of Hertfordshire - with the lucky name of Professor Wiseman - has just spent the last ten years investigating luck. He recruited 400 volunteers - people who reckoned they were either disgustingly lucky or tear-jerkingly unlucky – and kept track of them for a decade, checking out the chance factors in their lives. The greatest factor of all being, how lucky or unlucky they reckoned they were in the first place. People assume that you’re born with it. That’s hogwash. Luck can be acquired.

But don’t rush out and get a rabbits foot, even though – I’m told – three quarters of all Americans have at one time owned some sort of superstitious bauble. Charms don’t work. The only thing that can change your luck is you. If you go to work at precisely the same time on the same route and meet the same people and say the same things, that’s how life is going to go on. But shift your schedule and risk some chance encounters, who knows what’ll happen. Lucky people don’t follow routine. Lucky people always follow intuition. Lucky people also make the best of everything – broken your leg? Could have been worse – you might have broken your neck.

Now, if all this sounds like a blinding glimpse of the obvious, it is. But because so many of us are still so blindingly stupid, blinding glimpses of the obvious are perfectly acceptable even in academic studies about luck. Which is why the author of this one knew he was onto a winner and he didn’t even need to cross his fingers!

By Ed Boyle