How to have luck in life

Hello! Seiiti Arata. For you who are wondering “how to have luck in life”, I will give you the answer in this video, and it will be a simple one. First, though, I will ask you a question: what are you doing for that luck to come into being?

Did you know that the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan, used to wear two pairs of shorts in competitions?

That’s right: underneath his Chicago Bulls’ shorts, he would also wear the University of North Carolina’s shorts for luck, because he was wearing those shorts when he led his team to the victory in 1982.

Golf champion Tiger Woods is also superstitious and wears his famous red shirt in final rounds.

Do you find these things interesting? From the rational perspective, what is the effect of those lucky charms on our results?

In order to answer you, today I am bringing three scientific studies on the psychological effect of belief in luck on our performance.

Is luck permanent or temporary? - Seiiti Arata, Arata Academy

1. People who believe themselves to be lucky achieve better results.

The first psychological study comes from researchers at the University of Cologne. They say that when the belief in superstition is activated, either through a charm, like Michael Jordan’s shorts, or through some sort of ritual, like crossing your fingers, performance in a motor or cognitive activity tends to improve. This happens through a self-perceived effectiveness mechanism.

In other words, when people feel they are lucky, they also feel more capable of facing challenges. With this increased willingness they can achieve a better result.

Finding yourself lucky is a useful belief.

Is it luck a permanent personal attribute? Or is it something random and fleeting? Now here comes the second study.

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2. If you are to believe in luck, then you tend to believe you are always lucky.

In the second study, researchers at the University of California compared two kinds of belief: that luck is a permanent attribute and that it is an ephemeral attribute.

Luck is a permanent attribute when the person believes himself to be always lucky and an ephemeral attribute when he thinks he is lucky only every now and then.

The result showed that people who believe in luck as a permanent attribute also end up increasing their self-determination levels. I mean, they feel like they are the chosen ones, and therefore they are more daring in the activities they choose to do.

Relying on luck without getting ready only leads to worse results. You have to prepare, even if you think you're lucky. - Seiiti Arata,  Arata Academy

Whoever thinks that luck is an unpredictable element, random and fleeting, ends up feeling more fear, since luck is beyond their control. If I feel like I have no control over my life, I won’t do anything about it. Therefore, what is the conclusion?

3. Stop relying on luck and do your homework.

When I have knowledge, skills and confidence, I feel like I can make a difference.

Remember the previous video [ ], in which we mentioned that there is an international assessment of academic achievement, TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study)? Do you know what the inversely proportional factor to academic success is? It is to believe that results depend on luck.

Luck is what happens when preparation and opportunity meet. - Seiiti Arata,  Arata Academy

In a study at University of Pennsylvania, researchers found that students who believe they rely solely on luck to do well in tests are those with the worst performance.

Gosh, but isn’t that contradictory? Cool off. Michael Jordan wears his lucky shorts, but he also trains, and he trains a lot. He did his homework: he does not DEPEND ON luck because he’s applied himself.

If you want to believe that you are a naturally lucky person, and if that inspires you, or if you think you have a talisman that helps you get lucky and that gives you confidence, that’s great. However, do not depend on it, because there is something much more important: preparation.

You must get round your belief system to understand that you are in charge of your life. To help you with that, I will leave you with a quote attributed to Seneca:

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4. Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

Again: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

Now, as promised, I will answer the question of how to have luck in life!

In order to have luck in life, you must be ready to seize the opportunities that arise. If no opportunities arise, then you will have to make things happen and create the opportunities yourself.

I’m absolutely sure that some people will say, “That’s not true, because I know this boy in my class who hasn’t studied at all for the test; he guessed all the answers, and he aced it. I know this old lady in my home town who is in sound health but smokes and drinks every day,” etc.

Yes, of course there is a range of different cases. Within a large sample of the population, and we are now more than seven billion people living on this planet of ours, there are always exceptional cases. Therefore to say, “But I know one person who did not get prepared, did everything wrong, and yet everything went right” is something like an anecdote.

If you think you're lucky, you'll get better results. (40) - Seiiti Arata,  Arata Academy

Does that anecdote (which was handpicked) represent a general rule, a universal principle, a logical conclusion… or is it just an exception of fate?

That is why it is always good to use our rationality.

Which of the two beliefs is more useful to you? The belief that you have to be prepared to seize the opportunities or the belief that you depend on luck and that there’s nothing you can do about it?

Choose what makes more sense to you. And good luck 🙂

It’s no use just to be willing to have luck. It is better to be willing to PREPARE yourself to have luck.

Such preparation puts us in a position in which we can make the most of the opportunities opening up ahead. We feel confident and determined. We do our best, and we reap the results.