Careful Actions Can Lead to Good Luck
Meryl Davids Landau
Garber thinks "divine timing" may deserve some credit for her move, but she firmly believes that luck didn't randomly strike. She set herself up to be offered opportunity, she says, and then she seized it. "I took a risk in being completely transparent with this person," she says. "I believe my education and work and life experience prepared me for that moment."
Psychologists studying the concept of luck would agree.
People tend to think events in life happen randomly, but there are steps they can take to dramatically increase
their good fortune, says British psychologist and researcher
Visualize what you hope will happen.
To use this method yourself, envision different scenarios that will lead to your goal and visualize in as much detail as you can muster what each resolution might look like. Seifert is living proof the method works, and not just on the job. Years ago, she spent time imagining herself being open and engaging in her quest to improve her social life, and soon she felt comfortable enough acting that way to flirt with a man working behind the counter at her dry cleaner. They've now been married for a decade.
Be open to what's around you.
In his book, Wiseman tells of an experiment he conducted using two people, Martin, who describes himself as lucky, and Brenda (not their real names), who believes she is not. Each was sent into a coffee shop that Wiseman had prepared by positioning money on the floor and a successful-looking businessman at the counter. When Martin arrived, he found the money and chatted up the man, opening himself to new business possibilities. Brenda missed the cash and drank her coffee in silence. Lucky people may not be out there actively looking for opportunities, Wiseman says, "but their relaxed approach to life helps them notice what is happening around them." To boost your odds of becoming lucky, he suggests, bring a playful and childlike mind-set to novel situations instead of letting rigid expectations limit what you see.
Trust your gut.
In one of Wiseman's surveys, 80 percent of self-described lucky people told him their intuition played a key role in their career choices -- some 20 percent more than in the "unlucky" group. Because the unconscious discerns patterns and situations that the conscious mind is oblivious to, he notes, people who trust their hunches often find it serves them well. One salesman Wiseman interviewed reported landing
Each morning, send a short E-mail recognizing a colleague or employee in your department. It's an exercise in having an impact, which, Achor says, makes you more likely to take actions in unfamiliar situations, such as approaching a stranger when networking or reaching out to a potential new client. You'll enhance the mood of the recipient, too, boosting his or her odds of a lucky day.
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