Luck or Skill



“Some people have all the luck.”

You’ve heard that said, and perhaps you have wondered whether it is true. Professor Richard Wiseman, a research psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire in Britain, set out to test that proposition, and he subsequently wrote this book about his findings, The Luck Factor: The Four Essential Principles. His studies showed that people can improve their luck, or at least feel that they have, by changing their behavior and attitudes.

Getting luckier by changing your behavior and attitudes will not increase your chances of winning the lottery. Roulette wheels and slot machines won’t notice, either. Rather, your awareness of opportunities, your use of intuition/hunches, your resilience in the face of bad fortune, and your interactions with other people will improve–and their responses will likely be beneficial to you, making you “luckier.”

Dr. Wiseman’s findings uncovered four elements in the difference between those who believed themselves to have been lucky versus those who did not:

1. “Maximize your chance possibilities.” Be alert to opportunities, and act on them. He states this as, “Lucky people create, notice, and act upon the chance opportunities in their lives.” Often extroverts, they network well. With a relaxed attitude toward life, they try new things, get out of ruts, giving themselves more chances to “win.” For example, my youngest brother accepted a temporary research assignment in Great Britain, and there he met a wonderful woman to whom he is very happily married.

Professor Wiseman tested his subjects for alertness to obvious clues in a simple reading experiment. The ones who had considered themselves to be lucky usually found the clues almost immediately. The faction considering themselves to be unlucky generally missed the clues. The lucky were simply more alert than the unlucky.

To gauge their comparative degrees of connection to others, their degree of networking, Professor Wiseman had his study subjects read a list of 15 common last names and then check how many of these 15 surnames were of people they knew personally. On average, the “lucky” fraction knew many more than the “unlucky” fraction, indicating that the lucky ones were more effective at building networks. Networks are likely to present opportunities.

2. “Listen to your lucky hunches.“ Follow your intuition, not just your reasoning, in personal, financial, and business situations. You can increase this faculty by meditation and by setting aside problems temporarily while your subconscious mind works on them. Falling in love certainly has its intuitive aspects. Sometimes, however, we get a feeling that something is awry, even though we do not know why. Heed both attraction and repulsion. “The heart has its reasons that reason does not understand.”

3. “Expect good fortune.” Create self-fulfilling prophecies by having positive expectations. Expect interactions with others to be mutually beneficial. You will be more attractive as a partner, more likely to establish a win/win outcome. Let your reach exceed your grasp: have high goals. You cannot win if you do not try. “You’ve got to be in it to win it.”

4. “Turn bad luck into good.“ See the positive side of failure: turn that lemon into lemonade; recognize that it could be worse; learn; adapt; forge on; don‘t dwell on temporary defeat.



I coach a lot about the importance of developing daily habits.  As my mentor Jim Rohn clearly states, “success is a few simple disciplines repeated over and over”.  (Like an apple a day!)  Here are three of my favorite books about the critical importance of habits:

1. The Power of Habit- by Robert Duhigg (last weeks 5 Iron book)
2.  The Slight Edge- by Jeff Olson
3. The Compound Effect- by Darren Hardy

I found the following article in Inc Magazine useful and interesting. I screened the 19 habits down to my most important 10, but included the link if you want to see the full article.

I hope you are in the habit of reading and referring this blog to all your friends, co-workers, family, or even to your enemy’s. 

19 Tiny Habits That Lead To Huge Results Success starts with the little things.       By Nicolas Cole, Contributor,

 Success doesn’t happen in an instant. It happens through the progression of lots of little successes, strung together over time.

If you want to build something big, if you have a vision, a dream, or even just a clearly defined end goal, the question is not how you can make that happen right now, or tomorrow. The question is: “What habits can I put into place that will allow that end goal to manifest itself?”

1. Do what you say you’re going to do.

Step 1 with anything: Less talk, more action. What may just be a hobby now could one day be something very special. If you love it, practice it. Don’t be that 40-year-old guy who says to every young person he or she meets, “I used to want to be a guitar player!” Well, why aren’t you still playing then?!

6. Go to the gym.

Or the yoga studio. Or run up and down the block. Whatever. Just be physically active. There’s nothing sexy about not being able to walk up a flight of stairs.

7. Surround yourself with people who represent what you ultimately want to become.

This is a habit and a choice. If you aren’t happy with where you’re at or where you’re going, take a hard look at the people around you. Chances are, they’re in a similar boat, and as long as you stay in that situation, neither of you are moving any time soon.

8. Read.

Seriously. If the only reading you do is, then you need to hit up Amazon and buy a Kindle.

9. Don’t just set goals–track them.

One of the most revealing things I’ve ever done for myself was making a project plan for my life. Yes, a project plan. And all the things I wanted to get done in the next three months, I planned them out like I would a marketing campaign (I’m not joking). But guess what? It showed me everything I needed to know, when things were due, and how much time I needed to spend on them in order to get them accomplished. Do this more often, and you’ll be amazed at how much you over-promise and under-deliver–and what needs to happen for you to fix that habit immediately.

11. Dress for success.

It’s cliché but true–you have more confidence when you feel good about the way you’re presenting yourself. Make it a habit to portray your best self.

12. Meditate and reflect.

In tandem with the journaling habit, you need to make time to reflect. You can’t always be in “go go go” mode. Without reflection, you will not be able to properly integrate the lessons you’ve been learning along the way.

13. Teach others.

Even before you feel like you’re an “expert,” take the knowledge you’ve acquired and pass it along. Not only is it good for humanity, but you will learn whatever it is you’re teaching even more deeply when you have to explain it to someone else.

15. Eat healthy.

What you eat is a habit. You’re going to set a habit and then repeat that habit daily for a very, very long time. Make that habit take care of you, not drag you down.

18. Wake up when you say you’re going to wake up.

When you set that alarm the night before, you’re promising yourself you’re going to get up at that time. Keep that promise.

19. Read your chief aim aloud.

Stealing from Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill here: Write down whatever it is you want to build for yourself in life. Then every morning and every night, read that aloud. Out loud. Hear it in your voice and in your heart. Welcome it into the world.

Who are you listening to? Who are you learning from.? Why not let me help you? Corporate Trainer/Coach/Consultant ~Keynote Speaker ~ Writer/Best Selling Author ~ Podcast Host ~ Multi IronMan ~ MBA/RFC/ 32yrs in Finance/Banking/Investing/Trading ~ Fortune 100 Management Trained and Experienced ~ Health/Fitness/Nutrition~ Multi Entrepreneur ~ Mentor ~ CBT/REBT/NLP Certification. I will show you the route- but only if you desire the route.