How Science is Helping me Increase My Luck
A Book Review of “The Luck Factor” by Richard Wiseman
I was a little skeptical when I read the description of this book before I bought it. How could you quantify something that is more or less a phenomenon of our imagination? It’s not like you can go out and measure luck as you can measure height or weight. Nevertheless, I was curious to learn if you could quantify luck and how I could potentially “increase” my luck.
The Audible audiobook is 6 hours and 42 minutes. I quickly got through the whole book in a matter of days. I was listening at breakfast, during breaks at work, and during my workouts. I was fascinated by the depth of the experiments and the stories of the people that took part in the trials.
The most interesting part about the book is that it has universal themes with other “self-help” or “life improvement” books. The Luck Factor puts those suggestions in the context of increasing your luck. For instance, the book recommends mediation as a way to calm and relax your mind. The thinking is, the more relaxed you are, the more open you will be to “chance opportunities” that pop up in your life. By increasing your “chance opportunities,” you are increasing your luck. This theory is similar to the first law of the 7 Spiritual Laws of Success. The first law suggests you take the time to be silent and observe nature. In other words, both books are suggesting you put your phone down, just be, and reap the benefits of being more aware of what is going on around you and in nature.
Mediation was not the only suggestion that The Luck Factor had in common with other “self-help” books. The Luck Factor also talked about affirmations, building a strong network, creating goals, and taking control of bad situations. The critical difference is that each of these techniques is meant to increase your luck. For those of you who are tired of hearing lines like “you will be successful if you meditate,” The Luck Factor reinforces the same ideas and concepts but in a different way. I found that I was more receptive to the ideas painted in terms of increasing your luck score instead of you must do this to be successful.
My favorite part of The Luck Factor was the plethora of exercises that the book walks you through. Before you get started on any of the material, the book walks you through a luck assessment. It asks you to rank how much you agree or disagree with 12 statements about luck in your life. As you go through the book, each of the questions from the luck assessment relates to one of the four principles of luck. Each of the principles has a handful of exercises that you can go through to increase your luck.
According to the book, the four principles of luck are maximizing your chance opportunities, listening to your lucky hunches, expect good fortune, and turning your bad luck into good. Here’s how I scored on the four principles:
- Chance Opportunites: Low
- Listening to Hunches: High
- Expect Good Fortune: Medium
- Turn your Bad Luck into Good: Medium
Over the next couple of weeks, I will be doing exercises that pertain to principals 1,3, and 4 to help increase my luck score. So if you see me randomly doing activities, you would have never imagined me doing, well, that’s the dice game, and over the next couple of weeks, I will be immersing myself in new experiences. I also plan to meditate more, expect interactions with others to be “lucky,” and interact more with strangers.
I would recommend this book. The science isn’t dry, the stories of the participants in the studies are interesting, the exercises are informative, and the information is easy to understand. The audible version features a cheery British voice actor who I thoroughly enjoyed. Make sure to do the exercises throughout the book. You won’t get as much out of the book if you don’t!
I am looking forward to increasing some of the luck in my life. Let me know what you think of the book!