Saturday, February 07, 2009

Is Luck Really All About Luck?

I've been reading a very interesting book about luck.   Yes.  Luck.  The Luck Factor is written by Dr. Richard Wiseman, a man who, by luck, was misdirected in the library as a kid.  When he found himself in the magic section, he glanced through some books and as a result followed a winding path to a career that includes research into the nature of luck.

So what did he find?

That lucky people are not actually luckier in instances where pure random chance is involved - like a lottery.  But they are luckier when it comes to serendipitous events in their lives.  This makes sense, actually, because the bottom line so far in the book is that it's a matter of how many encounters you have.  Yes.  Encounters.

If you're a person who goes through the day with your head in the clouds or in such a funk that you don't even notice the weather, you're not going to be interacting with many other people or noticing much of anything going on around you.  If you're a person who is actively engaged in your life and even enjoying interacting with people - not for what you can get from them later but because you actually have an interest in other people - you're likely to be on good terms with a lot of people.

So what?  So luck has to do with being in the right place at the right time.  All other things being equal, a person who interacts with 40 people a week is going to have a higher chance of a lucky encounter than a person who interacts with 40 people a month.

Think about it.

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