The Luck Factor – How to get luck on your side!


Summary of the book “The Luck Factor”: Based on research which included lucky and unlucky people, Richard Wiseman provides you with the approach and strategies that you should adopt in order to become luckier, along with examples.

By Richard Wiseman, 2003, 224 pages

Original title: “The Luck Factor – Four simple principles that will change your luck and your life

Note: this column is written by Vinciane Lacroix from the blog Vinciane Lacroix, a blog dedicated to color and harmony: try out some fun things, it will do you good.

Review and summary of the book “The Luck Factor”:

The luck factor illustrated by Caravaggio (The Fortune Teller)
The luck factor illustrated by Caravaggio (The Fortune Teller)

The author

Richard Wiseman started off his career as a magician before he changed course to be a professor of psychology, a position he currently holds at the University of Hertfordshire. His research has been widely published in international scientific journals. He is also a member of the Skeptical Inquiry Commission, a body that challenges subjects considered to be pseudo-scientific and debunks so-called paranormal phenomena.

N.B: The summary of this book is based on the original English version.

Why read this book (or this summary)?

It is well documented that luck is a random phenomenon, and, therefore, not something an individual is able to control. So the first reflex of a sceptic would be to move on to something else. Except that Professor Wiseman suggests that you search for, create, and take advantage of new opportunities, in other words, you give yourself every opportunity to be lucky.

Could your attitude towards life bring you more luck? In this book, Wiseman says it does and reveals the principles required to develop this attitude. He did not come up with these principles purely based on his own experiences, he presented them only after an extensive study. There were several hundred people, some of whom considered themselves unlucky, others lucky, who participated to enable him to build up this ideal profile.

Furthermore, Wiseman demonstrates through his “School of Luck” that you can transform your life to become luckier, if you follow the principles he sets out and the exercises that he recommends. Some of the unlucky people in his survey have completed this course, so why can’ t you? Are you already lucky? You will be even luckier, because even a lucky person does not usually apply all the principles that Professor Wiseman mentions.

Structure of the book

After a brief introduction, the first section describes the background research that was carried out. The second part is the crux of the method: Richard Wiseman outlines the four principles of lucky behavior. The third part focuses on the application of the principles. The fourth and final section, that verify the text, consists of six pages of notes which provide you with scientific references.

The introduction

The introduction alone is worth a read. One evening, explain to your friends what led Richard Wiseman, psychology professor and magician, to embark upon his initial research on those who are lucky and unlucky. You will be guaranteed that they will pay attention to what you have to say. Once you have read the book, you will understand that Richard Wiseman approach to life was that of a man who is lucky. Disappointed that one of his magic tricks had not had the desired effect, he grasped the opportunity to canvass his audience, that was made up of a range of different people, as to whether or not they were lucky. He sensed an opportunity for research. This was a major factor that helped to make him famous.

The Magician Illustrated by Hieronymus Bosch (The Prestigidator)
The Magician Illustrated by Hieronymus Bosch (The Prestigidator)

In this introduction you will be asked to answer twelve questions that will help define your lucky profile (exercise 1). This survey is structured around the four principles of luck, with three questions per principle. They are repeated respectively in exercises 6, 8, 11 and 14, given in this summary.

Part One: Initial Research

Chapter 1: The Power of Luck

Wiseman tells the story of how luck played a part in the lives of such well-know personalities, such as Ronald Reagan, Barnet Helzberg, Warren Buffet, Sir Alexander Fleming, Harry Truman, and others. He also shares his own personal experience: how, as a child, he went to the wrong shelf in a library and came across books on magic. A “mistake” that led him to become a magician. He invites the reader to question the effect of chance in their own lives (exercise 2).

In his first survey, Wiseman interviewed people of all ages and professions, male and female. He asked them if they considered themselves lucky or unlucky in eight different areas of life, which included their career, relationships, personal life, health and finances. Of all the participants, 50% considered themselves to be consistently lucky, in a number of aspects of their lives. On the other hand, 14% said they were unlucky in all the aspects that they were asked about. In other words, a large majority (64%) felt that luck (or bad luck) governed their lives.

