Is There Such a Thing as Good Luck?

Whether or not there’s such a thing as good luck (or, I guess, bad luck) is one of those questions where there’s no definitive answer.

Scientists can’t run trials about luck because they can’t control how humans behave – they can’t give us a “good luck” pill without smirking as, to be honest, most scientists think that luck is more to do with our vivid human imaginations than anything real.

But there’s a problem with that way of thinking…

Good luck trials

When scientists like Richard Wiseman try to do trials – albeit not exactly scientific ones – they get issues.

One such trial involved leaving money on the pavement and getting their test subjects to walk in that area and find it. The trouble they found was that certain members of the general public found it first – a lot walked past the cash but some were eagle eyed and spotted it before the test subjects were anywhere close.

This wasn’t random – it happened often enough to cost the trial a lot more money than originally planned.

And it would suggest that luck really does follow some people around.

If you’ve ever met someone who almost always wins a raffle or a lottery, you’ll know precisely the kind of person I mean.

Can you change your luck quota?

Whilst it’s not overly easy to prove, I think you can do exactly that.

If you’re a “glass half empty” kind of person, this will involve a shift in your thinking and the internal talk that we all have.

Do your best to catch yourself when you have those kind of negative thoughts. You won’t catch every single one of them – you’d need to be superhuman to do that – but even if you only manage to turn round one in ten or even one in twenty of them to start with, that’s a good start.

Begin with some of the phrases almost everyone says. For instance, if your answer is “not bad” when someone asks you how you are or how you’re feeling, change your answer to “I’m good, thanks” or something similar. Do this on as many occasions as you can but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get 100% score on changing your reply immediately. It takes time to learn new habits.

Why have I picked on “not bad” for the example phrase when we’re talking about attracting luck?

Because neuro-linguistic programming (a posh way of saying understanding language patterns) says that our minds don’t easily process negatives.

So our minds will be processing the phrase “not bad” as “bad”. Which won’t help you attract more luck or success or anything else good.

Your luck is based on your thoughts

The more you think about something – whether it’s good or bad – the more your mind homes in on that thing.

That’s why you notice lots of the particular make and model of car you’re thinking about buying in the days and weeks before you make the purchase. There aren’t more of them on the road, they’re just closer to the focus of your mind so you see them more often.

It’s the same with luck.

If you think you’re going to be unlucky, there’s a good chance your mind will take you to that position in life. Because it thinks that’s what you want more of.

One easy trick to help reduce the number of negative, unlucky, thoughts you think is to wear a rubber band around your wrist – follow your local postman if you need a free one to use!

Every time you catch yourself thinking a negative or unlucky thought, twang the elastic band.

It’s the kind of stimulus response that Pavlov used and it works just as well on humans as it does on dogs.

And – once again – don’t beat yourself up if you don’t catch every single instance of negative or unlucky thoughts. Instead, congratulate yourself on each one you do spot – you’ll quickly train your mind to spot more and correct more of them.

Which turns into a win-win situation and starts to bring happier, luckier, thoughts almost automatically.

Tilt the luck odds in your favour

Casinos do this all the time – it’s called the house advantage and it means that, over time, the house will win and you’ll lose.

But, very weirdly, that’s not cast in tablets of stone.

Changing how you approach your luck can actually change it in your favour.

I’ve met someone who got a casino slot machine closed down because it was paying them out too often and the casino thought the machine was malfunctioning.

It wasn’t.

They’d just approached it with the positive mindset that they were going to win today and that their luck was on a winning streak.

Chances are you won’t get to that stage immediately (if ever) but it doesn’t mean you can’t use the same approach to tilt the luck odds in your favour.

Our mind can’t tell the difference between something real and something that’s vividly imagined. That’s why we jump out of our seats in the cinema when something scary happens. The fact that the images aren’t real – they’re just a projection – doesn’t matter. In fact, they’re not even moving images. They’re just a series of still photographs that are played together fast enough for our minds to think they’re moving – a much higher tech version of the pictures on the edge of the page that you used to flick through when you were younger.

And you can do the same with the luck part of your mind.

Focus on being luckier.

Notice every single luck “win”, no matter how small and celebrate it. Maybe with a quick “yay”, maybe with something bigger. But do it. Because that reinforces the luck connection.

And if you’re not sure, follow that famous slogan and just do it. Unless it’s something really dumb or foolhardy or dangerous. And I’d hope you’re not aiming to qualify for a Darwin Award so I’m going to assume you’re going to be sane enough in your choices here.

Luck favours the numbers

If you toss a coin once, you’ve got a roughly 50/50 chance of getting heads.

But if you leave it at that, you’ve limited yourself.

Why limit?

The universe is full of abundance. Even scarce stuff like gold isn’t exactly scarce unless you call around 200,000 tons scarce (that’s enough to fill a parade of 5,000 lorries) and that’s just the gold we’ve found.

So you can increase the chance of being lucky just by doing more of whatever you want to get lucky at. Whatever that is.

Believe you’re lucky

We’re back to belief structures here.

Because what we believe so often manifests itself in real life. Not just because Alexa is listening intently or Facebook is watching your every move. But because the universe is doing so as well, in a much more benevolent way.

The law of attraction really does work and you can use it to attract all sorts of things into your life, including more good luck.

So start to believe you’re lucky!

Keep a luck journal

This can be a notebook or anything else where you write things down. Writing increases our connectivity with things so is generally thought to be better than typing but if it’s a choice between type your luck journal into a computer or doing nothing, take the typing route.

At the end of the day (because the positive thoughts will stay and grow overnight as you sleep and dream), write down two or three times that you’ve been lucky today.

They can be small or big. That doesn’t matter.

And they can be as simple as lucky to be alive on our fantastic planet or lucky to have friends to talk to or lucky to have an abundance of things to watch on Netflix. Not just seemingly random good luck moments but they count as well.

So get in the habit of writing about your good luck and you’ll find yourself attracting even more lucky moments into your life.