Posted by: Marty Fahncke | September 17, 2010

How to be a “lucky” person? Pay attention!

Do you consider yourself a lucky person…or an unlucky one?

Today I came across a very profound and brief article titled “How to Get Lucky” where a researcher named Richard Wiseman spent 10 years studying people who self-identified themselves as either lucky or unlucky.

In his research, Mr. Wiseman he found that lucky people tend to have an open mind, a positive attitude, and consciously take action to “create” their own luck.

One of the more profound aspects of the study was an experiment simply to see how much paying attention and keeping an open mind have on “luck”:

“I gave lucky and unlucky people a newspaper, and asked them to tell me how many photos were inside. On average, unlucky people spent about two minutes on this exercise; lucky people spent seconds. Why? Because on the paper’s second page — in big type — was the message “Stop counting: There are 43 photographs in this newspaper.” Lucky people tended to spot the message. Unlucky ones didn’t. I put a second one halfway through the paper: “Stop counting, tell the experimenter you have seen this and win $250.” Again, the unlucky people missed it.

The lesson: Unlucky people miss chance opportunities because they’re too busy looking for something else. Lucky people see what is there rather than just what they’re looking for.

This experiment and several others mentioned in the article really had an impact on my thinking.  Sometimes luck is just a matter of paying attention to the opportunities that surround you.

desert island cartoon good luck

In researching the the author of this article, I found another piece he had done in Fast Company magazine (one of my all time favorites) that is a bit longer and more in-depth read.

Click HERE to read the short version if you are in a hurry

Click HERE to read the long version if you really want to understand how to create your own luck

After reading the article(s), I would love to hear your thoughts. Please post your comments below.

Do you consider yourself a lucky person or an unlucky one?  Why?


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Pat and Lorna Shanks, Marty M. Fahncke and Michael Irvin, Michael Irvin. Michael Irvin said: RT @fawnkey: Do you consider yourself a lucky person…or an unlucky one? Some tips to make yourself lucky: […]

  2. I’m feeling I’m the luckiest person alive (at least among people around me). Because I always think positive in everything! If something worse come, I will say to my self: “everything gonna be alrite!”

  3. Awesome post! I’m lucky to have found it – I guess because I’ve been paying attention (wink). Like I always say, “A stroke of luck is usually due to a stroke of genius.”

    Count me in as a regular visitor to your blog.

    • Thank Beth, glad you liked it! To make it easier to be a regular visitor, you can also subscribe to have all new posts emailed right to you. Just enter your email and click “Subscribe to this blog” in the upper right corner of this page

  4. Thanks for this, Marty. I’ve always felt I’m lucky, and it was very interesting to see the reasons given in the article as to why. My wife and I talk about our “charmed lives”. I especially relate to the idea of expecting good things to happen. This makes me wonder what the difference is between lucky and fortunate? Same thing or? (Love the cartoon.)

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