But a random phenomenon could not produce such consistent results. There had to be a reason for this systematic luck or bad luck. Wiseman decided to continue his research on these two groups: invariably lucky or unlucky.

The author shares 10 principles on how to make better decisions, taken from another book of his; 59 seconds to make the right decisions. We made a short video about it:

Chapter 2: Lucky and unlucky lives

Wiseman describes the extremely lucky and unlucky lives of people involved in his research. You can only envy Jodie who decided to change her life at the age of thirty and for whom everything seems to fall miraculously into place: crucial encounters, an opportunistic meeting, a perfect new home in another city. At the other end of the spectrum, you feel for Susan, who has had a string of accidents, which included eight in a single day.

Do the lucky ones have a psychic gift? A radio broadcast enabled Wiseman to answer this question: in a single raffle, from 700 participants, the lucky ones won no more than the unlucky ones (the formula to classify the lucky, unlucky and neutral is given in exercise 3). For the individual numbers in the draw, there was no correlation between the numbers that won and those that were more frequently chosen by the lucky group, and vice versa. So, no, the lucky ones do not have a psychic gift. Funny, though: twice as many lucky people thought they would win compared to unlucky people.

Moreover, lucky people are more satisfied with all aspects of their lives: life as a whole, family life, personal life, financial situation, health and career. This satisfaction test is provided in exercise 4.

Part Two: The four principles of luck

Chapter 3: Maximize your opportunities

  • The principle: lucky people create, recognize and seize opportunities

Is this ability a state of mind or a personality issue?

To answer this question, Wiseman used the “OCEAN” model (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, “Neuroticism”) to classify the different personalities. Based on the tests carried out on the two groups (lucky/unlucky) three characteristics of this profile appear to be crucial: extraversion (+), “neuroticism” (-) and openness (+). This is how they manifest themselves and encourage the application of this principle.

The OCEAN model by Hokusaï (Waves of the Ocean)
The OCEAN model by Hokusaï (Waves of the Ocean)

It seems that lucky people are more extroverted. They give themselves more opportunities as they meet a wide cross-section of people, act as a “social magnet” and stay in touch. This third point seems the most important.

But how does you become a “social magnet”? Why do you engage in conversation with them more willingly? Wiseman’s opinion is that this type of person has a body language that is attractive to others: they smile, maintain eye contact and possess characteristics that are “open”: the palms of their hands are visible, they do not cross their arms, they reach out to the other person and listen carefully.

By this, the author suggests that a network of luck is linked to a network of people: through this you will give yourself new opportunities. He illustrates this point with numerous examples taken from the lucky people in his survey.

  • Point 2: Lucky people have a relaxed attitude to life

The lucky ones are relaxed and therefore notice all the good opportunities, even if they are not related to the problems they currently have.

To illustrate this point, Wiseman devised this experiment. He asked his “guinea pigs” how many photographs were in a newspaper. It was easy: they simply flicked through it and counted. The most meticulous ones went through it twice to check they were right. Others simply opened the newspaper; on the second page they read this: “stop counting there are 43 pictures in this newspaper”. This message was written in big letters, but most of them, as they were too focused on their task, did not see it. They also missed the chance to win £100 for the same reason; further on a half-page ad stated: “stop counting, tell the expert you saw this and win £100”.

Who saw these messages? Relaxed, laid-back people, all of whom were very low on a “neurotic” scale, in comparison to the others who were tense and anxious. So they were more likely to spot opportunities even when they weren’t expected.

The lucky ones in the survey confirmed that they came across opportunities in newspapers, magazines, on the radio, on the internet, in advertisements, etc.

The 5th exercise is about visualization. The reader relives a situation in which they missed an opportunity to chat with a person who was supposedly interesting or attractive. They were then asked to imagine that they had summoned up the courage to make contact with that person. What positive things might have resulted?

