Wednesday, 17 March 2010
By Justin at BeDeviant
In light of the fast approaching St. Patrcick’s day holiday, I thought we’d take a look at luck. Ok. We’re not talking magic here, but is there any merit to luck on a biblical level?
You and I both know people who seem to consistently fall effortlessly onto a cushion of good fortune. Conversely, we also know people who can’t seem to buy a break. Sure, attitude is a large part of one’s reaction to their given circumstances, but is there something else to luck?
UK psychologist Richard Wiseman thinks so. He launched a study on luck. Here’s his description of the survey:
I placed advertisements in national newspapers and magazines, asking for people who felt consistently lucky or unlucky to contact me. Over the years, 400 extraordinary men and women volunteered for my research from all walks of life: the youngest is an 18-year-old student, the oldest an 84-year-old retired accountant.
The findings [of the study] have revealed that although unlucky people have almost no insight into the real causes of their good and bad luck, their thoughts and behaviour are responsible for much of their fortune.
Take the case of 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.
Wiseman suggests that the “lucky” participants in his study created their own luck using four principles:
- Skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities.
- Make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition.
- Create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations.
- Adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.
Wiseman concludes that, “Unlucky people often fail to follow their intuition when making a choice, whereas lucky people tend to respect hunches. Unlucky people tend to be creatures of routine. They tend to take the same route to and from work and talk to the same types of people at parties. In contrast, many lucky people try to introduce variety into their lives. Lucky people tend to see the positive side of their ill fortune. They imagine how things could have been worse.”
Granted this is one study, but the results speak for themselves. Is there anything that Christians can learn from this? Where might the principles of “luck” intersect with the teachings of Scripture?