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My bi-weekly newsletter: Find Your Forward: The newsletter to move you forward when you are stuck, facing a crossroads, or adapting to a fast-changing world. No matter where you are, there is always a way forward.
During a summer road trip back in 2001, Rick and I were towing a camper through Idaho, on a narrow, winding road. There was a loud pop from the rear passenger side. A blown tire on the camper! At almost the precise moment that we heard the pop – and felt the camper start to sway — a wide and long turnout appeared on our side of the road.
There was plenty of space for us to safely pull off the road to work on our flat. And, not only that, but we were right next to a gorgeous lake. As we got out of the Jeep, we turned to each other and said: “Can you believe how lucky we are? For miles, there hasn’t even been a shoulder and now, right when we needed it, there is this beautiful turnout!” .I’ve always believed that I have amazing luck. It turns out that that is a very, very good thing to believe. Do you believe that you are lucky? There have been a lot of studies on this that demonstrate the value of feeling like you are lucky. When we believe that we are lucky, we are more creative, and we literally SEE more options and solutions. Not only that but if we believe that we are lucky, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. One of the most interesting studies was done by Richard Wiseman. The gist of the study is that he had two groups of people: one described themselves as “lucky” people and the other described themselves as “unlucky. ”Wiseman had a newspaper printed up for the study. Both groups got the EXACT same newspaper. The task that was assigned to each group was to go through the newspaper as quickly as possible and figure out how many pictures were in it. The activity was timed. The “unlucky” group got the correct answer in just under 2 minutes: 43 pictures. Pretty good, right? The “lucky” group got the correct answer in 10 seconds. How?
On the 2nd page of the newspaper, the ENTIRE TOP half of the newspaper contained a message in 2-inch bolded BLOCKED letters the message read: STOP COUNTING. THERE ARE 43 PICTURES IN THIS NEWSPAPER. It even said, “this is not a trick.” Several pages later, the message was repeated. The “unlucky” group never even saw the message – even when it was LITERALLY in front of their eyes. This is just one study, but what researchers have found over and over again is that people who consider themselves lucky tend to be better at finding solutions because they EXPECT to find solutions. They expect to find options. They expect to see new possibilities. Because they expect these things, they look for more options and possibilities and therefore they find more. What do you expect to find?
Different Expectations, Different Results - This seems so straightforward, but just because something seems straightforward does not indicate that it is inaccurate or does not function properly. On this point, the scientific evidence is crystal clear.
Research Findings - Researchers have shown that those who believe they are lucky tend to be better at finding solutions because they anticipate finding solutions. People who consider themselves lucky expect to find answers. They anticipate discovering a variety of choices. They anticipate learning about novel opportunities. Since they anticipate these things, they search for other alternatives and options, which leads to the discovery of even more.
The Question - What do you tell yourself about whether you are fortunate or unfortunate? However, be very careful with your response to that question. Because regardless of how you respond to the question, it will become your truth.
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Find Your Forward is my bi-weekly newsletter to move you forward when you are stuck, facing a crossroads, or adapting to a fast-changing world. No matter where you are, there is always a way forward.