I stumbled across a fantastic concept the other day, known as luck surface area.
Is luck within our control or entirely consigned to destiny?
Have you ever wondered why some people appear luckier than others?
There are some steps we can all take to get luckier, in life and in business.
By increasing the size of our luck surface area, we create more opportunities for ‘lucky’ outcomes.
What is your luck surface area?
The Surface Area of Luck is your chances of being lucky.
In a sense, we can calculate it by multiplying our positive actions by sharing those actions.
So, Luck = Doing x Sharing.
The concept initially came from entrepreneur Jason Roberts, who said that taking action towards your passion will develop your expertise in that field.
…when people become aware of your expertise, some percentage of them will take action to capture that value, but quite often it will be in a way you would never have predicted.
Roberts also explained that passion is infectious, so taking action and sharing your passion is likely to attract others towards it, further expanding your reach and growing the numbers who know about your passion.
Is there any science behind this?
One study from Richard Wiseman, a professor of psychology and author of The Luck Factor, asked people who self-identified as lucky and unlucky to read a newspaper.
In large letters, the message was on a page in the newspaper: “Tell the experimenter you have seen this and win £250.”
Those who identified as lucky were more likely to see the message.
Wiseman also noted that ‘unlucky’ people tended to demonstrate more anxiety, reducing their powers of observation.
In further research, Wiseman said about the characteristics of lucky people:
My research revealed that lucky people generate good fortune via four basic 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.
Steps to increase your luck surface area
In a practical sense, what can you do to increase the surface area of your luck?
Here are five suggestions.
1 – Decide on and do passionate work
What is your passionate work? It differs for all of us.
You don’t need to go ‘all in’ to pursue passionate work, but consistency is good – add this practice for a minimum number of hours each week.
The more you do passionate work, the more you expand your expertise in that field and get to experience that passion.
2 – Get out of your comfort zone
We’re unlikely to grow as humans if we cruise happily in our comfort zones.
It’s easy to get into a rut in life, doing the same things repeatedly, expecting different (better) results.
Taking small, calculated risks can help us learn more and gain valuable experience.
3 – Grow your network
Remember, you can view your luck surface area as doing multiplied by sharing.
It’s not enough to do passionate work and expect to get lucky. You need to share your passionate work with the right audience.
The more extensive your (relevant) network, the more opportunities you create to share your passionate work.
4 – Keep sharing your passion
I often meet people who find it hard to promote themselves.
Perhaps it’s a cultural thing; as Brits, we don’t always enjoy shouting from the rooftops about our expertise.
Here’s the thing; if you don’t promote yourself, nobody else will.
Take every opportunity you can find to share your passion. Create and share content as much as you can.
In this increasingly noisy world, with shortening attention spans, you need to do more to be seen and heard.
5 – Look out for opportunities
The Wiseman newspaper study shows that lucky people are lucky because they spot opportunities.
Have you turned on your opportunity radar?
Are you creating the time and mental bandwidth in your life to spot opportunities as they arise?
When opportunities do crop up, do you embrace them?
Now that you understand the science behind luck, it’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice.
Lucky people tend to have more surface area regarding opportunity and access to chance events.
Unlucky people often struggle because they view setbacks as confirmation of personal failings rather than just bad luck.
You can increase your luck surface area by embracing passionate work, surrounding yourself with supportive people, and being open to new opportunities.
What steps will you take today to increase your chances of good luck?