How to be lucky
Last week I spent time chilling by the pool in Spain with the family, and for once I properly took a break from the whirlwind of social media. I switched off the WiFi and settled down with a book I’ve been meaning to read for ages – The Luck Factor by Richard Wiseman.
If you’ve never heard of it, The Luck Factor outlines four principles of being lucky, accompanied by research and plenty of statistics and stories. The idea is that we make our own luck, and with a change of attitude we can all become lucky people.
I’ve always considered myself a lucky person, which is why ten years ago I chose ‘superlucky’ as the name of my business (initially freelance graphic design, until I took a change of career direction when pregnant and developed it into a comping website). I believe my good luck is a result of a positive attitude, outgoing personality and perseverance: I wasn’t born lucky and I don’t believe anyone is. But we all have the opportunity to become lucky, and I’m going to look at how compers can use Richard Wiseman’s four principles of luck to win more prizes.
The four principles
1. Maximise your chance opportunities
- Build a ‘network of luck’. Make friends, chat to new people and be more social and outgoing. The original edition of The Luck Factor was written way before Facebook and Linked In took off. These days, it’s incredibly easy to make new friends and reconnect with old friends, whether that’s to find love, work or simply make your hobby more enjoyable. Comping communities are a great place to share positive thoughts and make new friends – and the more friends you have, the more comps you’ll have access to. Tell people about the prizes you want to win and the type of competitions you enjoy, and people will tell you when they find them!
- Relax. Comping is a hobby. It shouldn’t be stressful – accept that you will never have time to enter every competition out there. Do it while it’s fun, if you feel under pressure then take a break. Lucky people are generally more relaxed than most, and as a result are more likely to notice chance opportunities: like a competition in a magazine, an advert on the radio, or a pound coin on the floor! If you’re anxious and only focused on one thing, you’ll miss the unexpected opportunities that surround you.
- Be open to new experiences. Is your comping routine the same every day? Do you use the same website, chat to the same people, always type the same Facebook comments and Twitter replies? Mix it up and try something new. Visit a different supermarket or newsagent. Turn the radio on. Be brave and apply for a gameshow! In addition, enter for different prizes: a holiday to somewhere unusual, tickets to the opera, a sushi making class… Lucky people enjoy novelty and variety in their lives rather than convention and routine. I would never have flown a plane or done a bungee jump if it wasn’t for comping!
2. Listen to your intuition
- If your intuition tells you not to enter a competition, don’t do it! It might be a voting competition, an expensive purchase-necessary promotion, or a holiday prize that you’re not confident you would enjoy. On the other hand, if you have a gut instinct that a prize is perfect for you, devote more time to entering and winning it.
- Don’t let people get you down. Ditch the mood hoovers and the bitches: unfriend/unfollow on Facebook and block/mute on Twitter. If your intuition tells you someone isn’t a nice person, don’t waste your time on them!
3. Expect good fortune
- Set lucky goals. Create a prize wish list and focus on it. For example, aim to win a family holiday in the next 12 months!
- Persevere. If your photos or poems aren’t great, keep trying. Winners don’t give up at the first hurdle! Ask friends, YouTube and Google for tips and practise, practise, practise.
- Visualise a fantastic future. Allow yourself to daydream about getting that winning phone call or bagging an amazing cash prize on a gameshow. One of the comping tips in my own book SuperLucky Secrets is ‘Believe you’ll win!’ – and so you should!
4. Turn bad luck into good
- Look on the positive side. So you didn’t win this time, but that’s not time wasted. For a creative competition, learn from the experience so your next entry will be better. I spend a lot of time creating fun photos and videos, and if they don’t win at least they’ve brought joy to my family and friends!
- Don’t dwell on it. There’s another perfect prize out there somewhere: get searching and you will soon forget about that failure! If you’ve been unlucky, don’t be negative in your social media status updates and comments. Forget about it, move on and look for new challenges!
Are you an unlucky comper?
After reading in The Luck Factor about the different attitudes of lucky and unlucky people, I realised how many unlucky compers I know. On Facebook, I see compers complaining because they won a small runners-up prize instead of the top prize. That’s an unlucky person: a lucky person would be delighted with the runners-up prize. After all, they could have won nothing at all! Unfortunately this is an attitude that’s all too common: instead of being content with small wins, some compers are after bigger and better prizes, and share their disappointment with everyone else through Facebook posts and tweets proclaiming they’re ‘so fed up – a week without a decent win!’
Lucky people, on the other hand, don’t mind a break without a prize. In fact, you’ll find them posting that a six month dry spell is because ‘there’s a biggie just round the corner!’
In addition, there are the unlucky compers who eagerly enter everything, then win prizes that are no good to them – a holiday to the US for a comper with no passport, or VIP tickets to a premiere 300 miles away! Perhaps if these compers had relaxed and taken time to check prize details and T&Cs carefully rather than jumping straight in, they might have avoided such disappointments! I see Facebook posts that say ”I entered but never expected to win!”. But if you don’t expect to win, why enter at all? Share that competition with your friends and concentrate on entering for prizes that you really DO expect to win! Then you’ll have more chance of getting a delightful win, rather than a disappointing one – and feel much luckier as a result.
Personally, I think much of what’s presented in The Luck Factor is common sense rather than science – but there is certainly plenty of food for thought for us compers!
How are you going to improve your luck? Leave a comment to let me know!