Monday, August 5, 2013

How To Improve One's Luck with the Four Principles Explained in Dr. Wiseman's Book Called Luck Factor

A lot of people just complain about bad luck. Anyone who wishes self improvement should start with improving one's luck. Because as I always have said, "it is better to be lucky than smart." I saved a lot of money because I was lucky to buy a fixer-upper at a great location. Or was that luck?


My Analysis of The Four Principles

Everyone wants more luck in his or her life. Like the common saying goes, it’s better to be lucky than smart. Dr. Richard Wiseman pointed out four fundamental principals to increasing your luck factor in his book called the Luck Factor. The first principle is make your own luck by exposing yourself to a large number of people and to create more opportunities. They also don’t mind being flexible and having a relaxed attitude. Along the way, they also enjoy their new experiences. In hindsight, I had created my luck as a young person. I met a friend who told me that he liked going to live shows. And I replied that I didn’t have such an experience and want to be exposed to such an experience. So, I told him as well as others that I am willing to drop all non-essential plans to be their “plus one” at concerts. One time, a friend asked me if I could get changed and meet him at a distant subway station in 30 minutes. I said that I could try, and that’s when I was able to go see Rod Stewart last minute. The other friend had friends who would cancel so often that I went to a couple dozen of symphonies and concerts one year, and this continued until I left D.C. When it came to seeing lots of concerts and broadway shows, I was pretty lucky.

I met a low-ranking government employee who was departing from the department but I did not know it. But I jovially engaged in a banter where he asked me which slice of pizza to buy at the government cafeteria. I replied that he should choose the largest slice with the most amount of topping for his $1.25. This conversation led to the agency in the department creating a position for me.

Chance favors the prepared mind. Lucky people listen to their gut feelings and boost their intuition through meditation. I see this second principle to be tangent to the first principle because you cannot be too rigid. For example, I personally think it’s foolish to have certain goals in order. I know some people who will not have a family until they buy a house. What if you do not make enough money and cannot buy a house. If you follow a rigid order, you will find that you may not reach any of your goals because you are stuck behind an unattainable goal.

I can see why Dr. Wiseman recommends meditation, which enables the clarity of the mind and the control your mind. Also your spiritual awareness increase, increasing your perception, curiosity, patience and peace of mind. One chant is Nam Myoho Renge Kyo; (Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism – The Lotus Sutra). In 1994, I converted to Nirchiren Daishonin’s Buddhism (Soka Gakkai International) because the Buddhist principles gave me confidence and determination. I chanted to buy a house. But it wasn’t long that we received a call from our realtor that one abandoned house dropped by $35,000. Despite the fact that the house sat vacant for 9 months and the last person to sign the visitor’s roster signed as “Joe Homeless” and it was sold “as is,” we jumped at an opportunity to own in a great location in October 1996. It was not obvious that we follow one of the most basic principles in real estate, “Location, Location, and Location” despite a feeling that the improvement may be overwhelming. Only in hindsight did we learn that it was an auspicious deicision. We were able to lift Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) in 18 months when the property tripled in value.

Dr. Wiseman’s third principle is to expect the good. And I guess that we were not weighed down by the negative aspect of the home….a back wall of the property stood precariously; the carpet was dirty and stunk of pet urine; the paint was dingy; and the entire property was overgrown with vegetation such as large vines that looked like trees.

Similarly, when dating, too many single persons find the wrong reason not to continue a relationship. Why should the other person have a great job or own a house? Jobs and homeownership come and go. Isn’t it more important to have similar core values? I know too many couple find out only after they are married that they are not financially compatible. They find out that one is a spender and the other is a saver. This relationship will not work out. I know couples who did not know what each other's position on raising a family. Someone who does not want children will not stay together with someone who wants children. If you have the clarity of mind, you can push out the garbage thoughts and have see the right opportunity.

Dr. Wiseman’s third principle is to expect fortune. Unlucky people already presume that they will fail whereas the lucky ones will keep trying. When I was young, I happened to win as vice president of my elementary school. I watched earlier candidates the year before giving speeches to the kindergarten class, and so, I did the same. I couldn’t believe that I, as a foreigner and outcast, won the position over a popular football player. This gave me confidence for the rest of my life, where I won a national essay contest representing my state (this story is told in my hub How I Have Accepted Premontions As A Foundation In My Life). I also believed that poor grades was not the end-all and worked to gain confidence, money, and solid foundation for my resume. You fail only when you give up. Just like the only concrete loss in the stock market is when you cash out your stocks during a down cycle.

The final principal of Dr. Wiseman’s book is to fix your luck. He believes that one should see the positive. As I grow older, now I understand how some acquaintances have stated that they wanted full days of nothing but positive thoughts. Don’t even think that an injustice may not right itself. I knew someone who was very lucky. He did very little (from my point of view) and yet he was promoted. He rewarded a bonus to at least one of his friends as far as I could see because she helped his daughter find a cheap wedding place. But then he was attacked by a homeless person and was hospitalized and then despite a 4-6 month travel to different offices, he was demoted and retired quickly. He rose so quickly but he fell so hard. I was in total disbelief that this was ever going to happen, but again, I was not seeing the positive. And I dwelled on it, pitying myself. However, I soon learned that we cannot compare ourselves to others’ lives. I knew a person who was very popular and was promoted quickly, yet she died at a young age with breast cancer.

So what can one do to fix the luck. In my opinion, be proactive. Brainstorm. Network. When I was in a rut with my career, a woman who spent a few years at my college told me to join a professional association and attend the lectures and meet people. That did eventually lead to my current position. In terms of finding a mate, I always remember that a smile is free and inviting. And unless it is really necessary, always go out on a date if asked because it is hard being the person who has to ask you. Finally, everything you do is about learning about yourself, no matter how bored you are or how redundant the task is.

In short, I am not the luckiest person on Earth, but I could see that I have lived with similar principles expounded by Dr. Wiseman in his book called The Luck Factor.


  1. I totally agree with you. Luck is something which needs to be cross checked since it can never find its self but rather, the holder trying the best to do it. When I was a newbie on the net, I never knew that I had luck in writing but as time went on, I joined sites like Webanswers, Hubpages, Infobarrel where I came to know about that. And now, I do freelance with one other Generalised Forte Hub where I share about anything. I like your blog and count on me as a new sub.

    Keep up the work.

  2. Thanks for your comments. I am glad you enjoyed my article. Happy Holidays.