  • Lucky people are receptive to new experiences

Lucky people are open-minded individuals; they like to try new experiences, taste all kinds of food, meet new people. They enjoy the unpredictable, the unexpected.

Many of them even make decisions randomly or decide on things spontaneously. For example, one of the lucky participants, before they went to a party, would decide on a color to wear and would then introduce themselves to people who wore the same color of clothing. Chance offers unexpected paths, and therefore new possibilities. This idea is also the foundation of creativity, as you will see here.

Same opportunities and different lives

In this experiment, two people, one lucky (Martin) and one unlucky (Brenda), were presented with the same scenario. They had to go to a bar, have a drink and go home. The researchers placed a $5 bill on the sidewalk, just outside the entrance to the bar. The bar had four tables; four people, one at each table, were hired for the experiment. One of them was a lively and gregarious businessman.

Martin was the first to enter the bar. He spotted the $5 bill straightaway. He sat down next to the businessman, introduced himself, offered him a cup of coffee and started a conversation.

When he left, another note was put by the door. Unfortunately, before Brenda arrived, a young woman noticed it and pocketed it. The researchers put down another one, but Brenda didn’t notice it when she came into the bar. She ordered a coffee at the counter and also sat down next to the businessman, but said nothing.

The bar illustrated by Hopper (Nighthawks)
The bar illustrated by Hopper (Nighthawks)

Both participants were then asked to describe their day. Brenda’s day had been uneventful. Martin enthusiastically described how he had found a $5 bill in the street and had a very pleasant conversation with a businessman in a bar.

Two similar opportunities, different lives.

Test your skills to increase your chances

In Exercise 6, Wiseman repeats the first three questions of the Luck Profile. With a score of 1 to 5 to these three statements, you are able to measure how extravert, calm, and outgoing you are, respectively. The score for someone who is lucky is at least 12.

  1. I sometimes chat with strangers in a supermarket or in a public place.
  2. I don’t tend to worry and I’m not anxious about life.
  3. I’m open to new experiences, such as to taste different types of food or drink.

Improve this skill

Build and maintain a network:

  • Approach others with a friendly body language: smile, don’t fold your arms or cross your legs, keep your hands away from your face, make eye contact, connect with more people.
  • Every week, strike up a conversation with at least one friendly person you don’t know. Be natural. Ask questions that don’t require a definitive answer, rather than ones that someone can reply to with a yes or no. If the person you meet seems to be nice, try to organize another meet-up. Above all, don’t be afraid of rejection.
  • Every week, contact someone you have lost touch with for a while. Spend ten minutes on the phone with them and ask them what they are up to.

Develop a calmer attitude towards life:

  • Look around you: on the sidewalk, in the newspapers, on the internet; listen to the radio.
  • Look at life through the eyes of a child, without expectations or prejudices.
  • Have fun, allow yourself be surprised.
  • Try relaxation, meditation, visualization.

Be more open:

  • Take different routes to work or for your daily walk.
  • Make a list of six new things you would like to try: play a sport, learn a language, visit a city, etc. Choose one at random, with the throw of some dice

Chapter 4: Be guided by your intuition

  • The principle: lucky people rely on their intuition
  • Sub-Principle 1: Lucky people make good decisions if they listen to their intuition and follow their instincts

Whether it’s financial issues, career choices, business decisions, or personal relationships, most of the lucky ones in the survey rely on their intuition. As for the unlucky ones, many admit that when they have disregarded their instincts, it has led to some bad situations.

For the seventh exercise, you will be asked to make a list of situations where you felt good about the fact that you had taken heed of what your instinct told you to do. Describe all the results. Do likewise for situations where you didn’t trust your instincts and, as a result, regretted it. Like many people, you will probably find that the biggest failures occurred when you ignored your intuition.

