How To Increase Your Luck By Changing Your Mindset
For the last few weeks, I have been extremely lucky. Whatever situation I find myself in, I manage to make it work in my favour. Even situations that seem unfortunate at first I manage to somehow take advantage of.
This is not a coincidence. I used to believe luck was something that happens to you. I now know luck is something that you create. Furthermore, creating luck is extremely simple and easy. I adopted a mindset that helps me maximise and utilise the good luck I encounter.
Last month, while trying to fall asleep, I randomly thought of a girl that I had never seen outside work before. The next day, while walking to the grocery store, I randomly ran into her. “Huh, that’s quite the coincidence,” I thought to myself.
Later that day, while I was walking through nature searching for a nice place to shoot some B-roll for a YouTube video, the sun was hidden behind a thick layer of clouds, and there was no interesting scenery at all. Just as I was about to start filming the bleak and muddy heath, I saw a deer in the distance. I followed it and stumbled upon a nice patch of trees I had never seen before. As I walked into it, the clouds dissipated, and I managed to get some really nice B-roll. “Wow, I am really lucky today,” I thought to myself.
This kept happening for a few days. I kept having good luck, and I started to wonder what had changed. Did I actually become luckier, or was my mind just playing tricks on me? I decided to perform an experiment to find out
The luck journal
To see if my luck had really increased, I started documenting all instances of my good luck in what I called a luck journal. I call it a journal, but it’s actually just a bullet list in Notion that I add some items to at the end of every day. Opening an app and adding a short phrase describing what happened (“There was a discount on the item I wanted to buy”) takes mere seconds, and because of that, I was spending less than 5 minutes a day on this luck journal.
I started noticing that I was having a lot of good luck. Way more than usual. The longer I kept journaling, the luckier I seemed to get. What explanation could there possibly be for this? I started contemplating it, and immediately thought of confirmation bias.
Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for any evidence that supports your beliefs while ignoring evidence that goes against your beliefs. For example, a left-leaning person will follow mostly left-wing news sources, whereas a right-leaning person will follow mostly right-wing news sources. Due to this, they will both see news that confirms their beliefs while not seeing news that opposes them.
To test if this was what was happening — to see if my newfound luck was just confirmation bias at play — I inverted the experiment. I started documenting only bad luck, to see if it would cause me to actually be less lucky.
As predicted, I started having — or at least noticing — more bad luck. Things went wrong more often. I accidentally dropped stuff. Someone I wanted to speak to was absent due to illness. New projects suddenly required skills I didn’t have. Things were notably worse than they were when I journaled good luck. A little bit too bad to be explained just by confirmation bias.
Mindset is everything
Yes, confirmation bias played a role. I did start looking for examples of bad luck while disregarding good luck. However, things that were out of my control got worse too. The weather got worse, I had to cancel filming a YouTube video twice because it was too windy. Something more was going on.
I went through the good and bad luck journals, to see what could cause this discrepancy, and I found out something interesting: I considered some things both good and bad. Weather to windy to record in was considered both good and bad luck on separate occasions:
Good luck journal:
It was too windy to record yesterday. However, later that day I thought of an important point that I almost forgot to add to the video. Had it not been windy, I would’ve created a worse video.
Bad luck journal:
It was too windy to record. Now I’ll have to record tomorrow. Today I had a lot of free time, tomorrow I won’t.
The same thing happened another time. I noticed a minor editing mistake in a video after rendering it on two occasions. In the bad luck journal, it was considered bad luck because I made a mistake. In the good luck journal, it was considered good luck because I noticed it before uploading. One event can have both positive and negative aspects, and which you focus on ultimately determines whether it’s good or bad.
Fortune favours the bold
Another thing that I noticed was that I became more risk-taking and bold whenever I was keeping the good luck journal. See, when I was constantly writing down all my good luck, I started believing I was luckier. And when I believed I was luckier, I was more willing to take risks.
This created a self-perpetuating cycle. With most of the risks I took, failure would mean ending up no worse than I started. So constant risk-taking lead to very few negative consequences, and lots of positive consequences. The opposite happened when I believed I was unlucky. I stopped taking risks, and because of that, I was almost never in a position where I could have good luck.
Believing I was lucky, in a way, actually made me luckier. I didn’t have a higher success rate, but I tried so much more that more successes were inevitable.
The mindset that will increase your luck
I believe my experiments were an unmistakable success. I used my findings to adopt a new mindset that increases my luck significantly.
Act as if things you want must necessarily come true
If you believe you must necessarily succeed, you will start seeing opportunities everywhere. When you go in with an attitude of failure, every little setback will be a sign that you should just quit. When you go in with an attitude of success, you will see a new door open every time the previous one closes.
The idea that there are always opportunities and possibilities should be as clear as the idea that gravity exists. Whenever something bad happens, there is always something you can gain from it. Unfortune not bringing with it fortune is like an apple falling upwards. You will always see possibilities and opportunities because you simply will not accept that there are none.
When you start the day with this mindset — with the mindset that whatever happens to you, whatever bad luck befalls you, you will always be able to come out on top — you will see that your luck will start to increase. You will realise luck is something that you create, not something that happens to you.