Psychologist Richard Wiseman conducted an interesting study that attorneys should pay attention to.
First, he selected and surveyed a group of people to find out who considered themselves lucky or unlucky. He gave each group (“lucky” and “unlucky”) a newspaper and asked them to tell him how many photographs the newspaper contained.
On average the “unlucky” group took two minutes to count all of the photographs. The “lucky” group only took a few seconds.
On the second page of the newspaper, there was text that read: “Stop counting. There are 43 photographs in this newspaper.”
The “lucky” group saw this and therefore determined the number quickly. The “unlucky” group were so intent on counting all the photographs that they missed the message.
So what does this mean for you?
Do not miss out on potential opportunities because you are too focused on looking for something else. If you attend an event with the sole intent on speaking with a managing partner, you may miss out on great opportunities to meet other important contacts. Stay open, and try to tune in to what is there rather than just what they are looking for.
Wiseman concluded in his study that “luck” isn’t all it purports to be. What seems like “luck” is actually mindset and attitude: it is about whether your mindset leaves you open to opportunities you might otherwise miss because you’re so absolutely sure of what you want, and whether you have a positive attitude about the unexpected.
Attorneys are expected to work under stressful conditions and driven to be certain (you’re not supposed to leave anything to luck!). While that may be so in your work, remember to embrace the unexpected when seeking out opportunities. You never know where a little bit of luck can take you.