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Lucky people are often convinced that these opportunities are the result of pure chance. They just happen to open newspapers at the right page, come across the right page on the Internet, walk down the street at the right time or go to a party and meet the right person but my work revealed that these seemingly chance opportunities are the result of lucky peoples psychological make-up. The way they think and behave makes them far more likely than others to create, notice and upon chance opportunities in their lives. I uncovered hitherto unexplored techniques that lucky people use to maximise the role of seemingly chance opportunities in their lives. I discovered that being in the right place at the right time is actually all about being in the right state of mind.
Wendy is a 40-year-old housewife. She considers herself lucky in many aspects of her life, but is especially fortunate when it comes to winning competitions. On average, she wins about three prizes a week. Some of these prizes are quite small, but many have been substantial. In the last five years she has won large cash prizes and several major holidays abroad. Wendy certainly seems to have a magical ability to win competitions and she is not the only one. In the previous chapter I described how Lynne has won several large prizes in competitions, including several cars and holidays. The same is also true of Joe. Like both Wendy and Lynne, Joe considers himself to be very lucky in many areas of his life. He has been happily married for forty years and has a loving family. However, Joe is especially lucky in competitions, and his recent successes include winning televisions, a day spent on the set of a well-known television soap opera, and several holidays.
What is behind Lynne, Wendy and Joes winning ways? Their secret is surprisingly simple. They all enter a very large number of competitions. Each week, Wendy enters about sixty postal competitions, and about seventy Internet-based competitions. Likewise, both Lynne and Joe enter about fifty competitions a week, and their chances of winning are increased with each and every entry. All three of them were well aware that their lucky winning ways are, in reality, due to the large number of competitions they enter. As Wendy explained, I am a lucky person, but luck is what you make it. I win a lot of competitions and prizes, but I do put a huge amount of effort into it. Joe commented:
People always said to me they think Im very lucky because of the amount of competitions that I win. But then they tell me that they dont enter many themselves, and I think, Well, if you dont enter, you have no chance of winning. They look at me as being very lucky, but I think you make your own luck as I say to them Youve got to be in to win.
I wondered whether the same idea might also account for the other types of opportunities that lucky people constantly encounter in their lives; whether this could explain why they often meet interesting people at parties and come across newspaper articles that change their lives? I managed to go backstage and discover the reality behind the illusion. And my research revealed that it could all be summed up in just one word personality.
People who tend to think and behave in the same way are said to have the same personality. The concept of personality is central to modern day psychology, and a huge amount of time and effort has been invested in working out the best way of accurately classifying peoples personality. Although it has often been far from easy, the results have been very impressive.
SOMEWHERE ALONG THE LINE I MADE THE SWITCH AND WAS ABLE TO LOOK AT THE BRIGHT SIDE RATHER THAN THE DARK SIDE ALL THE TIME. NOW I LOOK AT EVERYTHING AND THINK HOW LUCKY I AM.
After years of research, most psychologists agree that there are only five underlying dimensions to our personalities: five dimensions on which we all vary. These dimensions have been found in both the young and old, in men and women and across many different cultures. These dimensions are often referred to as Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Neuroticism and Openness.
I compared the personalities of lucky and unlucky people on the five dimensions of personality. The first dimension I examined is referred to as Agreeableness. This is a measure of the degree to which someone is sympathetic towards others and willing to help them. I wondered whether lucky people were the recipients of large amounts of good fortune because they tended to help others, and so others tended to help them in return. Interestingly, lucky people scored no higher on Agreeableness than unlucky people. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.