The Scientific Side of the Luck
At the second level in the pyramid of needs, which is the fruit of the thought of the famous psychologist Abraham Maslow, is our need for security. Maslow spoke first of all about physical security, but also referred to security in areas such as employment, resources, morality, property, health, and so on. After the basics of our biological existence such as water, oxygen, and food, the next thing that is most important for us is to control the factors that ensure our prosperity over time. These, to put it cautiously, are factors whose long-term control is partly illusory.
Chance, fate, luck or any of the nicknames of the circumstantial chaos in which we stay play a significant role in the progression of our lives. Throughout the generations, man has wisely managed to significantly increase his control of his future, until luckiness emerges from the chapter as a legitimate matter to be considered. But in fact, as explained in the book of The Book of Life, it is only a semblance. Incidentally is present in our lives and affects them even if we are less comfortable in believing it. According to the article, “We are against the idea that luck can play a significant role in both our failures and our success.” luckiness is a sharp departure against modern ideas of control, strategy and foresight, and we perceive ourselves – for better or for worse – as writers of our own destiny.
Randomness went underground
There is an approach that holds that any action a person does is actually to reduce the uncertainty and increase our control. The need was deeply ingrained in our lives and became routine. For example, you will find people checking the weather forecast on a daily basis in August. Science and technology, such as religion and philosophy – areas in which many discussions are on opposite sides – do it differently, but all are designed to establish control over our lives. The world promises nothing to any creature, and if that is not enough, we are born completely helpless. This situation creates a built-in anxiety in our very existence, and the man, who because of his developed brain suffers more than any other creature, has gone further than any other creature in an attempt to undo the anxiety of uncertainty. According to the article, “modern civilization itself can be seen as a huge protest against the role of chance in human affairs.”
Today, more than ever before, we live in a sense of control over our fate to the point of “a wicked temptation to believe that we may have completely escaped luck.” We have locks on the doors, periodic medical examinations, employment contracts, airbags, consumer protection laws, anti-skid soles, pensions, emergency doors and perhaps hundreds of thousands of additional protection mechanisms, even if none of them are functioning. We have the reins, we can go. But luck, even if he “lost big battles” against humanity, has not been defeated and it is doubtful that he will ever be defeated completely.
Therefore, as explained in the article, “Reason requires us to accept that luck will never be completely distorted.” The hand of fate intervenes in our lives in ways that are hard to see, both in successes and in failures, because we have created a smokescreen between us and between us. When we walk down the street and slip on a banana peel, to use slapstick, we can claim that luck has nothing to do with it and if we look where we’re going, the accident must have been preventable. But did we take into account that at that moment we had received a message in Whatsapp, or had a beautiful dog passed by us? Event scheduling is a matter of statistical probability, and numbers, as we know, are absolute science and we have a very limited degree of control over them.
The unexpected effect of luck, as in the case of the chaotic reality, presents us with two surprising advantages. The argument is that every failure and success has many elements that are independent of us, even if we are blinded from seeing them because of the values in our society. In both cases, recognizing the existence of chance can be useful. When we succeed, it opens our minds to further improvement, because if we live in a sense of “strength and power” our chances of finding future vulnerabilities decrease. On the other hand, when we realize that some things have worked out for us by chance, we can look for them and try to control them in the future. At the same time, when we fail, we can remove some of the mental burden involved in taking responsibility for our mistakes.
Of course, all this depends on the dosage – absolute reliance on chance and the intoxication of absolute control are two extreme and opposite situations that can lead us to the same obstacles. Luck, then, “remains a concept that can lessen our arrogance … and soothe our violent self-deprecation.”
But this does not add to the advantages of recognizing luck. Dr. Joe Hanson, the operator of PBS’s It’s Okay To Be Smart, explains in the video that opening the door to luck is not a flat New Age slogan, but rather a principle whose activities have been tested in psychological studies – in other words, Cognitive is surprisingly simple.
Our approach affects chance
To explain the trick, Hanson begins by trying to figure out what luck is and how it works. He describes a surprising coincidence that has occurred over a number of years in the US Every few years, teams and athletes who were at their peak tended to fail, lose or destroy triumphal sequences – soon after appearing on the cover of a well-known sports magazine – “They discovered that 37 percent of the characters on the front page had bad luck just before they appeared on it,” Hanson said, adding that even sportsmen who appeared on the cover of the computer game of the Premier League American football “suffered career disappointments immediately afterward.”
Intuition says that such a sequence can not be asked for an explanation. A mysterious curse is one explanation, and statistical probability is another explanation. “Unconventional events will happen almost certainly,” says Hanson, “given enough opportunities.”
However, he says, luck has another dimension beyond mere chance. Part of what we see as good luck or bad is just a single and specific section of a sequence. When disconnected from the context – from the past and from the future, a certain event can be perceived as bad or good luck. Hanson explains the principle through a performance graph of athletes. Each athlete has an average that includes his entire career and encompasses his high and low points. If we look only at the highs or lows – which is, by the way, what the media tends to do – we may think that in some competition or game he had real good luck or vice versa. But if we look at the overall long-term picture, we will find that its performance is stabilized on a personal average.
This happens, says Hanson, because “exceptional performance, good or bad, does not always accurately reflect capability.” But these are not mysterious forces that affect an especially high or low grade, but a series of circumstances that are simply there in the world and occasionally cross our paths. It could be the dog who decided to bark all night and made us go to the test exhausted, and it could be that the little sugar we had in the house was just perfect for the cake. Dogs barking and sugar residues are not unusual events in themselves. They become meaningful when they join other events.
“It seems that luck is in the encounter between chance and consciousness,” says Hanson, “like a filter our brains apply to the randomness of the world and makes us draw conclusions where there is none.” He sees, therefore, between luck in the mystical sense in which the assumption is that there is meaning or intentional power, and luck in a statistical sense that simply takes into account the variety of possibilities in a complex reality and the randomness that characterizes the occurrence of events. Luck is a real phenomenon. The discussion of the force behind it, whether it exists or not, is simply irrelevant to the existence of exceptional cases. And since there is no formula that organizes the sequence or frequency of exceptional cases in our lives, and certainly not the coincidences, fate can be perceived as an uncontrollable force. Hanson, on the other hand, presents evidence proving that we have the possibility of directing chance, at least to a certain extent.
We do not control the events that are happening to us, but we do have control over the response to them. Hanson demonstrates: “You are walking down a mountain path, and suddenly a rock falls in front of you, are you unlucky because you were caught there at that moment when a rock almost killed you, or are you lucky that the rock missed you? Psychologist Richard Weissman investigated the implications of a positive or negative view of luck. His findings have shown that people who treat themselves as lucky have four common characteristics: they tend to perceive and act on chance occasions by general relaxation and openness to new experiences; They make decisions based on gut feeling, that is, react to subconscious processes; Their approach converts bad luck into good luck, meaning that they will be glad to be saved from the rock and not to suffer in a situation; Finally, they expect good events to happen to them.
Thus, for example, the mechanism of a fortune-teller: “She tells you that you are going to meet someone special, so you come out confident and smiling, you walk around more, meet more people and in one case he is particularly nice.” Hanson explains that fortunes “did not see your future, they helped create it, a self-fulfilling prophecy that we call luck.” He explains that Weissman has shown that the lives of people with a self-perception of good luck have been positively affected.