Don’t Tell Your Friends They’re Lucky
Cornell professor of economics Robert Frank says he’s alive today because of “pure dumb luck.”
Even if luck counts for only 1 percent, you’re going to see the winners most of the time won’t be the most talented people.
Coming back to luck, how much do you think people’s resistance to higher taxes stems from a lack of appreciation of the role of luck in their success?
There have been many experiments that have shown if you prime people to feel the emotion of gratitude, they become much more generous toward others, much more willing to pay forward to the common good.
If you want people to think about the fact that they’ve been lucky, don’t tell them that they’ve been lucky.
I’ve tried this many, many times and can report to you that the successful people who would get angered and defensive if they were reminded that they were lucky, instead don’t get angry or defensive at all when they think about the question, “Can you think of examples of times when you were lucky?” Instead, their eyes light up, they try to think of examples, they recount one to you, and that prompts them to remember another one, they tell you about that one too, and soon they’re talking about investments we ought to be making.
Originally published at Cogly.