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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Getting lucky

Matt Handal at Trauner Consulting Services, Inc. in Philadelphia, forwarded this link to a wonderful Readers' Digest article by Richard Wiseman: How to Get Lucky: Scientific Proof that You Make Your Own Breaks.

The article's main point is that your attitude and perceptions of the world around you, indeed, shape your 'luck' with an open mind:

Consider chance opportunities: Lucky people regularly have them; unlucky people don't. To determine why, I gave lucky and unlucky people a newspaper, and asked them to tell me how many photos were inside. On average, unlucky people spent about two minutes on this exercise; lucky people spent seconds. Why? Because on the paper's second page -- in big type -- was the message "Stop counting: There are 43 photographs in this newspaper." Lucky people tended to spot the message. Unlucky ones didn't. I put a second one halfway through the paper: "Stop counting, tell the experimenter you have seen this and win $250." Again, the unlucky people missed it.

The lesson: Unlucky people miss chance opportunities because they're too busy looking for something else. Lucky people see what is there rather than just what they're looking for.
The last quoted comment is worth repeating: "Lucky people see what is there rather than just what they're looking for." Maybe that explains why our business is now thriving, even as other publishers lay off employees, and maybe it explains this really interesting comment on Michael Stone's Markup and Profit blog from Paul Choate:

There is a prayer called the serenity prayer and part of it goes like this”…give me the courage to accept the things I can not change, the strength to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference”.

I am being inundated with negative attitudes from everybody about how bad things are out there. It’s depressing and if I let it get to me I will eventually be one of those guys always complaining about things instead of taking action to make things better. I can not control the overall economy but I can control how I deal with it and how I run my business in good times and bad.

I’m closing on a home next week to live in (not a flip) and plan on spending a good month or so and several thousand dollars renovating it. Some people think I’m nuts and should just hold on tight to my money…I would rather contribute to the economy! Things are good. I believe we live in abundance and if we take action to encourage positive results then all will be well. My phone is ringing, my guys are working and I will hopefully continue taking action to keep it rolling.

Realistically, things are indeed really bad out there for many people in our industry and I'm not a wild believer in the hype that your attitude is everything: You need to be well grounded in the real world. But maybe you will find your luck, as Richard Wiseman and Paul Choate suggest, when you keep your mind and eyes open for the opportunities around you.

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