Luck 1: Curiosity

Curiosity killed the cat, they say. Wrong. Curiosity gave the cat an exciting life worth living!

Do you think you’re a lucky person? Whether you think you are, or think you are not; you can learn to be luckier in life by learning a few simple patterns.

Think of how much you don’t know.

What will your hopes and dreams be in 5 years time?

Imagine much there is in Wikipedia that you don’t know!

Imagine what might be happening right now around you; that you’re not seeing.

Compared to everything added together that all of us together have known, know now, and will know, each of us is extremely ignorant.

The future belongs to people who can react to their ignorance with joyful curiosity. Asking lots of questions. Deep questions that open up new knowledge, not just confirming what you already believe. At the heart of success today are questions, not answers.

But many of us avoid facing our ignorance by pretending to ourselves that we know all we need to know.

After all, accepting my ignorance creates feelings of doubt and insecurity. A very long time ago, when our ancestors felt doubtful and insecure, it meant their lives were under threat, perhaps from drought. So we’ve evolved to avoid, at all costs, feelings of doubt.

We do our best to experience and know a few things well, and then hold on top that so hard that nothing else can fit in.

That pattern worked well before the world started changing really really fast. It works poorly in today’s world. We need to actively practice the patterns of curiosity to counteract our innate doubt-avoidance tendency.

So to have luck, we apply a variation of pattern 1. This variation reminds you to look behind the green door. That place where your luck hides.

Here’s the pattern to use all the time. Every time you catch yourself thinking something like

I know ….

or

… is how the world is

then do the following:

  • Remind yourself, you can only see or know a microscopic fraction of all there is. “I know little, have experienced little.”

  • Ask yourself, How can the world also be …. And then imagine the opposite to what you know. Then repeat 4 times, imagining different answers each time.

  • Tell a friend what you know, or how you think the world is, and then ask them what they know that is different.

  • Ask yourself, and people around you, questions like these:

    • What if?

    • I wonder … ?

And then, at least once a month, practice this pattern:

  • Participate in something new to you. (For example, you could make a list of 10 things you’ve never done before, but could imagine trying. Even if a little scary … Then ask a friend to choose a number from 1 to 10 … and that’s the one you commit to doing. Tell your friend you’ll do it; and by when you’ll have done it; and ask your friend to remind you! Even better; encourage your friend to do it with you, especially if they’ve never done it before.

  • Ask someone very different to you what they think

  • Read about something you know little about.

This is the best way to find out about those things you didn’t even know you didn’t know.
Precisely these things are the key to uncovering that hidden gap of hope through the dark mountains you see ahead of you. You’re actively, mindfully seeking what else there is.