Why do some people lead happy, successful lives while others face repeated failure – at home, work and in their love lives?  

Professor Richard Wiseman worked with hundreds of exceptionally lucky and unlucky people to scientifically find out the reasons for their good fortune – or lack of it – and to discover if unlucky people could do anything to improve their luck. The good news, he discovered, is that they can.

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“Luck is not something that happens to you, it’s something you create,” says Wiseman.

Here are his four scientifically proven techniques for creating that good fortune – check out his book The Luck Factor to read about them in more detail.

1. Maximise your opportunities

“Lucky people create, notice and act upon the chance opportunities in their life,” says Wiseman in his book. Or to put it another way: lucky people may talk about experiencing a ‘chance’ encounter or event – but actually, their psychological make-up means they created or noticed the opportunity when it arose, and acted upon it.  

So get out there, learn and try new things – if you maximise your opportunities for good things to happen to you, good things will!

2. Listen to your lucky hunches


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When asked what was behind their successful and unsuccessful decisions, lucky people told Wiseman that they “simply knew a decision was right” – while unlucky people just put it down to “more evidence that they were destined to fail”. Listening to your gut, your intuition, your inner voice – whatever you want to call it – has long thought to be a component of living a happy, successful life, and Wiseman’s research backs that up.

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3. Expect good fortune

In other words: be optimistic. “Lucky people’s expectations about the future help them fulfil their dreams,” explains Wiseman.

So while we all have dreams and aspirations, lucky people are more likely to achieve them not because fate is dealing them a kinder hand, but because they think differently about themselves and their lives. They have high expectations of experiences and relationships with other people – and they also buy into good luck superstitions.

4. Turn your bad luck into good

Wiseman found that lucky, optimistic people still encounter bad luck or negative events – that’s life, after all – but the key difference lies in the way they deal with them.

Lucky people are more resilient when bad things happen: they see the positive side of a negative situation, believe that things will turn out for the best and don’t dwell on their misfortune. 

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