Time to give luck a chance?
A leading psychologist has studied luck – and has found that it often has a lot to do with attitude and personality
“One of the big problems with unlucky people is that they believe they are going to be unlucky in the future and, therefore, don’t try very hard,” he explains. “They say things like ‘I never prepare for an interview because it always go badly’. These things become a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is easy to get stuck in a rut.”
A change of luck can come with a change of mindset. “I remind people that other people have changed.”
For instance, an opera singer he knew was down on her luck and kept losing out at rehearsal stage. Nevertheless, she persisted, kept making the phone calls and sending out the emails before eventually landing a part in a major opera.
“I’m not saying there is an easy solution here. I’m not saying that everybody can be a high-level opera singer,” cautions Wiseman.
Wiseman is in Ireland for a lecture hosted by the newly launched Lloydspharmacy chain, which was formerly DocMorris.
In advance of his lecture, Lloydspharmacy conducted a survey of 2,000 Irish adults to find out if they felt lucky in life.
The survey revealed that 86 per cent of Irish people claim to be a “glass half-full” type of person and over half (59 per cent) say they feel happy when they wake up each morning.
The research could be dismissed as being entirely contrary to the facts on the ground, but it chimes with other research, international and domestic, which confirms that the Irish remain a remarkably contented race despite the economic calamity visited on the country in recent years.
The recent World Happiness Report, conducted by researchers at Columbia University in New York, found that the recession has barely affected Irish people’s sense of wellbeing.
It ranks Ireland 18th in the world with an average happiness score of 7.076 (out of 10) for the years 2010 to 2012.
This is just 0.068 less than the score of 7.144 recorded for the years 2005 to 2007 at the time when the Celtic Tiger was at its height.
The researchers concluded that people constantly overestimate the impact of the economy on their sense of wellbeing and underestimate intangibles such as a sense of community solidarity and friendship, and Ireland ranks among the highest in the world in that regard.
“The survey seems to be suggesting that resilience is a trait of the Irish people.
“The big underlying factor with happiness is linked to friends and family because there is enormous social support,” he said.
A talk by Richard Wiseman, professor of the public understanding of psychology, will take place in the Royal College of Physician’s, 6 Kildare Street, Dublin, on Thursday, October 10th, 2013, at 7pm .
Tickets are free of charge and are available in Lloydspharmacy outlets or at lloydspharmacy.ie