How to Get Lucky

7 minutes read

Is there anything we can do to bring more luck into our lives?

1. Making the Luck/Planning Distinction

  • The first step in controlling your luck is to recognize that it exists
  • Never confuse luck with planning
    • Good outcome can be possible by pure luck. E.g. Casino Gambling
    • When a desired outcome is brought by luck, you must acknowledge that fact.
  • Sometimes Bad outcome can be the result of bad luck

2. Finding the Fast Flow

  • It simply means, make contact with people. Get involved. Plunge into the events yourself. All the time, make your career goals known to those you meet.
  • The big breaks flow through contacts between people.
    • The worst thing that you can do is withdraw from the network of friendships and acquaintanceships at home and at work.
    • Group activities are ideal: whatever your interests may be.
  • Its not necessary to be vivacious. All that is necessary is that you meet a lot of people and let them know just who you are.

3. Risk Spooning

  • Risk is a necessary ingredient of every successful life. Risk puts you in a position to win.
  • Get used to the idea of taking risks and become comfortable with the thought of yourself as a prudent risker.
  • Practice skills in assessing the risk-reward ratio in important situations.
  • Risk spooning : Seek out risks. Start small. Once you get used to risk, thing about increasing the dosage.

4. Run Cutting

  • The consistently luck are the run cutters.
  • The short runs are much more common than long runs. The sensible thing to do is ride the run until you have a good but not enormous gains, avoid greed , and get out early.

5. Luck Selection

  • Lucky people have the knack of cutting their losses and it is one of the chief contributors to their good fortunes.
  • Discard the bad luck and free yourself to seek better luck in another venture.
  • Luck selection involves two difficult acts:
    • The need to abandon part of an investment. The investment may be in the form of time, money, commitment or something else.
    • It requires a painful confession: “I was wrong.”
  • Luck selection is the habit of avoiding unfounded optimism.
  • Lucky people, as a breed, are able to live with knowledge that some decisions will turn out wrong. This is the part of their general habit of accepting risk.

6. The Zigzag paths

  • The lucky, alert to the luck/planning distribution , are aware that life is always going to be a turbulent sea of opportunities drifting randomly past in all directions. If you put blinders on yourself so that you can only see straight ahead, you will nearly miss everything.
  • Never take long-range plans seriously. Use them for general guidance as long as they seem to by taking you where you want to go, but whatever you do , don’t get stuck with them. Throw them in the thrash heap as soon as something better comes along.
  • Examples of Zig zag life paths:
    • Harlan Sanders, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)
    • Ray Croc, McDonalds

7. Constructive Supernaturalism

  • We can lump religion, superstition together and refer to them by one neutral word: supernaturalism.
  • A supernatural belief, even a trivial and humorous one, helps people get lucky by helping them make otherwise impossible choices.
  • Life is full of situations in which you must choose among alternatives but lack any rational basis for choosing.
    • The unlucky, would just stand there paralyzed , unable to make the impossible choice.
    • We rarely have all the facts we could wish for when embarking on a risky course and sometimes , we have no facts at all. That is where the lucky can make a super natural belief pay off.
  • “A superstition won’t do you any harm as long as you don’t use it as a substitute for thinking.”
    • With a good superstition to help you take risks and make data-short decisions, you are likely to be luckier than if you simply sat their baffled and discouraged.

8. Worst-Case Analysis

  • Optimism means expecting the best, but good luck involves knowing how you will handle the worst.
  • Be a dedicated worst-case analyst.
  • Example from gambling:
    • The losers are always optimistic. The pro studies how he will save himself when the cards fall against him.

9. The Closed Mouth

  • Silence doesn’t only protect you from getting locked into unwanted positions, and it doesn’t only keep you from revealing facts and feelings you many want known.
    • By avoiding excessive communication, lucky men and women are freed of the the need to explain and justify actions to other people.
    • Saying too much, may jeer the 5th technique, ‘The luck Selection’
  • It doesn’t mean you must take a vow of eternal silence. You must have relationships, after all; you must take chances; you must talk to people. The message is to avoid unnecessary talk about your problems, plans, and feelings. When there is no good reason to say something, say nothing.

10. Recognizing a NonLesson

  • A noteworthy trait of the lucky is that they know what they can’t learn anything from.
  • Non lessons often grow out of unwarranted generalizations.
    • Examples:
      • A certain kind of event happens a few times in association with a certain kind of person, and you make a sweeping generalization to include all people of that kind.
      • History simply does not repeat itself. It can teach huge generalized lessons like ‘War is Hell’ but it cannot teach us how to stay out of wars.

11. Accepting an unfair Universe

  • Fairness is a human concept. The rest of the universe knows nothing of it.
  • Chaos is not dangerous until it begins too look orderly. Look around at human life and accept it the way it comes : “Disorderly and Unfair.”
  • Anything can happen no matter how outrageous it seems. And anything cannot happen no matter how much you think it should.

12. The Juggling Act

  • The luckier are the busier. They always seem to have many ventures going at the same time. You will also find that lucky people are still busier in adversity.
  • The unlucky person knows exactly what form of luck he is seeking. If he gets lucky, the good luck will come in one shape only : a new job. Lucky people know that the more ventures they got into, the better were the odds that some kind of lucky break would come his way.
  • You never know what seemingly unpromising activity is going to be the one that catches fire for you. All you can know is that the more activities you have going on , the greater is the likelihood that something good will happen.
  • Sit down and make a list of what needs to be done. The list by itself doesn’t get the jobs done, of course. What does it do is to make you feel better
    • Making a list of problems and worries produces the same state of calm, the feeling of control. Many people feel an actual, physical easing of tension in the body when they take this simple step.

13. Destiny Pairing

  • A destiny partner is more than just a friend. A friend is somebody you like and have fun with. The liking may even be profound to deserve the name love. Only a friend who alters you luck over a long term may be called a destiny partner.
  • Meeting your destiny partner usually happens by blind luck. In many cases, destiny pair meet in part because on goes looking for other.

Getting lucky: Putting the 13 techniques together

  • Don’t expect to be able to apply all of them all the time. Life will inevitably back you into corners in which, against your will and judgement, you will find yourself violating one rule or another. Don’t be upset about this.
  • One good way to get started on luck improvement is to ask yourself which technique has been most notably lacking in your approach to your life. Almost everyone can identify some prominent failing - even those who consider themselves generally lucky.
  • A good exercise is to read some of the world’s greatest novels and plays with the 13 techniques in mind. Play special attention to stories with unlucky outcomes. What techniques would have produces a lucky outcome instead?


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