Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neurone disease (MND) or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a specific disease that causes the death of neurons controlling voluntary muscles.
In such cases, people always feel compassion or pity for the victims of the disease, considering them unfortunate. However, the great baseball player Lou Gehrig -first in being diagnosed with this evil, which later took his name- told a crowd that packed the Yankee Stadium the day of his retirement: “I’ve been reading about my bad luck for two weeks. Today I consider myself one of the most fortunate people on the face of the Earth.
What is luck? To answer this question, psychologist Richard Wiseman created a “lucky laboratory”
A lucky break
Clearly, luck is a state of mind, but is it more than that? To answer this question from the scientific point of view, the experimental psychologist Richard Wiseman created a “laboratory of luck” at the University of Hertfordshire, in England.
Wiseman began his experiment by trying to see how many people who believe they are lucky have a better chance of winning the lottery. He recruited 700 subjects who bought lottery tickets and who filled in the luck questionnaire, which was a self-rating scale that measured whether they considered themselves lucky or not. While people who said they were lucky were twice as confident that they would draw the lottery, I am sorry to say that there was no difference in earnings.
Then, Wiseman gave subjects a standardized scale that measures “life satisfaction,” in which participants were asked to rate how satisfied they were with their family and personal life, their financial situation, their health, and their career. The results were amazing: the lucky people are much more satisfied with all the areas of their lives than the people without luck or the neutral ones. In fact, this state of satisfaction of the mind translates into real life results that can be called Luckiest Guy.
While there were no differences between the lucky and those who are not in terms of being pleasant and conscious, important differences were found in extroversion, neurosis and openness.
In extroversion, lucky people have significantly higher scores than those who have no luck and this, according to Wiseman, significantly increases the likelihood that they have a successful meeting to meet a greater number of people, being a “social magnet” and by keeping in touch with people. For example, those who are “lucky” smile and hold eye contact twice as often as those “without luck”, which leads to more social encounters and this, in turn, generates more opportunities.
The dimension of neurosis measures how anguished or relaxed someone is and Wiseman discovered that fortunate people have levels of anguish of half of those who have no luck. This shows that fortunate people tend to be more relaxed than others, which increases the chances of detecting opportunities that arise by chance, even if they are not waiting for them.
In another experiment, Wiseman had some volunteers count the number of photographs that appeared in a newspaper. The fortunate subjects were more likely to see the flat media ad on page 2, which read in large bold letters: “Stop counting … there are 43 photographs in this newspaper.”
wiseman wondered if satisfaction consciousness results in greater achievements in life. his answer was yes.
In addition, Wiseman discovered that fortunate people obtain significantly higher scores in terms of openness compared to people without luck. Fortunate people are open to new experiences in their lives, tend not to feel bound by conventions and like the notion of unpredictability. Thus, fortunate people travel more, discover novel perspectives and welcome unique opportunities.
Expectation also plays a role in luck. Fortunate people expect good things to happen to them and when they do, they welcome them. But even in the face of adversity, fortunate people turn unfortunate events into good luck. Consider the example of Stephen W. Hawking, one of the people who has endured the most adversity in history and who wrote: “I was fortunate to have chosen to work in theoretical physics, because it is one of the few disciplines in which my condition it would not be a major disadvantage
Unable to move and confined to a wheelchair, Hawking has capitalized on his condition by using it as an opportunity to transform our knowledge of the Universe, knowledge he does have, and that’s something..