In one of our previous videos we talked about
the survivor bias. We had learned about the cases when the decision is made on the basis
of just a small number of successful results ignoring the unsuccessful ones… well, because
the unsuccessful ones didn’t make it. And after I had finished the video I wondered
– is it possible to increase one’s luck? Without visiting the shamans if possible.
After all books about successful guys are rubbish and everything is determined by chance
isn’t it? If we are not in control of our destiny then we could simply lie on the couch
waiting for our reward right? However psychologists have a different opinion on this matter.
Luck certainly plays an important role in this grand puzzle of life. But let’s forget
all the superstitions and admit that luck was just named poorly.
It is not a magical power, mercy of the gods or the spell of the forest folk but rather
quite measurable return on a set of predictable events. Chances, accidents, and the bustling
chaos of reality are almost impossible to predict or tame but luck is something fundamentally
different. Richard Wiseman – the English professor of psychology from Hertfordshire University,
who had been studying … now it’s going to sound weird… luck for 10 years believes
that both luck and misfortune are the results of conscious manipulation of random events
by humans. It just so happens that some people get it better than others.
So, our professor conducted a fascinating experiment.
Through an advertisement in a newspaper, he asked those who consider themselves to be
complete losers or the lucky ones to contact him. Hundreds of people got in touch and
each of them was assigned a task. He gave them a newspaper and asked to count all the
photos in it. And you know what’s the most interesting? It took around two minutes for
the group of “losers” to finish counting, while the “lucky ones” only needed a few seconds.
How do you think why? It’s simple. He posted a huge announcement on the second
page that read “ Stop counting –There are 43 photographs in this newspaper”. It
was hard not to notice – the title took up half a page. It literally screamed in the
readers’ faces. And the most amazing thing is that the professor posted another announcement
in the middle of the newspaper just for laughs saying “ Stop counting, tell the experimenter
that you have seen this and win $ 250.” It turned out that the so-called losers missed
even the second announcement and spent all their time deeply focused on counting photos,
on strictly fulfilling the task without looking around.
Wiseman says that what we call luck is actually just a pattern of actions that combines the
way of perceiving events and interacting with people.
He noticed that unlucky people have too narrow a focus of attention. They are very anxious
and obsessed with security. Instead of joining an effortless dance of random choice they
are fixated on the control of reality looking for something specific. As a result, they
waste numerous opportunities that are sailing past them. They go to a party to find the
perfect partner and miss the opportunity to make good friends. They look at only one type
of jobs overlooking new opportunities for self-development.
On the contrary, the “lucky ones” are constantly changing the course of their usual actions
and looking for something new. Wiseman noted that people who considered themselves successful
were simply more likely to find themselves in situations in which anything could happen.
Thus they increased their chance of success while the “losers” did not. The “lucky ones”
tried more made more mistakes but if they failed they would quickly get up, brush themselves
off and try again. In the end everything worked out for them.
Even this channel was created by chance when certain people accidentally met each other.
Wiseman compared this behavior to harvesting apples in the garden. If you imagine that
these two types of people were given a basket and asked to collect as many apples as possible
then the “losers” would go to the same trees over and over and as a result collect less
and less while the “lucky ones” would never return to the same spot and their baskets
would always be full. In this metaphor, apples are life experience. If you imagine that a
small amount of such experience leads to fame, luck, wealth, or some other kind of material
or spiritual happiness it is easy to notice that luck is not so scary as it seems at first.
The key thing is to know how to handle it. “The harder they looked, the less they saw.
And so it is with luck – 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 a 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 looking for.” Thus luck is not an act of God but yours
and yours only attitude to life readiness for change, trial, and error. When living
like this you statistically increase the chance that you will find yourself in the
right place at the right time or increase your chances to get lucky if you will.
So maybe it’s time to stop worrying about trifles and join the light dance of random
choice? Smash that Like button, tell your friends
about this video and subscribe to our channel. That’s it for today, and I’m Bony Right.
Written by Valentin Lakin
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