How Lucky Are You? And Why?

27 02 2009

There’s a great piece from Max Kalehoff in today’s MediaPost: “What Are Your Best Interview Questions?

There are a lot of good ideas in there, but one really made me think.

lucky

“On a scale of one to 10, how lucky are you — and why?

This question has received some attention lately amidst its application at Zappos, a customer-service company praised for its culture.

The question is based on research by psychologist Richard Wiseman, who explored psychological differences between people who consider themselves exceptionally lucky and those who consider themselves unlucky.

His work revealed that people are not born lucky, but, without realizing it, use four basic principles to create good fortune in their lives. They tend to:

– Have an attitude that maximizes chance opportunities;
– Be in touch with and cultivate their intuition;
– Expect good fortunes, which become self-fulfilling prophecies; and
– Thrive on bad fortune by taking control and creating positive outcomes.

According to Wiseman’s Web site, he’s developed techniques that help people increase their good fortune by thinking and behaving more like lucky people. That’s probably a great clinic for any organization, but I’d like to hire lucky people in the first place. I want them on my side!”

At the risk of being preachy, I’d say that too often, we forget how incredibly, insanely, foolishly lucky we are.

For example, if you’re reading this you’re alive, and reasonably healthy. You can see, you’re educated, and are computer-literate. Best of all, you have the unimaginable luxury of being able to think about philosophical issues instead of just survival issues.

There’s a lot of pessimism out there today, and I’m as guilty as the next guy about focusing on what’s wrong. A little optimism wouldn’t hurt.

Here’s a quote I just read that I thought was worth tacking up in my office:

“An optimist is someone who goes after Moby Dick in a rowboat and takes the tartar sauce with him.” – Zig Ziglar

What are you bringing to your job? Sour grapes? Or tartar sauce?

Photo Credit: Jeremy Brooks

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4 responses

27 02 2009
Rob R

Oh tartar sauce, by all means! But I would confess that I often feel luckier on Friday evening than on Monday morning. Good post.
RR

28 02 2009
jjakex3

Hey Tom –

I really appreciate your post. I think it’s our duty right now to not get caught up in what I call the “drift”. The drift is the pervasive negative doom and gloom fear that the media and others are constantly throwing at us. Yes, I too, have been known to throw my shoe at the TV in disgust! Luckily it was only a slipper.

Thanks again!

Jordan

12 03 2009
michelletripp

This has got to be one of the best interview questions ever. GOLDMINE.

19 03 2009
Max Kalehoff

Thanks for noticing.

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