It can often feel like some people just have all the luck.
Luck by definition is based on chance. But according Richard Wiseman, a psychology professor and author of "The Luck Factor," your actions and mindset can increase your chances of being lucky.
In his 10-year study published in 2003, Wiseman spoke to 400 people who either self-identified as "lucky" or "unlucky" and found that those who continually had good luck, professionally and personally, responded to situations in similar ways.
Here are the four common traits he found lucky people shared:
1. They leap at opportunities.
Lucky people are not set on a fixed way of achieving their goals. This kind of flexibility puts them in situations where they're more likely to meet and network with new people, according to Wiseman's research.
“It is easy for people to exhaust the opportunities in their life. Keep on talking to the same people in the same way. Keep taking the same route to and from work. Keep going to the same places on vacation," Wiseman writes in the study. "But new or even random experiences introduce the potential for new opportunities."
2. They listen to their intuition.
Personality tests revealed that unlucky people are generally more tense and anxious, Wiseman found. That anxiety can lead to indecision.
Lucky people, on the other hand, often make quick decisions by listening to their intuition. By trusting their gut, they're more likely to take action and expose themselves to new opportunities.
3. They are optimists.
In Wiseman's research, lucky people often still found something positive about an "unlucky" situation.
In one experiment, he asked people to imagine a scenario where they are waiting in a bank when "an armed robber enters the bank, fires a shot, and the bullet hits them in the arm."
Is this event lucky or unlucky?
"Unlucky people tended to say that this would be enormously unlucky and it would be just their bad luck to be in the bank during the robbery," Wiseman writes.
"In contrast, lucky people viewed the scenario as being far luckier, and often spontaneously commented on how the situation could have been far worse. As one lucky participant commented, 'It's lucky because you could have been shot in the head. Also, you could sell your story to the newspapers and make some money."
4. They are resilient.
Lucky people bounce back even when things don’t go their way.
"They tend to imagine spontaneously how the bad luck they encounter could have been worse and, in doing so, they feel much better about themselves and their lives," according to Wiseman.
"This, in turn, helps keep their expectations about the future high and increases the likelihood of them continuing to live a lucky life."
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