How to be successful

Translation carried out by the project Newочем


In 1995, the wounded woman named Anat Ben-Tov gave an interview while in a hospital in tel Aviv. It is the second time this year survived a bomb blast in the bus. “Either I am very unlucky, or incredibly lucky. I’m not sure of this,” she told reporters.


This story attracted the attention of the Norwegian psychologist Carl Halvor of Teigen, Professor Emeritus of the University of Oslo. He made a thorough analysis of the Newspapers in an attempt to find out what people consider good and bad luck. In subsequent years he and other psychologists, along with economists and statisticians, came to the understanding that although people often consider luck as chance or supernatural power, it would be correct to regard it as a subjective interpretation.


“The question is: do you consider yourself lucky because you happened favourable events or favourable events happen because you consider yourself lucky?” asks David j. Hand, author of The Improbability Principle, Professor Emeritus of mathematics and senior researcher at Imperial College London.


Studies in psychology have shown that on the basis of that, you think yourself lucky or unlucky, not taking into account the actual impact of luck on your life, you can tell a lot about your Outlook, well being and even brain function. It turns out that a belief in personal luck is something of magical thinking — no magic, which includes Lady Luck or leprechauns. But the belief in good luck may lead to a good cycle of thoughts and actions. Belief in luck goes hand in hand with a sense of control, optimism, and low anxiety. If you believe in your own luck and come out with a sense of confidence and relaxation, you will seem more attractive to the person you are Dating.


Feeling luck might encourage you more to work hard and carefully plan. It can increase your alertness, allowing you to benefit from emerging around the possibilities. In the study, which compared people who consider themselves lucky and unlucky, psychologist Richard Wiseman from University of Hertfordshire, author of “How to get lucky” (2003), asked subjects to count the number of pictures in the newspaper. Here was the catch: he posted a response on the second page of the newspaper. “Unlucky people tend to miss the hint, and lucky tend to notice it,” he writes.


On the other hand, the sense of misfortune may lead to a vicious circle of failed development circumstances. Psychologist John Maltby of the University of Leicester suggested that a belief in personal luck is associated with reduced Executive functioning — the ability to plan, organize, and accomplish tasks. In the 2013 study Maltby and colleagues found a link between belief in their own luck and reduced Executive functioning, for example, the ability to switch between tasks, and creative thinking. Then in 2015 he and his colleagues found higher electrical activity associated with reduced Executive functioning in the brain 10 students who considered themselves very unlucky, rather than in the brain of 10 students, who considered himself extremely fortunate. People who believe in their own luck, not always participated in some of the processes necessary to achieve positive results,” says Maltby.

He cites a simple example: in the midst of the printing process in the inkjet ink. “Lucky man to have a spare cartridge just in case, because planned this in advance. When the cartridge runs out, he will say: “Oh, aren’t I lucky, I just recently bought a spare, it’s incredible,” says Maltby. — While unlucky people did not plan in advance, he has not made the necessary cognitive processes, and when the ink cartridge in the printer runs during printing, he will say: “Oh, I’m unlucky””.


If you set the vicious circle of this type, it begins to play a greater role. Economists Praus Victoria and David Gill from Purdue University believe that the attitude to success can explain sex differences in the labor force. In a laboratory experiment using a competitive game requiring both skill and luck, they found that women were more discouraged by failure than men. After the failure of women were more likely to reduce the amount of the effort in the next round of the game, even if the rates were low.


Luck often has an influence on career, says, Prows. Successful getting a job may depend on that, how much time recruiter devoted to the study summary, and also whether it liked the color of the clothes in which you came in for an interview. Companies often carry out competitions in which adjust, for example, of sellers, against each other. “Even a small reduction efforts after the interaction, in which the woman is unlucky, could potentially mean a lost opportunity to get promoted and rise to the next level, which entails the set of possible consequences, says Praus. — It would be risky to omit such small differences, suggesting that they are not able to accumulate and become significant.”


While personality and gender, apparently, play a role, random events can also launch cycles of successes and failures. Economist Alan Kirman from the Higher school of social Sciences in Paris understood that it may be that when I worked in an office with a small number of Parking spaces available. One guy from their team was lucky and always parked near the office, whereas others always had to Park far away and walk. To find out why, the team created a simple model in the framework of game theory, which simulated the situation. It turned out that if you want to Park quickly found a Parking spot near work, the next day they had to find Parking in a small radius from yesterday. If could not find quickly, they started to increase the radius. Guess who had more luck when it came to finding Parking spaces close to work? Those who really searched for them.


