Some days you may feel like you were born with the “bad luck gene” or that th
e universe is conspiring against you, when the reality is actually just a perfect storm of coincidences. On those days, after the first couple of things go wrong, the snowball effect seems to take hold and anything negative seems to compound that “bad luck” feeling.
The good news is that you don’t need a rainbow and a pot o’ gold this March to find your fortune. Studies show that we can actually make your own luck! We’ve got seven researched ways that you can make your own luck this Saint Patrick’s Day.
7 Ways to Be Your Own Good Luck Charm
Gratitude. This is the most important emotion that you can—and should—access in your life today. When you make room for true gratitude, there won’t be space for anything else. It will change the way you carry yourself, and the way you view the world. Consider taking time at the end of each day to reflect on the positives in your day and make a list of things for which you can be thankful. You may have to force yourself to come up with even three the first time, but over time you may find that you may run out of room on the page.
No one is lucky all of the time, even people we consider to be lucky. The trick is to not allow things to stand in your way. Psychologist Richard Wiseman, Ph.D., author of The Luck Factor
, says, “Lucky people’s high expectations motivate them to persist.” People who are ‘lucky’ don’t quit, in fact, they choose to challenge themselves rather than take the easy way out.
Be a friend. People who have friends to fall back on when times are tough aren’t lucky; they’ve invested in other people and are now seeing the return on that investment. No one likes to feel lonely, especially when they’re already feeling down, so make sure that you reach out to people when things are going well and support your friends when they’re down on their luck, so that you have someone to call when your own luck takes a turn for the worse.
“There are many valid risks in life and we need to be mindful of them. But dwelling on risks can keep us from seeing opportunity,” says Margie Warrell, best-selling author of Find Your Courage and Stop Playing Safe
. The bigger the risk: the bigger the reward. We aren’t suggesting that you start gambling, but it is okay to take risks when you see a good opportunity.
Choose optimism. Have you ever heard the phrase “self-fulfilling prophecy”? Sometimes it can be challenging face a potentially hectic day without expecting the worst in some way or another, but it’s important to expect smooth sailing and success. Believe in yourself. “By being optimistic, we can find opportunity in adversity and take actions that our pessimistic friends wouldn’t bother to take. In turn we create new opportunities for ourselves,” says Warrell.
Feel content. If you think that you’re the only one with brown spots in your yard, chances are that your perspective is off. People who think that “others have it easier” often blame it on “luck” and “unfairness,” when the real demon is perspective. If you’ve ever thought that you’d be happier or more content with someone else’s given set of circumstances, you should take a step back: the true secret to happiness is to feel lucky no matter what you have.
University of Oregon economist Bill Harbaugh
put paid volunteers in a functional MRI scanner, and then told some of them that they would be keeping the money that they earned volunteering, and others were told they would be donating all of it to charity. Care to guess what he discovered? The people who were told that they would be giving their money as well as their time away actually had the pleasure and reward areas of their brain activated—in the exact same way as the volunteers who were told that they got to keep it for themselves.