In case you aren’t familiar with him, Dan Ariely is a researcher and Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience at Duke University. He’s written some interesting books: The Honest Truth About Dishonesty, The Upside of Irrationality, and Predictably Irrational…and he has a wordpress blog 😉 I’m a bit of a psychology nerd, so of course I follow it, and he recently put up this post, answering a question about…being LUCKY 🙂
This is what he said:
I think some people are luckier, but it’s not the kind of luck that gets you more money at the roulette wheel. Luckier people tend to try more frequently, and by trying more often they also succeed more. Think about a basketball player who attempts to shoot three times in a game, compared with one who tries 30 times. Even if the first one has a better shooting percentage, in absolute numbers, you can’t compare the two.
On top of that, if you notice the successes of other people and don’t pay much attention to their failures, you will basically see the absolute number of successes and not notice the percentage of successes.
So, what’s the advice? First, life is a numbers game—so try more frequently. Second, it’s good to look at the number of things that other people attempt—not just their successes.