At least in the simulation who wish to Park overnight were divided into successful and unsuccessful groups, without any connection with the personal characteristics or floors, says Kirman. This means that the cycle of good luck or bad luck can happen to anyone without their knowledge. This also means that if we assume that life is a zero — sum game, like Parking, our spiral failure can result in someone’s virtuous circle — which is a shame. “Unlucky people are accustomed to choose a Parking space at a great distance and leave room for the lucky people,” explains Kerman.

© AP Photo Hadi Mizban, FileИракцы at an amusement Park during Eid al-Adha in Baghdad

Of course, a belief in personal luck is not always good. For example, gambling luck never turns into what it seems. Consider the example of online sports betting. Swamini Xu, a graduate of University College London, and its Director, psychologist-experimenter Nigel Harvey, analyzed database 2010, containing 565 915 sports bets made by 776 players. The data was obtained, is not consistent with the law of probability: players have more chance to make a good bet if previous bet is won.


Streak was not supernatural, says Xu, they were generated by the “gamblers fallacy” — the common, but false notion that fortune will sooner or later fail. Thinking that defeat is inevitable after a series of wins, players continue to play the safe bets, giving rise to an even longer streak of wins. Unfortunately, players don’t win a lot of money on such series; over time, they’re still going to lose the house. “The best strategy in gambling is to control the loss,” explains Xu.


Teigen notes that in many cases contrasted with the luck of security. In one study he found that people with his life experiences the history of luck, often taking on serious, sometimes thoughtless risk. For example, appallingly inexperienced paraglider told him about how he managed to avoid the crash. Ultimately, this approach to find the location of Fortune may come back to haunt. “I’m a little cautious in wishing people good luck, he admits. — It’s better they be safe than lucky”.

The trick probably is to find areas of life where you don’t have to risk and this will be a lucky man. In the early 2000s, Wiseman concluded his multi-year study of successful people and created so-called “school of luck”. There he gave the unlucky people exercises with the help of which they’ve been trained to see the potential of something to go with my gut, stick to optimism and not to dwell on the mistakes — in other words, to do all the things that make successful people. He said that after a month 80% of the students at his school began to consider themselves happier and more successful.


One of the simplest measures that you can take to improve your luck is “shake”. Think about the case with Parking. If you always default to looking for a place among the barely tolerable places you will never find a really good place. The same process may be at work, at home or in your personal life. To make in my life diversity, one of the wards of Weisman before you go to a party, chose a color and got acquainted with all who had clothes this color. Another and often change my route to work.


However, much more difficult to learn not to dwell on the occasions when you are not lucky. Studies have shown that people who are victims of violence or had an accident, as a rule, constantly ask myself questions like “why me?” or “what am I doing wrong?”. This strategy is suitable for use only if the victim can learn something new that will help her in the future to avoid such cases. But this happens rarely, and people have nothing to envy, to engage in self-flagellation and torment yourself with useless annoying thoughts.


However, certain types of accidents — even very serious — lead to a reverse train of thought. Teigen and his colleagues read an interview with 85 Norwegian tourists who were vacationing with their families in South-East Asia in the winter of 2004. At the outbreak of the devastating earthquake and tsunami, their lives and their children’s lives were jeopardized, and their Christmas holiday ruined. No luck, huh? But not from their point of view. Two years later, 95% of these tourists claimed that they were lucky to survive not lucky with the choice of time for travel. (The remaining 5% said that they combined luck with a failure.)

© Fotolia, luluСмех

Teigen argues that in order to determine whether an event is successful or unsuccessful, it is necessary to compare what happened in reality with a hypothetical alternative that you imagine. People wondering “why me?” hold upward comparison with those not subjected to violence or who have avoided the accident. And people who are happy that they were lucky to survive, I compare myself in the downward direction with those whose fate was worse. Both options have a right to exist, but the downward comparison helps a person not to lose optimism, makes him a life-affirming sense of gratitude and creates a narrative in which man becomes a successful protagonist of the history of his own life.


Remember George Bailey, the hero of the film “it’s a wonderful life”. He fell back in love with life after the angel showed him what would the world be if it never happened. In a 2008 study scientists discovered that those who had done a similar thought experiment — thinking about alternate paths of life, where there was, for example, positive events such as meeting future husband the results were “a little happier” those who just thought about the positive event itself. Attack of happiness, which the researchers called “the effect of George Bailey” comes from the surprise that something good happens to you.


In hard times, the cultivation of belief in good luck may seem like something frivolous. But psychologists argue that this belief can have a magical effect that will heal our wounds and give us another chance at success — regardless of, if we survived after the bombing or just returned from a bad date.