There are many examples, from the people who took part in the survey, that illustrate the fundamental role played by the subconscious mind in relation to many of life’s crucial decisions.

  • Sub-Principle 2: Lucky people like to improve the power of their intuition

To improve their connection to their intuition, many lucky people (1) meditate, (2) put the problem aside and come back to it later, (3) try to clear their mind, or (4) find a calm spot. The unlucky ones always seem to employ these techniques less often; the largest discrepancy relates to meditation: there are 20% more lucky people who practice it.

Meditation illustrated by Stevens (Meditation)
Meditation illustrated by Stevens (Meditation)

Test your ability to rely on your intuition

In Exercise 8, Wiseman repeats the Lucky Person Questionnaire. With a score between 1 and 5 allocated to the three statements below, you can measure your ability to rely on your intuition. Lucky people score higher than 7.

  • (4) I often follow my instinct and intuition.
  • (5) I have tried several techniques to strengthen my intuition like meditation or I find a spot that is calm and peaceful.

Improve this skill

Follow your intuition. When you need to make an important decision, try this visualization technique. In a quiet place, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Imagine you’re off to visit a wise man in a remote location. You tell him about your problem and the different options available to you. Describe how you feel about each one. Be open and honest. When you have finished your conversation, open your eyes.

You could also imagine that you have chosen a certain option. Write a letter – to someone involved in your decision, or not – to explain why you chose this option. Then stop. How does it make you feel? What does your inner voice tell you?

Enhance your intuition. Practice meditation exercises threThe teacher and his class illustrated by de Voltolinae times a week. For example, in a quiet place, close your eyes and repeat the same word or phrase over and over for ten minutes. This will clear your mind.

Chapter 5: Expect to get lucky

  • The principle: the expectations of lucky people help them to achieve their dreams and ambitions
  • Sub-Principle 1: Lucky people expect their luck to continue

When asked about the chances that positive things will happen in their lives, lucky people are very optimistic that they will happen. For example, be told that they are talented, that they will look younger than their age when they are old, that they will have a good time on the next vacation, etc. Wiseman suggests in Exercise 9 that you estimate what the chances are that such events will happen in your life.

By contrast, if the questionnaire refers to negative events, the lucky ones think it very unlikely that they will happen, while the unlucky ones do not. For example, not be able to sleep for a week, become obese, make a bad career choice, etc. In Exercise 10, you are asked to estimate the chances that eight unlucky events could happen.

In fact, most people expect their future to resemble the past. And when an unpleasant event occurs in the life of a lucky person, it does not affect their perception of the future. In contrast, when something lucky happens, unlucky people are convinced that it won’t last.

The power of our expectations

Your expectations have a huge impact on what you think, feel and how you behave. They tend to become self-prophetic. To illustrate this point Wiseman cites two remarkable studies [1], [2].

In the first, high school teachers were told that certain students – in fact, selected at random – were identified as “late maturers”: they would most likely become successful in the years to come. After a few months, these students did actually achieve better test results than the others. Unwittingly, the teachers had offered them more encouragement, asked them more questions, etc. The teachers’ expectations had transformed these students; their expectations had been realized. However, in my opinion, this research shows that the expectations of others can also have an impact on your life.

The teacher and his class illustrated by de Voltolina
The teacher and his class illustrated by de Voltolina

In the second study, reaction time was measured: the participants had to push a button when a light was turned on. The first group was asked to try to be as fast as possible. The second group was asked to imagine that they were fighter pilots with hyper-fast reactions. Surprisingly, this group performed better.

  • Sub-Principle 2: Lucky people try to achieve their goals even if their chance of success is low and persevere in the event of failure

Unlucky people often give up even before they start; they don’t participate in lotteries, competitions or contests because they are convinced that they will fail.

