Q&A: Mind coach Dr. Stephen Simpson shares the 7 secrets of lucky people
Professional poker players go to Dr. Simpson when they need a little more luck, so we asked him how to increase the odds in your job search.
In our latest podcast, Monster spoke with Dr. Stephen Simpson, a mind coach and author of Get Lucky Now: The 7 Secrets of Lucky People. We wanted to know how he helps his clients—mainly professional poker players, celebrities and athletes—achieve success. And we really wanted to learn those seven secrets of lucky people—and how to apply them to your job search.
Check out the podcast, and read an excerpt from our conversation below.
Monster: You work with professional athletes and poker players. What are some of the things you help them with as a mind coach?
Dr. Simpson: In a nutshell, I help them stay in the moment. There are always distractions pulling us into the past or pushing us into the future. iPhones and all these other things are wonderful and designed to make our lives more fun and easier—and they do—but there’s a downside. My advice to someone who’s trying to do good work is to allocate some time to that, whether it’s an hour or two. And for that work, switch off all of your things that go ping on your computer or your phone, and close the door and then start by getting your head in a good place.
Monster: How do you get into that good place?
Dr. Simpson: One technique is to close the door, close your eyes and try and count as many noises as you can hear. Once you get up to about seven things, your mind will be tuned in and you won’t be thinking about the film you’re going to watch when you get home or the nasty letter you had to open from the bank this morning. Then when you start your project, you will have quieted your mind enough to be able to get into the unconscious mind where the good thoughts can surface.
Monster: So tell us, can you really increase your own luck?
Dr. Simpson: You definitely can. Cynics believe that the harder you work, the luckier you’ll be, literally. There’s no doubt that people with those qualities can make their luck, but what a high price they pay in terms of their health and stress and relationships and everything else. Because there are easier ways to be lucky, and you don’t have to work as many hours.
Monster: Your book is called Get Lucky Now: The 7 Secrets of Lucky People. So, what are those seven secrets?
Dr. Simpson: The first is goals. Make sure your goals are in the right place because if your goals are in the wrong place, nothing is going to work out for you. The first time I worked with a poker player, his goal was to win a live tournament. The first thing I said to him was, “I never want to hear about this again. I never want to hear about you winning your first live event. I want to hear more important stuff, like how you’re going to keep your focus going for seven hours straight, five days in a row.” Three weeks later, he did win a huge tournament. That’s example of what I think about goals.
The second is hugely important. It’s confidence. In a nutshell, fake it ’til you make it. If you put yourself into a confident posture, your brain will follow. It has to. It’s physiology. So I tell people how to adopt a confident posture, the way they walk into a room, the way they sit, the way they stand.
The third secret is visualization. If you don’t have a picture in your head, you aren’t going to get there. For your job search, you shouldn’t just have a picture in your head—you should have a movie of how you see yourself doing this job. You should have that picture before you even go into the interview room.
Secret number four, I’ll call mindfulness. It’s living in the moment. There are three things I like to use, the three H’s: hypnosis, heart-to-mouth (a breathing technique), and havening, an anxiety-reduction technique. Those are all things I recommend to help with mindfulness.
The fifth secret is adversity. Not having a job is adversity. I see this with the elite performers I work with. They often say, “It was terrible when I went through that bad period, but that’s when I learned. That’s when I was able to make a few changes and turn it to my advantage.” Hang on to that belief that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and you may say that worked out for the best.
The final one is the most interesting one, and it’s what we can call magic. It’s all the stuff that’s going on in the world that I don’t understand, that scientists don’t understand. I instinctively believe that there are things we can do that attract luck. Putting ourselves out there in any way we can think of. Writing blogs, talking to people, getting out there, making videos. Your actions plus a little “magic” can bring you more luck.