Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Virtue of things in Life

Why Some People Have All The Luck

By Professor Richard Wiseman, University of Hertfordshire-

Why do some people get all the luck while others never get the breaks they

A psychologist says he has discovered the answer.

Ten years ago, I set out to examine luck. I wanted to know why some people
are always in the right place at the right time, while others consistently
experience ill fortune. I placed advertisements in national newspapers
asking for people who felt consistently lucky or unlucky to contact me.

Hundreds of extraordinary men and women volunteered for my research and
over the years, I have interviewed them, monitored their lives and had them
take part in experiments.

The results reveal that although these people have almost no insight into
the causes of their luck, their thoughts and behavior are responsible for
much of their good and bad fortune. Take the case of seemingly chance
opportunities. Lucky people consistently encounter such opportunities,
whereas unlucky people do not.

I carried out a simple experiment to discover whether this was due to
differences in their ability to spot such opportunities. I gave both lucky
and unlucky people a newspaper, and asked them to look through it and tell
me how many photographs were inside. I had secretly placed a large message
halfway through the newspaper saying: 'Tell the experimenter you have seen
this and win $50.'

This message took up half of the page and was written in type that was more
than two inches high. It was staring everyone straight in the face, but
the unlucky people tended to miss it and the lucky people tended to spot

Unlucky people are generally more tense than lucky people, and this anxiety
disrupts their ability to notice the unexpected.

As a result, they miss opportunities because they are too focused on
looking for something else. They go to parties intent on finding their
perfect partner and so miss opportunities to make good friends. They look
through newspapers determined to find certain types of job advertisements
and miss other types of jobs.

Lucky people are more relaxed and open, and therefore see what is there
rather than just what they are looking for. My research eventually
revealed that lucky people generate good fortune via four principles. They
are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky
decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling
prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that
transforms bad luck into good.

Towards the end of the work, I wondered whether these principles could be
used to create good luck. I asked a group of volunteers to spend a month
carrying out exercises designed to help them think and behave like a lucky

Dramatic results! These exercises helped them spot chance opportunities,
listen to their intuition, expect to be lucky, and be more resilient to bad

One month later, the volunteers returned and described what had happened.
The results were dramatic: 80% of people were now happier, more satisfied
with their lives and, perhaps most important of all, luckier.

The lucky people had become even luckier and the unlucky had become lucky.

Finally, I had found the elusive 'luck factor'.

Here are Professor Wiseman's four top tips for becoming lucky:

1) Listen to your gut instincts - they are normally right (yes indeed)

2) Be open to new experiences and breaking your normal routine

3) Spend a few moments each day remembering things that went well

4) Visualize yourself being lucky before an important meeting or telephone

Have a Lucky day and work for it.

The happiest people in the world are not those who have no problems,
but those who learn to live with things that are less than perfect.

Special Gift to "Sleepy" Prime Minister (Malaysia)

Group hands Pak Lah special gift
Andrew Ong | Jan 4, 08 4:26pm

A group of disgruntled young Malaysians today symbolically handed a 'gift' to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to express their disappointment with his administration.

The gift was in form of a yellow pillow and a bolster - both decorated with the Malaysian flag and the Petronas Twin Towers.

Abdullah however was not on hand to receive the items, which the group left at the doorsteps of the preemier's office in Putrajaya this morning.

Spokesperson for the group Badrul Hisham Shaharin said he and his eight other friends had come to the conclusion that the government's ineffectiveness was due Abdullah's purported "sleepiness".

He added that Abdullah had previously been allegedly caught nodding off at various official functions both locally and abroad.

"So we wanted to send a 'memorandum' about the what the youth wants. This memorandum is in form of a pillow... He can use the pillow to continue sleeping or wake up and realise that his administration is not efficient," Badrul told reporters.

Badrul said the group consisted of artists, poets, bloggers, writters and activists but denied that the 'pillow act' was politically motivated.

Badrul (right) informs security guard on the groups intentions

The group displays posters mocking Abdullah over his alleged 'sleepiness'

A poster referring to a 2006 report by Turkish newspaper Hurriyet regarding a luxury yacht allegedly linked to Abdullah

"We don't expect him to reply our 'memorandum'. Thus far, he has never replied any memorandum sent by civil society groups," Badrul told reporters

Journalist and the police were stunned when the 'memorandum' turned out to be a pillow and a bolster

"He can come and pick it up later if he wants," said Badrul

The pillow and several posters were left at the main entrance to the Prime Minister's Department

The banner reads, "The last hope of the young Malaysians: Continue sleeping O'Prime Minister"

Security detail took a while to decide how to deal with the items

More security detail arrive to deal with the items

The pillow is scanned for dangerous substances

Eventually, a security personnel removes the items