Luck Found in the Light of Day

Let me start with a few questions. Are you on the right track? Is your life heading in just the direction you’d hoped, now, at this moment? If not, how can you know when something needs changing? Are some luckier than others at recognizing opportunity for change? Maybe it’s not that simple.

Consider a recent study done by psychologist Richard Wiseman, author of The Luck Factor. He began the experiment with questionnaires and interviews given to subjects to self-define as either lucky or unlucky. He then gave both groups a newspaper with instructions to count the number of photos within the paper. On average, the unlucky subjects took two minutes in counting the photos, while the self-described lucky others arrived at the correct number in a matter of a few seconds. How did they do it?

A message printed on the second page of the paper read, “Stop counting. There are 43 photographs in this newspaper.” Why did the unlucky participants miss this message? They were simply more focused on finding what they thought they should find, rather than what they might find along the way.

Wiseman believes his findings show that unlucky people miss chance opportunities because they are too focused on looking for something else. He says “They go to parties intent on finding their perfect partner and miss opportunities to make good friends. They look through the newspaper determined to find certain 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.”

When we desire change, it may not reveal itself so readily, in spite of our efforts to identify and implement it. Change often comes not from a hard decision to act, but by simply remaining open to a range of possibilities.

Call it whatever you like: a hunch, karma, destiny or luck. But consider how the universe holds the energy necessary for change. If we let that energy flow freely and plug into it at the most unexpected moments, we can change our luck and the course of our lives in meaningful ways.