In episode 465, we learned how to make your own luck. It turns out that science also wants to make luck. Professor Richard Wiseman’s book The Luck Factor lays out four essential principles (all supported by science) in how to make more luck.
How fortunate that I stumbled across this book in the bookstore...
4 Tips on How to Be More Lucky
- Make the most of opportunity.
- Use your intuition.
- Expect to be lucky.
- Turn bad luck into good.
Let's break down these concepts and some related ideas.
Make the Most of Chance
By definition, luck isn’t planned. When you go to a casino and play craps, it’s lucky if the first roll is seven. But if you make sure it’s seven by exercising your psychokinetic powers to levitate and rotate the dice, that’s not luck, it’s magic, and you’ll be escorted out of the casino by two guys named “Bubba.”
Luck is the opportunity you aren’t expecting. If you want lots of chance opportunities, you have to plan to make them happen.
As we saw in episode 465, luck comes in the form of people. So the more, varied people you bring into your life, the more luck will come your way.
Luck comes in the form of people.
Wiseman recommends meeting a new person each week. Go out somewhere there are people. Find someone you don’t already know who looks friendly and strike up a conversation. Anyone wearing a T-shirt that says “Shy multibillionaire in search of friends” should be first on your list to approach.
If you don’t know how to strike up a conversation, just say “Excuse me. I was listening to this podcast that told me to meet a new person. You look like someone who’s fun to know. Would you object to making a new friend?”
Keep In Touch With People
Once you’ve met someone, they’re now a friend. Friendships must be maintained. So also once a week, reach out to a friend you haven’t spoken with in a while. Set up a phone or in-person meeting and renew your relationship.
This isn’t networking in the traditional sense. You have no goal here. You’re simply expanding your social reach and making new friends. The more friends you have, the greater the chances that you’ll bring luck into your life.
Be Open to New Experiences
It’s really easy to get into a routine, day after day. The good news of routines is that they don’t take much thought. The bad news is that the same things happen day after day after day. They’re...routine.
Attract luck by being open to new experiences. If someone walks up to you and offers to take you on a scavenger hunt dressed as a sheep, say “Yes!” You never know who’s wearing that wolf costume next to you, as you pose for a selfie at the foam party. It could be someone who you’ll go on to co-found a new company with, revolutionize an industry, and disrupt the status quo! Woo hoo!
Just being open to new experiences isn’t enough, however. You need to look around enough to notice those opportunities. This morning, a service person arrived to test the fire alarms in our building. Their eyes were glued to their cell phone the entire time—they never even looked up to say hello or pay attention to anything except their task.
So when they stepped over the hundred dollar bill that the wind had blown beneath their feet, they didn’t even notice. They passed by the pile of gold bars labeled “24 karat! Take one for free!” without looking twice. And the vial of water from the Fountain of Youth that someone left on the counter? Not even a glance.
If you’re stuck in your cell phone like the poor serviceperson, train yourself to look around. Before you go to bed, spend a few minutes each day reviewing your day. Think about the people you encountered. Were there any opportunities that came up? If you use a daily accountabilibuddy as described in episode 11—which is also a cornerstone of Get-it Done Groups—add “Did you look for new opportunities?” to your daily checkin.