In one experiment, Wiseman showed participants two puzzles and told them that one of them was unsolvable. He pretended to have randomly chosen the one that he picked for them to solve. 60% of the unlucky ones were convinced that they had received the unsolvable puzzle, compared to 30% of the lucky ones, even though they had all received the same one. In another experiment, the author noted that the lucky ones were much more persistent in their efforts to solve an unsolvable puzzle than the unlucky ones.

This confidence in the future does not necessarily cause lucky people to take ill-considered risks or to fail to prepare themselves properly. In terms of health, for example, the unlucky ones feel that they cannot do anything to change their plight. However, lucky people, will be careful to keep to a healthy diet, to exercise, and will make sure they get enough sleep. As a result, unlucky people are more anxious, their immune system is affected and they are more likely to have accidents.

  • Sub-Principle 3: Lucky people expect to have positive experiences with those around them

Lucky people expect to meet interesting, happy and fun people. They are confident that their time spent with them will be of great benefit. At work, they expect to find competent and productive colleagues and to participate in effective and successful meetings. The expectations of unlucky people are the complete opposite. And most of the time these expectations come true.

To understand this phenomenon, you need to understand that the interaction depends on both parties. If you have a positive attitude, the other person feels more comfortable and is more likely to do their best. This study corroborates this fact. Men were given pictures of two women, one very attractive, the other not at all. Their telephone conversation with one of them was recorded. In fact, they talked to the same person, but those who talked to the woman they thought was prettier were much nicer. This then changed the woman’s behavior. When people were asked to assess the attractiveness of the woman based on the phone conversation, the result favored the woman they thought was pretty.

So how do you make your dream your future reality? One lucky person in the survey shares their technique; he imagines himself in the situation where his dream has come true, and he repeats it to himself every night, before he goes to sleep. Often the dream comes true. When he expects an important phone call, he focuses on the person and imagines that they behave in a positive way towards him, which is what happens.

Test your ability to create a lucky future

Exercise 11 continues with the three questions related to the third principle of your Lucky Profile. Rate these statements on a scale of 1 to 5. Lucky people score above 11.

  • I almost always expect good things will happen to me in the future.
  • I tend to get what I want out of my life, even if the odds are against me.
  • And I expect the people I meet to be pleasant, friendly and helpful.
A prosperous future illustrated by Metsys (the Money Changer and his wife)
A prosperous future illustrated by Metsys (the Money Changer and his wife)

Improve this skill

Confirm that you are lucky. In the next few weeks, start off your day and say, out loud, “I am a lucky person, today will be another lucky day. I know I can become even luckier in the future. I deserve some luck and will be lucky today.”

Plan your luck. Identify your short, medium, and long-term life goals. Make a list for each of them. Think of goals in all aspects of your life, personal and professional. Be specific; your goals should be quantifiable and achievable. Set yourself a date to accomplish them by, if possible. Review your lists on a regular basis and update them. Monitor your progress.

Be persistent. Take a break. Try another approach. If you are about to give up, try this. For a given goal, divide a page vertically. On the left side write “benefits”, on the right side write “costs”. Imagine all the positive consequences if you were able to achieve your goal, write them down. In the other column write down the work involved to achieve the goal. Step back. You should feel more motivated to continue.

Expect to have meaningful exchanges with the people around you. Visualize a bright future for yourself. Try this visualization. In a quiet place, sit comfortably, breathe deeply. Imagine, in as much detail as possible, what the future holds, how those around you care about you, the skills you possess. Anticipate what may happen and how you will deal with it, always with a successful outcome. Enjoy the moment, have fun. Focus on the success of the event and, ultimately, of your goal. Open your eyes and make your expectations tomorrow’s reality.

Chapter 6: Turn your bad luck into good luck

  • The principle: lucky people are able to transform their bad luck into good luck
  • Sub-Principle 1: lucky people see the good side of their bad luck

A study shows that at the Olympics athletes who won a bronze medal are generally happier than those who won silver. The silver medallists blame themselves because they think that they could have made the extra effort to win gold. Bronze medallists appreciate that they could have missed out on a podium spot altogether.

