Sunday, 30 August 2009

The Vanishing Luck

What is luck? Are some people just generally born lucky? Is luck about karma or just a reflection of our personality?

As definitions state, luck lies on the dichotomy of good or bad each occurring beyond our control by accident or chance when no certainty is guaranteed. Luck as a lack of control comes to define the place of our birth, with circumstantial factors causing accidents and lastly luck which we only realise in hindsight - the ignorance luck.

On the other hand luck as an essence of being is something which can be heightened, from Roman worship of Goddess Fortuna to voodoo, spells, prayer or superstitions of the four leaf clover to rabbits feet continuing through to wearing your lucky/pulling knickers, lucky socks to your lucky number all to keep bad luck at bay - its associations to good luck psychologists state being based around magical healing.

Good luck is often considered a placebo state, one narrated within people considering their self lucky - they are often positive, relaxed and optimistic. To believe in good luck is to create the self fulfilling prophecy of gaining greater luck in the long term. Yet life to me, especially this year has been a year of bad luck. But is this just a reflection on my pessimistic state of mind, of being more tense, somewhat more panicky and it is assumed therefore missing opportunities? Do I naturally dwell more closely on bad things at the expense of positives? Or am I just unlucky in luck?

This year has been a bit of a nightmare, I'm finishing my MA and trying to find a job in the current climate of economic crisis, which for the last five months of job hunting has only resulted in three interviews. I've been messed around and hurt by two guys, both parents have been close to loosing their jobs, one gran now has days left to live, another diagnosed with Parkinson's, my great uncle died and sadly his wife, my great aunt isn't baring up too well herself.

But am I over dwelling on the negative when I have been able to study for an MA, even though it ended bad I managed to meet a guy that spent money on me and we did have some good times, I managed to get three interviews when some people didn't even get that far and hopefully I might just have a job and a PhD on the way. I have my health and I have my parents and great friends.

Maybe this is because I don't have any lucky knickers, I've never bothered about which pen I complete exams in, I don't have a lucky colour or number. Maybe this is where I'm going wrong? Or is this assertion to have lucky processions just making up for a lack of personal self belief? If you feel confident, surely you don't need luck? Yet I'm not confident in myself - is that why I always feel so unlucky?

Apparently through changing your outlook you can change and alter your lucky potential. Maybe this is a self experiment I should be willing to try for the sake of finishing 2009 on a high. According to Professor Wiseman (via the BBC) increasing your luck can occur through;
  • Listening to the instincts of your gut - apparently its often right (but do you listen to your head or your heart?!?!)
  • Be open, positive and willing to try new experiences through breaking everyday routines and fixed ways of doing things
  • Always remember the positive of each day
  • Try and obtain the self-fulfilling prophecy by imagining your lucky outcome before something important.
So is luck something that we make or something we're subjected too? Although I feel I'm often up against the bad luck of the drawer, I guess luck is something we all have some control over.

1 comment:

  1. I am the least superstitious person I know. I do not accept that anything can make you lucky or unlucky, or that any ‘lucky charms’ can in themselves bring more luck your way.

    I do however believe in the power of positive thinking and commitment. I do not believe that being positive makes you lucky, but simply that acting in a positive manner will put you in a position to take advantage of whatever circumstances arise, prepare your mind to face adversity, and equip you to more thoroughly and emphatically embrace whatever comes your way. No matter how small the positive is, or how overwhelming the negatives stacked against it are, I always strive to focus on the positive.

    An overwhelming positive attitude is a trait that some of the greatest geniuses and achievers in history share. A group of psychologists who were studying the letters of Mozart described him as ‘psychotically positive’, because they found a letter he had written to his wife concerning the opening performance of a new opera. Mozart had happily described all the positive aspects of the performance, mentioning only at the end that it had not met with critical acclaim, and that the audience had numbered only 10 people!

    We can all learn from that kind of positivism. Ignore luck. Trust yourself.