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Are There Lucky People? - by Steven Gillman

Most of us know lucky people, those who seem to lived a charmed life. They may not even be all that smart, and yet they seem to almost stumble into good situations. Opportunities open up for them, things are "handed" to them. Perhaps they win in the stock market, find a dream job, or get married to their ideal spouse.

Then there are the unlucky people. Maybe you know a few of these as well. Some of them may even be very intelligent or well educated, and yet they're unlucky in love, lose money on investments, miss opportunities, and have unexpected bad things happen.

You might be somewhere between these two extremes. You have some good luck, and you have your share of "bad luck" as well. But have you ever tried to learn how to be one of the lucky people?

Generally there are two approaches to the idea of luck. Some think it is a random or mysterious thing that we have no control over, while others say it doesn't exist, that what we call luck is hard work, or a lazy way to explain cause and effect. Yet we all see that some people have easier successes, whether we call it luck or not. What both approaches tend to miss is the obvious question: How can you become one of these "lucky people"?

The answer to that starts with avoiding that mistake right there. Stop arguing about definitions. It's more profitable to make good things happen. Does it really matter if you earn the title of "lucky" even though you feel that "luck" had nothing to do with it? The bottom line is that good results are good results, whatever they are called.

One Thing Lucky People Do Differently

There are many things that lucky people do differently, and there is even serious research that demonstrates this. It has been shown that people who are identified as lucky smile more often, for example. And among those who are superstitious (entirely unnecessary for luck), the research shows lucky people have more positive beliefs, like crossing the fingers, while those who avoid black cats and fear the number thirteen have less luck.

Of all the many things that lucky people do differently, though, perhaps one of the most effective is simply asking for things. How many of us don't ever ask for a nicer table in a restaurant, or ask for a raise at work. Doing so doesn't guarantee anything, but asking certainly increases the odds of receiving. It's safe to say that you'll get more raises and nice tables in life if you ask.

For example, in his book, "Screw It - Let's Do It," Richard Branson tells the story of how he bought a 3,000,000 pound island for $180,000. That's just 7% of the asking price, by the way. Here's the short version of how he did it: he asked. I imagine there were those who would have loved to get the island for twice what he paid, since that would still be an 86% discount. But they probably never made the offer, embarrassed to ask for such a low price.

As a young man I bought my first house by advertising. I put a small ad in the paper saying I was looking for a small home with a small down payment and seller financing. I got a call and soon bought my first home. Ask and you shall receive, as the saying goes.

So are there lucky people? Yes, and if you want to be one of them, consider the following three premises:

  1. "Lucky" people are those who have more happy surprises and good situations in their lives.

  2. Their good luck is a result of the way they think and act.

  3. You can become one of them by learning and applying certain principles (like the one above).

Copyright Steve Gillman.
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