The ability to imagine what could have happened, rather than what did happen, is the basis for our sense of satisfaction. As a 12th exercise, Wiseman provides three rather unpleasant scenarios in which you are asked to assess your luck. Lucky people often imagine even worse outcomes and feel lucky to have avoided them.

In disastrous situations, the lucky ones always look at the side of those who were even more unlucky. They always compare their situation to one that is far worse. Unlucky people see it in totally the opposite way.

  • Sub-principle 2: lucky people are convinced that their bad luck will have a positive effect on their lives in the long run

Joseph, one of thew people who took part in the survey, was in prison when he was younger, for four months. He sees it the biggest stroke of luck in his life. Yet he was caught when he robbed somewhere with two friends, both of whom managed to escape. While Joseph was in prison, his two friends fell into jobs with criminals who were known to carry guns. The police caught them and shot one of them and the other one was left in a wheelchair. Joseph feels that if he had not been in jail, his fate might have been similar to that of his friends.

Wiseman himself has experienced similar patterns many times: a stroke of bad luck can pay off in a big way. A stolen briefcase, which was essential for his latest magic trick, forced him to quickly come up with a new trick that turned out to be even better and won him a prize.

Also, if a lucky person has a stroke of bad luck, they believe that everything will come good in the long run.

  • Sub-Principle 3: Lucky people don’t dwell on their bad luck

Lucky people focus on the future and leave the past behind. If they cannot change a situation, they think about something else. Some people may feel that the failure in question is not so important after all, so they focus on the good things in their lives.

When you dwell on negative events, you tend to feel sad. And vice versa for positive times.

Even memory seems to be affected by mood. This next experiment had some remarkable results. Two pieces of text were given to people: one, very serious, about the massacre of dolphins caused by tuna fishing, the other, very funny, by Woody Allen. Because they were astute enough to make one group of people smile and another group frown, the researchers found that those who smiled remembered more details of the funny story and vice versa.

With the suggestion to survey participants as to how they would react to three situations that dealt with failure (Exercise 13), Wiseman concluded that: Lucky people would have persevered and learned from their failures; they would have explored other avenues, consulted experts; the unlucky ones would have just tried to live with these failures.

Memory illustrated by Von Werefkin (Memory)
Memory illustrated by Von Werefkin (Memory)
  • Sub-Principle 4: Lucky people have a positive attitude to avoid any more bad luck in the future

Lucky people see their failure as a challenge to improve, while unlucky people do not learn from it. If all the conventional solutions fail, lucky people try something different and think outside the box.

The story of Emilie who had a serious accident when she was hit by a car is inspirational. Despite the hit-and-run accident, she decided to sue and managed to get enough money from the insurance company to change her life, decided to move and found a job in the area of her dreams. In her case, the best things happened to her as a result of one of the worst possible events.

Unlucky people are also significantly more superstitious than the lucky. In his survey, Wiseman observed that for many of them, this belief has had a very negative effect on their lives.

Test your ability to turn bad luck into good luck

Exercise 14 asks four questions related to the fourth principle of your Lucky Profile, each of which addresses one of the sub-principles. Give a score of 1 to 5 to these statements. Lucky people have a score of more than 16.

  • I tend to see the good side of everything that happens to me.
  • My believes is even unfortunate events will turn out to be positive in the long run.
  • I don’t dwell on what hasn’t worked for me in the past.
  • And I try to learn from the mistakes I’ve made.

Improve this skill

When faced with bad luck try this:

  • Imagine situations that are even worse than the one you experienced.
  • Ask yourself if this unfortunate event really matters.
  • Compare yourself to people who are even less fortunate.
  • Imagine how, in the long run, this experience could lead to more positive ones in the future.

