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One of the most underrated qualities a person can have is luck. And whether or not you are actually luckier than most is less important than whether or not you feel you are luckier than most.
Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire, wanted to know if people’s idea of their own luck affected their actions. First, Wiseman asked participants a series of questions to figure out if they considered themselves lucky. Then he gave lucky and unlucky people a copy of a newspaper and asked them to count the number of photographs. Amazingly, on average, the unlucky people took two minutes to count all the photographs, and the lucky ones determined the number in only a few seconds.
The lucky people were able to complete the mission quickly because most of them found a message on the second page that said: “Stop counting. There are 43 photographs in this newspaper.” The unlucky people were so intent on counting that they missed the opportunity to read the answer. Unlucky people tend to miss opportunities for jobs, romantic partners, and even friends because they are less open to the perfect match just finding them. Lucky people tend to be open-minded, curious, and open to new ideas—and this is where good opportunities breed.
So, how can we create more luck in our own lives?
Think through your answers—are they negative, positive, all over the place? This will give you an idea of your expectation level for yourself and possibly encourage you to spend some time redirecting your energy to feel more positive and think of ways that you are lucky.
Don’t underestimate the power of your own luck, it can be a great self-esteem booster.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the country’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC promotes entrepreneurship as a solution to youth unemployment and underemployment and provides its members with access to tools, mentorship, and resources that support each stage of a business’s development and growth.
Vanessa Van Petten specializes in social and emotional intelligence research and development. The focus of her company is to research youth behavior and help adults keep up with young adults. She is the author of the book Science of People.