The Science of Luck

Why does one think they’re lucky? What really is luck? Is luck real? To be blunt, luck, in itself, is nothing other than illusory. According to Alexandra Ossola, a writer for Popular Science, “What people perceive as luck has more to do with psychology than probability.” What Ossola means by this is luck in something that is fantastical, it has no tangency. However; as luck is something unrealistic, it is something that one could believe in. When one believes in luck, they feel an excessive amount of hubris. Researchers, according to the CBC, have been testing the effectiveness of superstition for years. For example; in 2010, one of the studies performed involved people testing their golf skills at a driving range. The people were to test their skills with two golf balls; the first golf ball was a typical golf ball that anyone could use, and the second golf ball was considered a “lucky ball.” This golf ball held the same properties as a regular golf ball. The reason why the ball could be “lucky” is because it could’ve provided positive outcomes for some swings in the past. The findings here showed that the “lucky” golf ball allowed people to have a better performance. When there is an item such as a “lucky” golf ball, it causes people to gain a higher sense of ambition; a feeling that they can achieve greater distances, and that the sky’s the limit. The concluding results in the findings of the study showed that people are far more persistent when facing challenging tasks when they felt empowered by a power other than themselves. Due to this mindset, the phrase “I’ve got this,” if you truly believe in yourself, can bolster your confidence, and change everything in your life. Another way to increase your “luck”, according to Lara Galinsky, a socially conscious entrepreneur and life coach, is to be “declarative about your own desires, and putting those concepts to the real world.” To have intention is another way in which you will not only feel more confidence, but you will grow as a person as well. Positive human interactions, and dedication to what needs to get done, will grant you the greatest successes in life, quite simply, self-confidence. Since luck is only a mind game, it can be altered. No human is perfect. The positive notion about mind games is you can alter them to be more plausible in your favor. Richard Wisemen, the writer of a book called The Luck Factor, states that “missed opportunities have much to do with an anxious mental state.” He suggests unlucky people “rate higher in neuroticism”. The people who don’t perceive themselves as “unlucky” have decreased levels of confidence, and thus, these people are more self-conscious of the things they do. However, with thoughtful thinking and consideration, something all humans can do, people can achieve high levels of confidence in their decision making. According to Wisemen, there are four mental tips that can improve your chances with “luck.” One of these tips is to listen to your gut. It sounds fatuous, but as long as you listen to your core, this will help you to make quick and swift decisions. One of the other tips he gives is to mix up your routine on occasion. The fact that you should be overt to ideals that appear neophytic to one’s eye are healthy, and perhaps life-changing with certain decisions you make. Wisemen even suggests that you keep a private journal—so you can keep track of your “luck” patterns. He advises to monitor the direction of your “luck,” and tell yourself you will make the next situation you’re in better than the last one. Jeffrey Bitton, math and statistics teacher at Lincoln High School, claims that “luck, or lack of luck, is an illusion.” Bitton believes that life is a “series of random events,” and good events will occur, as well as bad ones. He asserts that we can mediate our “luck” by the choices we make in life. For example, if we are playing sports and making healthy decisions, he assumes that we will have higher chances of “luck;” and if we are making poor life decisions, then our chances at “luck” will decrease. Bitton states that “if we look at all of the opportunities we have, and think of those who are less fortunate, then we can feel a boost of self-confidence in ourselves.” He explains that “every event that occurs in life can be classified as a good or bad event based on your perception of it.” Ask yourself, what is the probability that this decision I make will work out in my favor? Because luck is “self-fulfilling,” you should always imagine the positive outcomes. Imagine that you will succeed, and that will place you in the best mindset to accomplish your goal. Why does it help to be ambitious? Of course you should think every situation you ponder through, but you never know if something will work out or not unless you set out and do it for yourself.