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Good luck

November 15th, 2006 at 09:36 pm

I've been reading a book called "The Luck Factor" by a British professor of Psychology who has been doing research into why some people are lucky and others aren't. Basically it's a question of how you look at things. Lucky people are optimists and unlucky are pessimists. One of the things he gets people to do to become luckier, is to keep a journal where they record lucky things that happened.

I guess this is what I'd like to do with this blog - concentrate on the positive. Each little bit of progress helps me feel more prosperous. So here's the good news for today:

I found 90 cents.
The only money I spent was at the support centre - a 20 cent donation for a cup of tea.
The manager asked me about my long term plans and dropped a hint I may be asked to stay on as a permanent worker if things stay busy.

3 Responses to “Good luck”

  1. Broken Arrow Says:

    Ah, another delightful topic.

    Yes, I've heard of a radio interview with that man before, and what I got from how he explained it is this:

    1. Optimists tend to be "luckier" than pessimists, if only because optimists tend out get out and try things more. A pessimist might be held back from action while an optimist would try it anyway, even if they fail miserably. Over time, the cumulative effect would be such that an optimist would get further ahead.

    2. Optimists tend to see "opportunities" whereas pessimists tend to see "dangers". Two different people seeing the same situation differently. So, there is a mindset difference.

    This second part, I sort of have a "beef" with. Who's to say that an optimist can not misread something that is indeed a danger, just as much as a pessimist can misread something that is indeed an opportunity?

    As you can see, this is the classic "glass half empty" versus "glass half full" debate. Once in a while, someone somewhere will ask me that sort of question, and my answer has always been the same, "It's a half-filled glass."

    In other words, rather than a pessimist or an optimist, I prefer to think of myself as somewhere in between: A pragmatic realist. How it applies is that I believe in looking at things as accurately as possible, for exactly what it is. If something is an opportunity, it is an opportunity. If something is a danger, it is a danger.

    The trick for me isn't to change my perception in any way. Trying more often may lead to more successes in the end, but I believe it's even better to simply be accurate and realistic about things, and act in a way that will ensure the highest probability of success.

    I dare even say that optimists can become just as blind as pessimists. Because if all you're doing is seeing "opportunities" or "dangers" rather than assessing a situation realstically, then you can still fall by mistaking dangers for opportunities. I prefer to fight smart rather than fight more often.

  2. laceshawl Says:

    Thanks for that very thoughtful POV. One of the things I got was that lucky people are actually likely to engage in risky behavior because they follow their intuition and avoid risky situations. i guess in some situations you just don't know whether your lucky or unlucky until you see how the situation works out.

  3. LuckyRobin Says:

    My answer to is the glass half empty or half full is always "Yes."

    I do think life is what we make of it and we have to choose how we are going to face it. I like to have a firm grasp on reality but with a positive spirit. A negative spirit does me no good. Not that I can't vent and rant with the best of them, but once I do its gone and I am looking at the world as still a good and wondrous place.

    I have had many situations in my life that others would consider to be unfortunate. My spin has always been that I am lucky, because I have survived everything that has been thrown at me and I will not let it destroy me or my happiness. I am by no means Miss Sunshine or the one that is perky to the point of nausea, but I am good and determined that life is not going to run me into the ground, it is going to lift me up. There are valleys between hills and sometimes you can't get to the next high hill without climbing down into the low valley. That won't stop me from climbing the next hill, even if it means things might get rough first. I always make it to the next hill.

    So, I do believe luck is a good deal in your attitude. Maybe not optimism or pessimism, but sheer stubborn belief that life has the ability to get very good after it is difficult or bad. Without that faith I would not be the person I am, and that would be unlucky.

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