The 4 principles of luck

‘I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.’  Thomas Jefferson

Creating legacy is about how we interpret our circumstances

Finding the time and energy to create legacy is often about the way in which we interpret the circumstances in our live. Are we prepared to be grateful for what we have and willing to give something back through creating legacy? Or are we constantly dwelling on what we’re lacking and feeling that we should be the ones on the receiving end?

Our capacity for positive thinking is therefore strongly connected with our willingness to create legacy. Yesterday was the 13th – an unlucky day, some people claim. It got me thinking about luck, and I dug out psychology research which reminded me of the value of positive thinking.

Luck and positive thinking

Lucky people meet their perfect partners, achieve their lifelong ambitions, find fulfilling careers, and live happy and meaningful lives. Prof Richard Wiseman’s research scientifically explores why some people live such charmed lives, and aims to develop techniques that enable others to enhance their own good fortune. The main findings from the research have been published in his bestselling book The Luck Factor.

The results of this work reveals that people are not born lucky. Instead, lucky people are, sometimes without realising it, using four basic principles to create good fortune in their lives:

1. Maximise chance opportunities. Lucky people are skilled at creating, noticing and acting upon chance opportunities. They do this in various ways, including networking, adopting a relaxed attitude to life and by being open to new experiences.

2. Listening to lucky hunches. Lucky people make effective decisions by listening to their intuition and gut feelings. In addition, they take steps to actively boost their intuitive abilities by, for example, meditating and clearing their mind of other thoughts.

3. Expect good fortune. Lucky people are certain that the future is going to be full of good fortune. These expectations become self-fulfilling prophecies by helping lucky people persist in the face of failure, and shape their interactions with others in a positive way.

4. Turn bad luck to good. Lucky people employ various psychological techniques to cope with, and often even thrive upon, the ill fortune that comes their way. For example, they spontaneously imagine how things could have been worse, do not dwell on ill fortune, and take control of the situation.

What’s your take?

How do you see luck: as a ‘given’ or as something you can work towards? How do you maximise ‘luck’ in your life? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments section.

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Alexa Ispas

I am a social entrepreneur, blogger, and talent scout, interested in helping people who want to create legacy. I have recently completed my PhD thesis in social psychology at the University of Edinburgh, and am originally from Romania. I am writing a daily blog on creating legacy, which you can find at