Happy People Are “Luckier”
By: Allison Kugel
My cousin Brandon has always been one of the happiest people I know. He has also been one of the luckiest. He has an uncanny ability to find the humor in everything, to play up his successes and brush off his challenges.
What I have come to realize is that happier people are luckier. Let’s examine why that is. After all, my cousin has had some less than pleasant events in his life, as we all have. But because he never allowed them to take up too much space, they just seemed to not really matter all that much.
These days, he has a beautiful home, a happy marriage, two children and a thriving legal practice. Yes, he ultimately got pretty lucky, but perhaps some of his good fortune can be credited to his happiness.
I believe that, much like a radio, the frequency he is continuously emitting is positive. Therefore, an overwhelming amount of positive circumstances must show up as a reflection of the signal he is sending out. Picture those rooftop cell phone and radio towers. He’s dialed his station to LUCKY FM. Some people tend to stay permanently tuned to WOE IS ME FM – Playing the best complaints all day long with few, if any, commercial interruptions. If I just hit a nerve, that’s okay. Trust me, I’ve been there and I get it. But if your dial is tuned to WOE IS ME FM, it should not come as a surprise that you feel unlucky, or that your antenna is tuned to pick up things during the day that are bound to frustrate, sadden or annoy you.
If you were to sit at the computer and type questions into Google, like, “Why is life so hard?” “Why are there bad people in the world?” or “Show me where there are wars, famines, floods and people suffering,” Google could cue up that information for you and provide you with plenty of evidence that life is a scary and unhappy proposition.
Conversely, if you were to Google, “Reasons to feel happy,” “Things to love about being alive,” or “Most beautiful places on earth,” Google can show you results that would reinforce life as joyful and pleasant. As a result, my hypothesis is as follows:
Happy people seem lucky because they feel lucky. Either consciously or unconsciously, they have made a decision to keep their antenna tuned to the people, places, circumstances and events that help to reinforce this lucky feeling. In return, this makes them feel happy, which leads to more of the same. It’s a remarkably genius feedback loop.
Here are four simple steps you can take today to begin to tune your antenna to a happier station:
Smile at people as they pass by. Reminise about positive memories – ones that make you laugh and ones that make you feel blessed. Start a gratitude journal – just start with five entries a day if that’s less overwhelming. Read or watch something funny each and every day.
You will begin to build up your positive feedback loop and you can add more practices as time goes on. The object of this exercise is to reinforce that happy feeling, re-tune your antenna and one day have someone ask you, “How’d you get so lucky?!”