In an article called "The Luck Factor" Richard Wiseman writes:
"My research revealed that lucky people generate
their own good fortune via four basic principles.
They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities,
make lucky decisions by listening to
their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via
positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude
that transforms bad luck into good.
Take the case of chance opportunities. Lucky people
consistently encounter such opportunities
whereas unlucky people do not. I carried out a very
simple experiment to discover whether this was due
to differences in their ability to spot such opportunities.
I gave both lucky and unlucky people a newspaper,
and asked them to look through it and tell me
how many photographs were inside. On average,
the unlucky people took about two minutes to count
the photographs whereas the lucky people took just
seconds. Why? Because the second page of the
newspaper contained the message “Stop counting –
There are 43 photographs in this newspaper.” This
message took up half of the page and was written in
type that was over two inches high. It was staring
everyone straight in the face, but the unlucky people
tended to miss it and the lucky people tended to spot
it. Just for fun, I placed a second large message half
way through the newspaper. This one announced:
“Stop counting, tell the experimenter you have seen
this and win $250.” Again, the unlucky people
missed the opportunity because they were still too
busy looking for photographs.
unlucky people miss chance opportunities
because they are too focused on looking for
something else. They go to parties intent on finding
their perfect partner and so miss opportunities to
make good friends. They look through newspapers
determined to find certain type of job advertisements
and as a result miss other types of jobs.
Lucky people are more relaxed and open, and therefore
see what is there rather than just what they are
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