Wednesday, 1 September 2010

How belief in good luck brings us good luck

So if August was measured in terms of bad luck than I think I'd be up there for some kind of award (a few giant buckets of gin and tonic would be a suitable prize if anyone wants to send it my way). I don't need to tell you what's been going wrong, mainly because its September 1st and I've decided that August is the month of bad luck and September the month of good luck.

But as my boyfriend points out this concept of good luck and bad luck makes no sense to someone, who like me, purports to be rational. So it got me thinking whether our concepts of fate, luck and the belief that life can't always stay bad is an inbuilt coping mechanism we deploy in bad times to create our own light at the end of the tunnel?

recent psychological survey found that superstition improved performance across four key areas: memory, sporting tasks, intelligence test and motor dexterity. For example 41 students were told to bring a lucky charm with them and performed a memory task either with the lucky charm to hand or when it had been removed from the room.  Those with their lucky charm performed better at the memory task than those without it.

So I suppose it shows that if we believe we can do something than we are more likely to be able to achieve it. And 'luck' seems to be our way of externalising our own self-belief, allowing those with less confidence to still achieve their dreams. Perhaps, conversely, it also means that bad luck does not 'belong' to us either, and therefore is something we can 'shake off' and move on from.

So lets see if September does bring me better luck. I suppose the belief that something has to change for me, that such bad luck can't continue, is actually my own way of not giving up, of not falling into a mire of doubt and inactivity.

Anyhow, I might write more on this at another date and tie it back into health issues and the NHS. But for now I'll sign off as I'm off to hospital (hopefully just as a day patient) to start some intravenous antibiotics tomorrow (ivs) and fancy getting an early night. 

1 comment:

  1. Here's wishing you better luck for September (and I'll buy you a gin and tonic next time I see you!). I think there is something to making your own luck. Then again, the only thing that is sure in life is that it will keep on changing -- things will getter better, then worse, then better again. We just have to try to enjoy it when we can. Hope the ivs helped.