I decided to purchase Richard Wiseman’s book, 59 Seconds, after I listened to him have a conversation on one of my favorite podcasts, Smart People Podcast. On the show Wiseman discussed luck and neuroscience, and I was fascinated throughout the entire episode. Afterwards, I knew I wanted to buy one of Wiseman’s books, especially since there was a piece of advice from the show that I was able to implement immediately. Wiseman talked about creating a “luck diary” to increase your awareness and focus on the lucky and positive parts of your life, and he discussed the benefits that could come with the increased awareness and positivity. Once I dove into 59 Seconds I came across a section about gratitude, and I saw a more in depth explanation of the importance of my small luck diary.
Regarding a study on gratitude Wiseman wrote, “those expressing gratitude ended up happier, much more optimistic about the future, and physically healthier – and they even exercised more.” The idea of the study was to ask people to journal for a few minutes each week on various topics. One group wrote about things that annoyed them, another group journaled about events and things that happened in the day, and the third group reflected on things they were grateful for. The human brain learns to adapt to its environment and to stop noticing the things that are always around. Wiseman argues that this loss of conscious awareness occurs even with our own happiness leaving us without a sense of appreciation for the opportunities, luck, and positive events around us as they begin to feel common place and normal. Journaling about luck brings those positive moments back to the forefront of our minds, and helps us remember and be aware of the positives.
I don’t know that my luck journal has made me happier, healthier, or helped me exercise more, but I do enjoy the reflective nature of the process. I enjoy sitting on my bed each night and thinking about what I am grateful for or what lucky things happened during my day. Often times I had forgotten about how much went on in my day until I finally sit down and focus to remember each little event that I could describe as a lucky moment. I enjoy remembering the luck and the positive moments, but I also enjoy working my memory and sifting through all that happened in a day.