Do you believe in good luck? Are some people luckier than others? Or is it all in your mind? Carolyn Ward explains how you can make your own good luck, and what the word ‘superstitions’ means.
What Are Superstitions?
A superstition is a belief in supernatural causality – that one event leads to another without anything physically linking the two events.
Logically, they are irrational and sometimes funny, but some people believe in them a great deal – and some people change their normal behaviour to fit in with them – for example, Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number 13. A sufferer may be too terrified to leave the house on that date, believing only bad things would happen.
Some superstitions, however, are actually quite sensible – it’s probably wise to not walk under a ladder.
Where do Superstitions Come From?
As far back as the 1st century BC the term was used to scorn an unreasonable or excessive belief in something that was not religious.
Psychologists explained superstition by ‘reinforcement’, as a way that humans learn – if something hurts, we avoid it; if something tastes good, or works out well, we learn from it and do it again.
If a footballer wins three games in a row, and then wants to keep the lucky streak going, they may keep on wearing the same socks. Before long, they dare not play without those ‘lucky socks’ in case the wins come to an end. Every time the team win, the thought that the socks are lucky is reinforced.
What is important, both scientists and life coaches agree, is the power of positive thought. If you believe in something strongly enough, you can make it more likely to happen.
At the top level of sport, there is only a fraction of a second between the winning racing driver on the grid; or the fastest sprinter off the blocks. There is only the slightest difference between the strongest boxers, or tennis players, as we will see time and again at the Olympics.
What decides the winner is their mental attitude, their positivity – their belief in themselves as the winner. Their mental strength shines through in their body language, the confident decisions that they make split-second, the utter focus and concentration, the drive. This gives them the edge.
If you are nervous about something, prepare as best you can, take a deep breath and focus all of your positive energy on it.
This will have a much stronger effect on your life than a pair of lucky socks.
The Logic of Luck
Gambling can be an awful addiction for some, with many people desperate for ‘Lady Luck’ to smile at them. But it pays to think of chances in a mathematical logical manner.
You can enter the lottery from age 16, maybe your parents play. But do they know..
In a 6 number selection from 49 numbers, the chance of being a winner is 1 / 13,983,816
Not far off 1 in 14 million.
In the UK there is a 1/ 1.2 million chance of being struck by lightning -an extremely rare occurrence.
The Guinness Book of Records, however, has a Mr Roy Sullivan listed for having survived the most lightning strikes, seven, between 1942 and 1977. It’s not clear if he was a very reckless television arial repair guy; or if he just liked walking the dog in the rain.
Are You Lucky?
Luck is described as good fortune which occurs beyond your control.
Often, however, it is actually down to your own perception, or how you see things.
People who consider themselves to be lucky often are; or they ‘see’ themselves as being so, and thus persuade themselves. People like this literally notice in detail all of the lucky things that happen to them, no matter how small, and remember them.
For example, they may switch over the television at the right moment to catch a film they had forgotten was on, and think to themselves ‘Wow! That was lucky!’
The flip side is that they phase out all of the stuff which they consider unlucky. They deal with it fast, and forget it, as it does not fit with their self-view. They may get a bit wet in the rain, and instead of feeling unlucky to be rained on, they feel relieved that they did not get thoroughly soaked.
People who think of themselves as unlucky do the same, in reverse. They discount all of the lucky stuff, the great stuff in their life, and focus in on all of the little annoyances. They feel unlucky a lot more, and then grow to perceive themselves as always being unlucky.
Do you think of Mr Roy Sullivan as being terribly unlucky to be hit by lightning so many times?
Or do you think he is amazingly lucky and blessed……to have ‘survived’ being hit by lightning so many times!
See things differently. Notice all of the lucky and wonderful things in your life and you will feel even more positive. Flip bad things round and look at them in a good way….
…….and don’t go climbing trees in a thunder storm.