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on 2 January 2011
Some people have mentioned already that this book 'states the obvious' in many respects but the whole point is that the people who need it most cannot see the obvious and need it pointing out! I should know - I was one of those people! When you are stuck in a negative cycle, you need positive things in your life that you probably don't have, to push you in the right direction - this book is one of those positive things.

I have suffered from social anxiety all my life and so was conditioned into a negative thought process in everything I did. Even after I'd improved my life and gotten over the worst, I still tended to sometimes dwell on the negative. Then one day, a very honest woman told me in a nice way that I came across as very negative sometimes. I had no idea, believing that I had sorted all my anxiety issues and so any lingering issues could be blamed on other people and not myself. Well, I was wrong and she was right! I was struggling to get girlfriends and meet close friends and to really advance myself in life. That was until this girl gave me her copy of 'The Luck Factor'.

Yes, I already knew everything in the book about how being positive is the way to go and making myself open to people was what I needed to do but knowing it and believing in it and then actually doing it are very seperate issues. It's like losing weight - we know it's good for us, we all want to make ourselves look and feel better and we all know HOW to do it. So why do so many of us fail? It's a psychological thing. Something stops us from doing it and sticking at it. Sometimes we need inspiration, something to really make us believe and kick-start us into action. Well, this book is that inspiration! You can't beat real life stories and cold hard facts, as well as being able to empathise with others. The Luck Factor will force you to examine your life and look at it in a way you probably won't have before and once you have done that, you can't fail not to start to improve your situation. The Luck Factor has become my 'Bible' and if I ever slip, I just look to it to edge me back on the right path.

Truly life changing.
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on 8 January 2003
This is an amazing book. It's no ordinary self-help book - it's well-written, presents fascinating results of solid scientific research, and it works - at least it worked for me! It's packed with information about psychology yet it is an easy and compelling read. It describes how the author, who is an academic psychologist, did research that revealed that luck is not about chance or fate, it is down to how you think and behave. You can make your own luck by following four "luck principles". As well as the discovery of the principles, the book describes "luck school" - a scientific study in which people were given various exercises to practise in order to boost their luck by using these four principles. 80% of people reported significant increases in their happiness, life satisfaction, and luckiness, following their participation in the luck school experiment. I must admit I was a bit skeptical before reading the book. I have always considered myself a lucky person, and I didn't think the book would have much effect on me. However, I discovered using the questionnaire in the book that although I was already using three of the luck principles, I was neglecting a fourth one. So in the last week I have been practising the recommended exercises to boost that principle and I am amazed and delighted to say that I have already noticed an increase in my luck! I think this remarkable book deserves to be a bestseller.
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This fascinating 10-year study reveals that good fortune is not primarily due to talent, hard work or intelligence. The book is a scientific investigation based upon interviews and experiments with people who consider themselves lucky; the author concludes that luck is a state of mind that may be cultivated.
Wiseman identifies four principles that underlie a life of good fortune, adherence to which will draw good luck into the life of the individual. These are 1. The belief that you are lucky (lucky people create, notice and act upon chance opportunities. They also have a relaxed attitude to life). 2. Lucky people make success happen by using their intuition and gut feelings. 3. One must expect good fortune, hold fast to this belief and persevere in attempting to achieve your goals. 4. Lucky people have a knack for transforming back luck into good luck. One must affirm your good fortune and have a strong conviction that everything will work out for the best.
There are graphs showing the research results and some black and white illustrations of playing cards. Overall the conclusions are quite impressive and I find the results of the study very convincing. There are plenty of exercises and the book concludes with notes that include bibliographic references. It is heartening to finally see scientific proof of the power of the mind in this regard.
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This 10-year study with volunteers reveals that good fortune is not due to talent, hard work or intelligence. This scientific investigation is based upon interviews and experiments with people who consider themselves lucky; the author concludes that luck is a state of mind.
Wiseman identifies four principles that underlie a life of good fortune, adherence to which will draw good luck into the life of the individual. These are 1. The belief that you are lucky (lucky people create, notice and act upon chance opportunities. They also have a relaxed attitude to life. 2. Lucky people make success happen by using their intuition and gut feelings. 3. One must expect good fortune, hold fast to this belief and persevere in attempting to achieve your goals. 4. Lucky people have a knack for transforming back luck into good luck. One must affirm your good fortune and have a strong conviction that everything will work out for the best.
The text is illustrated by graphs from the research plus some black and white illustrations of playing cards. Overall the conclusions are quite impressive and I find the results of the study very convincing. There are plenty of exercises and the book concludes with notes that include bibliographic references. It is heartening to finally see scientific proof of the claims made by sages and esotericists down the ages.
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on 17 January 2003
I was given this book and assumed that it would be another rubbishy self-help book. However, to my suprise, I found that it was actually very interesting and convincing. Most of what the author says is commonsense, but I have never seen it all tied together like this before. I think the best thing about this book is that the recommendations for what to do to improve your luck are all quite easy to do, and enjoyable, so it's something that you're more likely to stick to.
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on 19 March 2003
The Luck Factor is a great book. I don't usually read self-help books, but this was a really enjoyable and informative read. I feel I've learned a lot from it and I'm already putting some of the suggestions into practice. In addition, I'm so enthusiastic about this book and its potential to really improve your life that I've been talking about it endlessly to friends, family and colleagues! Don't be cynical - bring luck into your life!
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on 2 July 2015
Don't get me wrong. This is a perfectly good lifestyle-improvement book that offers sound, common sense advice that has been clearly appreciated by a number of Amazon reviewers. However, I have chosen to be uncharitable in this review because the author has made the rather bold claim that his book provides a scientific analysis when, alas, there is actually precious little science in the book. There are also too many false assumptions and logical non sequiturs which, when combined with the lack of scientific rigour, left me unsure what the author actually means by 'luck', let alone how it can be objectively measured. 'Luck is what you make it' may be fine as an aphorism but it is no good as a scientific definition. As a result, the author's points tend to be convincing only when they are tautological. Furthermore, by failing to provide a thorough account of the role of statistics, probability theory, cognitive biases and the basics of decision theory and uncertainty analysis (including a failure to address the psychology of both risk and uncertainty aversions), the author skilfully avoids the opportunity he had for introducing any scientific underpinning. As such, the book fails to deliver on its promise. If you were looking for a work of scientific insight (as opposed to one that thinks that science is just about setting up controlled conditions to demonstrate life's truisms) then you would be better off reading the works of Tversky, Kahneman or Talib.

