Richard Wiseman, professor of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire (U.K.) and best-selling author of The Luck Factor, wrote a piece on Forbes.com, where he concludes that: “Opportunities do not haphazardly fall into the laps of lucky people. Instead, those people are unconsciously doing all sorts of things to increase their chances of attracting good fortune. They are looking at the big picture, opening their minds to the unexpected, breaking routines and connecting with others.”
Wiseman spent ten years studying the exceptionally lucky and unlucky people. An excerpt from them article:
The human brain is amazingly good at detecting what it wants to find. When you are hungry, your brain focuses on finding food. When you are thirsty, it looks for liquid. The problem is, your brain can become so focused on seeing what it expects to see, it misses things that are obvious but unexpected. Lucky people tend to have a somewhat relaxed view of life. They are less concerned with mundane details and more prone to look at the bigger picture. Ironically, by trying less, they see more…
Of course, being lucky isn’t just about adopting a relaxed attitude toward life. Lucky people possess a whole host of opportunity-attracting traits. For example, many of them go to considerable lengths to introduce variety and change into their lives.
The theory behind this “do something different” behavior is simple. Imagine living in the center of a large apple orchard and having to collect a large basket of apples each day. At first, you will be able to find apples wherever you go. But as time goes on, it will become more difficult to find apples in the places you have visited before. But if you venture into other parts of the orchard, your chances of finding apples increase tremendously.
And it is exactly the same with being lucky. You will quickly exhaust your potential opportunities if you keep talking to the same people, taking the same route to and from work and going to the same places on holiday. But introducing new or random experiences is like visiting a new part of the orchard–suddenly you are surrounded by hundreds of apples.