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The Luck Factor

A review of two books
The Luck Factor by Max Gunther
The Luck Factor by Dr Richard Wiseman

Copyright © Colin Nicholson


Signs and Portents.The Luck Factor by Max Gunther The first part: general introduction and broad definition of luck: events that influence our life and are seemingly beyond our control The second part: Speculations on the Nature of Luck: Some Scientific Tries. Charms. The fourth part: The Luck Adjustment: the five components Copyright Colin Nicholson 2 . Destiny. The third part: Speculations on the Nature of Luck: Some Cult and Mystical Tries. God. The Psychic Theories and The Synchronicity Theory. specifically Numbers. specifically The Randomness Theory.

The five components of the luck adjustment • The Spiderweb Structure • The Hunching Skill • Audentes Fortuna Juvat • The Ratchet Effect • The Pessimism Paradox Copyright Colin Nicholson 3 .

have formed many friendly contacts with other people.The Spiderweb Structure Basic idea: luckiest men and women tend to. resulting good fortune would not be luck). At the time they will generally have no idea where that will lead. over a lifetime. Luck occurs when something good happens and one of the contacts is the conduit through which luck finds its way to us. (if they did. Copyright Colin Nicholson 4 .

To do so there are three rules: Copyright Colin Nicholson 5 .The Hunching Skill Hunch: a feeling from time to time that might seem a bit like knowledge. AND they act on them (unlucky people don’t). Lucky people tend to trust their hunches (unlucky people rarely do). Lucky people seem to have an ability to formulate accurate hunches. but we feel is something not to be trusted as a confirmed fact. Ability to generate sound hunches was a skill that can be learned. Not that simple: Not any hunch will do.

Soft facts: feelings or impressions. Two problems to be avoided: One never trust a hunch about someone we have just met. learn to listen to feelings. However. Third rule: make room for hunches to grow. Key idea is we don't really know what our feeling is based on. Two : collect soft facts along with hard. Instead ask more and more questions about how and why you feel the way you do. (something that you want very badly to believe to be true). Second rule: Never confuse a hunch with hope. (most important of the three rules). This rule has two corollaries: One : don't smother a hunch by over analysing it. respect them and consider them carefully.First rule: Learn to assess the database. Copyright Colin Nicholson 6 . Those who habitually confine analysis to hard facts are at the opposite hunch pole. Two never regard a hunch as a way of avoiding hard work researching. Do the research. it will be based upon knowledge about the general area covered by the hunch.

When all facts obvious opportunity already missed. The Third Rule : don't insist on complete advance knowledge of a situation (rare to have all the facts). Copyright Colin Nicholson 7 .Audentes Fortuna Juvat (fortune favours the bold) General rule: lucky people tend to be bold (least lucky people tend to be timid). Some rules to develop boldness: The First Rule: always ready to embrace lucky opportunities. The Second Rule : know the difference between boldness and rashness.

Copyright Colin Nicholson 8 . At the same time their potential gains are unlimited. but if situation goes wrong . but their potential losses are limited by their ability to cut and run when bad luck intervenes. I t's too hard to abandon investment. but without slipping back so far that we are wiped out financially. time.The Ratchet Effect Ratchet: device that preserves gains. act on hunches. love. (“Investment”: money. commitment. Two obstacles unlucky people never overcome: I t's too hard to say “I was wrong” (born losers have overwhelming need to prove their own brilliance). Losers see “investments” as being part of them and try desperately to protect them. or a combination of them). effort. e.g. Ratchet effect: Lucky people enter attractive ventures that might have otherwise scared them away.quickly get out before losses out of control. Allows to move forward boldly.

" END Gunther book review. Copyright Colin Nicholson 9 .” Mitchell's Law: “Life is slippery like a piece of soap.g. Associated with two Cardinal Law's: Murphy's Law: “If something can go wrong it will. you are wrong. Commodity speculator whose mantra: “Out of every four trades I'll lose money on three of them”. e.” Both laws say: never enter a situation without knowing what we will do when it goes wrong.The pessimism paradox Truly lucky people tend to be pessimists. If you think you have a good grip on it.

The Luck Factor by Dr Richard Wiseman Luck is best seen as a chance event that is outside our control. my stock announced a big loss out of the blue Copyright Colin Nicholson 10 . Some usages of the term luck: • • • • It was just (good) luck that I found out about the ATAA I wish you (good) luck with your investments It was just my (bad) luck to drop my i-pad on the way to the airport As (bad) luck would have it. Luck can be either good luck or bad luck.

In the general population everyone is on a spectrum: • • • 50% consider themselves lucky 36% consider themselves neither lucky nor unlucky 14% consider themselves unlucky Copyright Colin Nicholson 11 .

The obvious question to ask is why are we lucky? Research shows it is not: • • Due to psychic ability Related to intelligence Interestingly. Copyright Colin Nicholson 12 . but life is not like a lottery. some things like lotteries are random and pure chance. Often our expectations make a difference in: • • • • • Whether we find ourselves in the right place at the right time Whether we try something How hard we persist in the face of failure How we interact with others How others interact with us Research shows that it has a lot to do with the way lucky people think and behave. clearly. Now. lucky people tend to think that the chance opportunities that come along for them are the result of pure chance.

The payoff is that we can move along the spectrum: • • • Lucky people can make themselves luckier Those neither lucky nor unlucky can move themselves into the lucky range Unlucky people can make themselves lucky – a complete makeover Copyright Colin Nicholson 13 .

Maximise your chance opportunities Listen to your lucky hunches Expect good fortune Turn your bad luck into good luck Each of these principles has within it some sub-principles.The four principles that Dr Wiseman discovered are: 1. 2. Copyright Colin Nicholson 14 . 3. 4.

They do this though three sub-principles: 1. Lucky people have a relaxed attitude towards life 3.Principle One: Maximise your chance opportunities Lucky people create. Lucky people build and maintain a strong “network of luck” 2. Lucky people are open to new experiences in their lives Copyright Colin Nicholson 15 . notice and act upon the chance opportunities in their lives.

but emerges unconsciously to guide us in forming the right hunches. Lucky people take steps to boost their intuition Note: Intuition and gut feelings must be based on a wide spectrum of knowledge. They do this through two sub-principles: 1.Principle Two: Listen to your lucky hunches Lucky people make successful decisions by using their intuition and gut feelings. we cannot explain the reasons for these hunches. much of it residing in their unconscious mind. This knowledge can often not be brought to mind consciously. Mostly. We just know that they are right. Copyright Colin Nicholson 16 . Lucky people listen to their gut feelings and hunches 2.

even if their chances of success seems slim.Principle Three: Expect good fortune Lucky people’s expectations about the future help them fulfil their dreams and ambitions. Copyright Colin Nicholson 17 . They do this through three sub-principles: 1. Lucky people expect their good luck to continue in the future 2. and they persevere in the face of failure 3. Lucky people attempt to achieve their goals. Lucky people expect their interactions with others to be lucky and successful.

work out for the best Lucky people do not dwell on ill fortune Lucky people take constructive steps to prevent more bad luck in the future Copyright Colin Nicholson 18 . in the long run.Principle Four: Turn your bad luck into good Lucky people are able to transform their bad luck into good fortune. They do this through four sub-principles: • • • • Lucky people see the positive side of their bad luck Lucky people are convinced that any ill fortune in their lives will.

What more is there in the book? • Description of the research and detailed findings • Case studies and examples to bring the material to life • Suggested exercises to help you become more like the lucky people • A five stage Learning to be Lucky program outline • Some case studies of people who have undertaken the program END Wiseman book review Copyright Colin Nicholson 19 .