How Solution Focused Therapy Increases Your Luck

Have you ever wondered at the difference between those who seem blessed with luck and those who seem perpetually unlucky? I’m talking about circumstances that run deeper than rain on a wedding day or missing the bus by 30 seconds. It turns out that the most essential quality that lucky people possess is a state of mind.

Lucky people seem to generate their own good fortune, but it’s not all due to hard or conscientious work. For example, one quality of lucky people is a tendency towards extraversion; they are more likely to have something good happen to them because they encounter more people and tend to be more open to new ideas. Extraversion also tends to go hand-in-hand with less anxiety, anger, and depression.

That idea seems simple enough: the more you put yourself out there, the more likely you are to increase your chances of a fortuitous situation. Two other qualities common in lucky people are being flexible and allowing yourself to stray off-task. Why? Flexible people respond with less rigidity to a situation, which provides more opportunities for solutions and lucky outcomes. Similarly, being overly conscientious can result in missing the point—“losing the forest through the trees,” so to speak. A stubborn focus on a task does not allow us to see hidden opportunities or to catch lucky breaks.

So what is the connection between lucky people and solution-focused counseling? A solution-focused therapist helps the client look for what is going well in life, as well as what is not. The therapist is more interested in helping a client apply his own strengths to a situation using flexibility, cognitive reframing (looking at a problem from a different point of view), and taking the focus off the problem exclusively. Sound familiar? This is the way lucky people approach their lives.

Because solution-focused therapy isn’t problem-oriented, a client spends much more time examining alternative ideas to nagging issues. This requires flexibility, because it is not easy to see good fortune or hopeful outcomes in the same area where one might have failed again and again.

A solution-focused therapist also helps the client become confident in his own strengths and abilities, which gives the client more incentive to say yes to a potentially lucky situation. Saying yes, and learning how to not live feeling trapped by the fear of regret or guilt, expands a client’s choices. As we learned above, expanded choices increase luck.

Being guided by a solution-focused therapist and experiencing luck does not mean that there will not be obstacles along the way. But a solution-focused mindset teaches the client resiliency. Because I believe that a client’s strengths—including those that are untapped—are greater than his shortcomings, I can help a client rebound from failure. Resiliency is much easier to implement when you believe that more good fortune is just around the corner.

© Copyright 2010 by Lindsey Antin. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Maddie

    June 7th, 2010 at 3:59 PM

    Teach people how to be more extraoverted and think of the world of oppportunities that you could be handing to them.

  • themuse

    June 7th, 2010 at 8:43 PM

    Very interesting, Lindsey! I believe your thoughts create your reality. If you think you’re lucky, you will be and if you don’t, you won’t. People don’t appreciate the tremendous power of thought.

  • Pearl

    June 7th, 2010 at 9:03 PM

    Hi Lindsey. Is solution-focused therapy a new type of therapy or has it been around for a while? It’s not something I’ve heard of before. Not that there’s anything wrong with it being new if it is. I was just curious. It does sound a very uplifting and positive take on it.

  • drake

    June 8th, 2010 at 3:51 AM

    i do not believe much in being lucky or unlucky…after all,it all comes down to the efforts that you put in and the work that you do…nothing else matters!

  • Steve

    June 8th, 2010 at 4:39 AM

    This is a brilliant idea- teach patients and get them to talk about the things that are going well in their lives instead of always focusing on the negatives. Too many times people get too bogged down in the things that are going wrong instead of looking at the future and thinking of all of the things that are going right. Solution based therapy seems to address these issues but gives you the motivation and the means to move forward past all of that and look toward the positives instead of always dwelling so much in the past and the negatives that may reside there.

  • arnie

    June 8th, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    After reading this article,I just realized that I often put in all my time into trying to solve a problem rather than taking a step backwards and looking at the problem from a different view-point.What is even worse is that I prefer to be left alone and not to be bothered when I am dealing with a problem and am looking at ways of fixing it.I just realized that this actually cuts me off from other people around me who could possibly have given me their advice on solving the problem!

  • Lindsey Antin (author)

    July 6th, 2010 at 5:04 PM

    Hi Pearl and all,

    Solution Focused therapy is relatively new — most of the work we commonly associate with it now was advanced in the 1980’s by Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg as part of their work in Brief Therapies.

    While I continue to study the basics of Solution Focused therapy, I am finding my own ways to apply it to clients and concepts (in this article, luck).


  • adegboyega samson olusegun

    December 29th, 2012 at 4:27 AM

    how effective is the use of solution focused therapy to solve premarital sex of young school leavers

  • Lindsey Antin

    January 2nd, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Thanks for the question. I’m sorry I don’t have any statistics or research on that population (I’m not sure I understand quite what it is). But I think almost any kind of therapy would be a good beginning for such potential clients. Solution focused therapy is very appealing to young people because it focuses on building on some strengths or concepts that already work for them.
    Thanks and Happy New Year,


  • Paul Leslie

    June 13th, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    Good post! Our lives do become directed by where we put our attention. A focus on the resources we have usually yields better results in life than a focus on problems.

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