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Money Matters Blog

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Making Your Own Luck

We all can point to that one person in our lives for whom everything seems to come easily. He or she has a good income, great house, beautiful children and the checkout line they choose always moves the quickest. You probably really wonder about that person. Why are they so lucky? Why not me?

Well, why not you? Research has confirmed that we have more power over our own luck than we think.  We can make ourselves into the type of successful, powerful, happy people that everyone else will wonder about with these three easy tips:

1. Focus On Your Own Life

In one recent study, researchers played a video of a man spilling a glass of milk to two groups of people. One group spoke English and similar languages, the others spoke languages in which blame wasn’t built into their sentence structure. They found that the people from the first group, whose sentences are built around blame, could identify details about the man in the video that the other group could not. Your language is leading you to blame people, including yourself, even when it doesn’t help you!

We tend to credit ourselves when we succeed, and assume other people got ahead because they were lucky. If you think people are luckier than you are, then you might need to rethink how you give credit.

If you want to be luckier, stop worrying about placing blame. Don’t blame yourself for your failures, and don’t let life events force you into a negative mindset. Who cares who spilled the milk?

2. Trust Your Gut

Lucky people know when to trust their gut. Instincts are instincts for a reason! Most of the scenarios you deal with daily are scenarios you’ve been dealing with for decades. You’ve done alright so far, so let your instincts take over. Try to use analogies to determine if the problem in front of you is like the ones you’ve seen, and if so, go with your first instinct. After all, your cave-person ancestors didn’t call an all-staff meeting every time they fought a mastodon, or you wouldn’t be here today.

3. Keep It Simple

Simplicity is at the heart of Taoism, Buddhism, Asceticism, Feng Shui and many more for a reason. Countless studies show that the modern convenience of having everything at our fingertips actually makes us less happy. Having too many options leads to the “what if” paradox and “buyer’s remorse.” It’s the same reason that social media has created FOMO: the Fear of Missing Out.

Instead of spending thirty minutes picking out the perfect bag of M&Ms at the gas station—regular, peanut, peanut butter, mint, almond, pretzel, hazelnut, fun size, sharing size, re-sealable bags, mixed packs and more—ask yourself whether finding the “perfect” choice will make you any happier. If not, don’t waste your energy trying to get it exactly right.

Lucky people make the right choice because they realize any choice is the right choice if they make it quickly and stick with it. Want to improve your luck? The best thing you can do is improve your thinking. If you want to be the person who has everything going great, start by realizing that you already do.

Somewhere, somebody is looking at your life and envying your “luck.” Make them proud.

Your Turn: How do you make your own luck? Share your lucky thoughts in the comments below.

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