A book that gets so many things wrong shouldn't be this successful. Is that what luck is all about, I wonder.
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on 24 October 2009
Another great piece of work from Wiseman, The Luck Factor is a great insight into the workings of those minds which always seem to receive all the breaks. What Wiseman manages to do, is deconstruct the idea that luck is something that hits without any discretion and makes us realise that there's truth to the old adage 'you make your own luck'. The 'four principles of luck' that he outlines serve to demonstrate that there's a reason certain people find good fortune, and it's a lot to do with the way they approach the world, and the positive mindset they bring with them.

As a qualified psychologist - Get Real! Relationship Success is an Inside Job - I always meet with people who are convinced the world is against them, that the odds are stacked against them and that they are destined to never get the break they need. The Luck Factor proves that this attitude only reinforces the likelihood of not finding a break - and is therefore a worthwhile read for anyone who incorrectly feels they 'down on their luck'.
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on 7 March 2005
Out of all the self help books I bought years ago and subsequently donated to charity shops (they were pure rubbish) 'The Luck Factor' is in a class of it's own! I have not completed the book yet but it has changed my outlook totally. From a personal perspective I have found that even a slight change of mind can have amazing results. I am a trainee teacher and I began my second placement after a break of eight months badly, I felt like quitting. But when I looked at the situation from a different perspective, things have improved, I am going to qualify! Reading this book so far it is like I have found the keys to the luck door, it's time to use them and open it to a world of opportunities waiting!
When reading this book I urge all readers to give it their all and things will start to happen! No one is born lucky, luck is not because of intelligence or some amazing psychic ability, anyone can reverse bad luck into good!!!
An excellent book I recommend it to anyone!
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on 18 May 2006
I love where Wiseman's coming from. He's a sceptic about the paranormal, and researches Indian God-men, ESP and luck rather than ignoring them. Yet he doesn't set out to debunk them, and works with an open mind and believing colleagues.

Now he's looking at luck - how do you investigate that? This book is a combination of his team's process in dealing with the matter, and their discoveries.

It focusses on their realisation (belief?) that luck can be manufactured by adopting character traits and habits. They back this up by experiments, observations and psychological theory. The idea of luck an an outside, almost paranormal force you're born with goes straight out of the window - although they're confident that it can do. I found it fun and revealing.

In presenting the information they aim to show you what you can do to change luck patterns, and to assess you propensity to be lucky and your luck history. I admit part of my apprecation of the book is for the audacity to attempt to break such a complex matter down into something you can assess in your bedroom, but hey! - it seems to have sufficient scientific rigour to have more meaning than a mere parlour game. There is something in it.

I think you take something away too, so there is a big self-improvement aspect. The main benefits of the book are this, and the entertainment/thought provoking aspects, whcih overall make it a good read, and something you want to return to.
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