To help you overcome the effect of an unpleasant event, lucky people recommend that you spend about 30 minutes to release all negative emotions (scream, cry, hit a punch bag, etc.). Then, they advise that you find some other form of distraction. Some ideas:

  • Engage in some physical exercise.
  • Watch a funny movie.
  • Think of a happy event from your past and visualize it.
  • Listen to music that makes you feel good.
  • See or speak to some friends.
Physical exercise illustrated by Toulouse-Lautrec (The Dance at the Moulin Rouge)
Physical exercise illustrated by Toulouse-Lautrec (The Dance at the Moulin Rouge)

To help you identify positive solutions when you fail:

  • Don’t assume there is nothing you can do about it. Make a conscious decision to take control rather than see yourself as a victim.
  • Act now, not tomorrow.
  • Make a list of your options; look at the situation from different perspectives. Ask your friends what they would do in your place.
  • Devise a plan to move forward.
  • And most importantly, start to solve the problem that causes or results in the failure. Focus on the solutions rather than the failure.

Part 3: Create a luckier life

In this last part Wiseman outlines his vision to turn unlucky lives into lucky ones.

Each participant was given a “luck diary” in which to answer a series of questionnaires and record their thoughts.

The first questionnaire was the evaluation of the lucky profile (the questions from exercises 6, 8, 11 and 14 given above). The second questionnaire evaluates the feeling that events would systematically go in favour or against the participant (exercise 3). The third questionnaire evaluated the level of satisfaction in different aspects of their lives (exercise 4).

The answers to these questionnaires at the start and end of the course make it possible to quantify the participants’ progress.

Then, in individual interviews, Wiseman presented them with Exercises 12 and 13. Finally, he described the four principles and 12 sub-principles used by the lucky participants and gave them a summary of the book.

A week later he met with each participant again and gave them the exercises to improve upon each of these skills (listed in this summary at the end of each chapter).

The rest of the book requires you to follow the training in order to transform you into one of the lucky ones.

Chapter 7: Teach yourself to become lucky

If you wish to improve on your luck in one month, here are the steps that you should follow.

Write up and sign a statement that commits you to attempt to incorporate the suggested techniques over the course of the next month and make a promise to yourself that you will dedicate enough time to do it.

Identify your lucky profile. Complete both questionnaires (Exercises 6, 8, 11 and 14 and the questionnaire on satisfaction). The respective scores in Exercises 6, 8, 11 and 14 will already indicate which skills you need to develop and, therefore, which exercises to introduce into your daily life.

Integrate the principles and techniques into your life. If you are able to identify a specific plan in the previous step, you will need to attempt to put the recommended exercises into practice.

The last thing is to keep a diary. Each day, write down the positive events that have happened. Try to write down as many as you can. Each morning, read what you wrote the day before.

Chapter 8: Graduates

In this chapter Wiseman describes the feedback on how the participants felt after one month of the “lucky school”, based on the program described in the previous chapter. After one month, Patricia’s luck profile improved by 75% and her sense of luck went from -4 to +3, based on the two questionnaires alone. Carolyn’s improved by 85% and her feeling of how lucky she was went from -3 to +6.

But the Luck School has not only transformed the lives of unlucky people, it has also helped lucky people improve upon their results. Robert’s luck profile increased by 40%, Joseph’s increased by 50% and his sense of luck increased to +6.

In total, 80% of the people who attended the “Lucky School” felt that their luck had improved. On average, they estimated an increase of 40%, but above all, and more fundamentally, they were much happier and content with their lives.

Within a month they were able to give themselves more opportunities, make better decisions, transform their bad luck and have an even brighter future to look forward to.

Keeping a journal by Juan Gris (Guitar and newspaper)
Keeping a journal by Juan Gris (Guitar and newspaper)

Chapter 9: After the Luck Factor

Wiseman focused on more specific aspects of luck. The first project focused on luck in romantic relationships. The second looked at the relationship between luck and structures in society. Finally, the third project attempted to apply the principle of the Luck School within the structure of a company or business, in order to optimize how it functioned and how it made money.

Lucky in love

In addition to the four principles of luck described above, Wiseman found that lucky people who were fulfilled in their personal relationships had the ability to find people whose psychological profile was similar to theirs.

Lucky in love illustrated by Klimt (The kiss)
Lucky in love illustrated by Klimt (The kiss)

When he compared individual scores of the exercises conceived to determine the lucky profile (exercises 6, 8, 11 and 14), he found that these differences in scores also revealed differences in psychological profiles. Also, based on the initial results of the research, if you add up the differences for each sub-questionnaire, low scores (between 0 and 10) for a couple would guarantee a long-term relationship.

Luck and the social network

For Wiseman, the first principle to improve your luck is to work on your network, as he believes that is how you get lucky. In this new project, he purely focused on this angle and discovered a very strong correlation between people who have a wide social network and those who consider themselves lucky.

Improve the fortunes of a company

Wiseman enrolled a company’s staff in the Luck School. As with those who took part in the training course with him, each of them felt that their luck had improved. However, what was of even more interest, was that 75% felt that the company itself had improved its luck: customers seemed more confident, staff more open, sales more consistent.

Why buy the book if you have already read this summary?

Read the book if more accurate statistics interest you, if more detailed exercises seem necessary, or if more in-depth psychological research is your thing.

Within the book you will discover a lot of real-life examples that demonstrate the different principles, whether they come from lucky people, unlucky people or from the author. The scores for all the statements related to the lucky profile are provided in detail for each group. Psychological exercises and magic tricks complete the survey.

Conclusion on “The Luck Factor”:

This book “The Luck factor” changed my life. I already considered myself to be a lucky person without a very high score on the initial test. The notion that I should maximize my chances and take on new projects that didn’t interest me at first has been a tremendous professional boost. I also try to make use of networks on a more regular basis and that seems to pay dividends. Finally, I have taken up meditation and see the benefits on a daily basis.

These principles do not come from a guru and are not just theoretical, they are the result of research that involved hundreds of lucky and unlucky people.

As well as an objective way to evaluate your own luck in life, this book provides you with exercises to improve it. In fact, your luck will not change, it’s how content and satisfied you are with your own life and your openness to new opportunities that will change, if you adopt the four principles.

Those who are used to personal development will see certain principles they already know about, but probably not all of them. Those who have read other books by Richard Wiseman will already be aware of these four principles of the luck factor, as he often refers to them in his books.

May you be lucky

Apply the principles of the book “The Luck Factor” today.

Where do you start? Maybe you should try something new. Introduce some color into your life? Color makes you happy; all the people I’ve profiled on my blog agree.

Take the color challenge and allow yourself to be inspired by color when it comes to your clothes, home decor and other personal creations. A little color in your home and the tedium of life will disappear to be replaced by cheerfulness.

And if your home is already cheerful, find other ideas, because Wiseman believes that change leads to luck and fulfilment.

Strong points of the book The Luck Factor:

  • A quick read.
  • Clear, easy-to-implement principles.
  • Principles backed up with a scientific, systematic approach.
  • Questionnaires to evaluate your lucky demeanor and to measure your personal progress.
  • Exercises to improve how you live your life and become luckier.
  • A host of real-life stories and examples are provided throughout the book

Weak Points of the book The Luck Factor:

  • Very repetitive: Richard Wiseman tells you what he is about to say, says it, and then repeats what he has just said.

My rating : The Luck Factor by Richard Wiseman The Luck Factor by Richard Wiseman The Luck Factor by Richard WisemanThe Luck Factor by Richard WisemanThe Luck Factor by Richard WisemanThe Luck Factor by Richard WisemanThe Luck Factor by Richard WisemanThe Luck Factor by Richard WisemanThe Luck Factor by Richard Wiseman

Have you read “The Luck Factor”? How do you rate it?

Mediocre - No interestReasonable - One or two interesting paragraphsIntermediate - Some goods ideasGood - Had changed my life on one practical aspectVery Good - Completely changed my life ! (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)


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