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Jul 19, 2019 05:48:37

How to be lucky, using the science of luck (1): Chance, talent and hard work

by @jasonleow | 364 words | 318πŸ”₯ | 356πŸ’Œ

Jason Leow

Current day streak: 318πŸ”₯
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I just read How Luck Happens: Using the Science of Luck to Transform Work, Love, and Life, by Janice Kaplan and Barnaby Marsh. It's a really awesome book into why some people are more lucky than others, and how we can leverage on things we can do in order to be luckier. In other words, luck is (party) a SKILL that you can hone. The science of luck will be an interesting trend to watch, much like how the concept of antifragile trends, because both have their roots in complexity, systems-thinking, and chaos.  

Sharing them here as reference for myself, and for anyone who might find it useful. This is not a book review, just raw notes lifted directly from the book, with some minor interpretations and categorisations of my own. This is part of my reading list for a new season.


"Luck is when preparation meets opportunity" 

Luck occurs at the intersection of chance, talent and hard work.

Luck isn’t a zero sum game - plenty for everyone if you know where and how to look for it.

Most importantly is: you can make your own luck. It’s not completely random. It’s not completely about forces beyond your control.

More risk doesn’t mean more luck. Luck is asymmetrical - some good luck if it works, but lots of bad luck if it doesn't. Or vice versa. The heroic path isn’t the only way to luck.


Luck is not passive - it requires action.

Every action you take changes the odds, so the original statistic might not be accurate to your context.

Hard work = persistence, focus, attentiveness to possibility. Face lots of failures and keep trying before getting lucky.

Liking the challenge and having fun helps you stay in it longer, and luckier.

How you respond to opportunity matters too.


Be attentive to opportunities, be prepared for anything, and try the unexpected. 

Having information, knowing when and where to look helps you be more lucky.

Attentiveness to opportunity = flexible attention, able to switch between narrow and open focus fast, to subtle signals - seldom are they loud and in your face.

Curiosity helps.

From Jason Leow's collection:

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  • 1

    @jasonleow Great notes! :) Thanks for sharing

    Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Jul 19, 2019 06:55:15
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      @basilesamel welcome!

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jul 21, 2019 22:15:04
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    @jasonleow - feel lucky to have you reading and sharing with us.

    Brian Ball avatar Brian Ball | Jul 18, 2019 19:11:44
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      @brianball welcome

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jul 21, 2019 22:15:14
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    @jasonleow - I love these book notes you are making. And I think we like the same topics. I remember making a note to read more on Luck after hearing an episode of Naval on this topic.

    I am tempted to add this to my reading list and create a "Luck" experiment to apply what I learn.

    Thank you for sharing your notes Jason.

    Keni avatar Keni | Jul 18, 2019 18:27:49
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      @keni hmmm did Naval mention about luck? Which episode was that? Curious to hear his perspective now haha. And do share if you do go ahead with your luck experiment! It'll be fun to read. Now that you suggested it, I also feel like trying it out for myself!

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jul 21, 2019 22:16:30
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      @jasonleow - Yes Naval has an episode on that on his podcast. It is titled 'Make Money your destiny' and it has March 7th date. His perspective is very similar to the summary you have here.
      I would like to do a luck experiment but I think I should read the book first and understand the ideas better...
      How about me and you do this one together? - or keep each other accountable once we have defined what it is and what success will look like?
      It would be the most interesting experiment to date if we could actually test some of these theories and make luck happen.. What do you say?

      Keni avatar Keni | Jul 21, 2019 13:41:06
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      @keni cool will check out that Naval podcast episode, thanks! Re: the luck experiment, thanks for the offer! Let me think what i want to experiment in...there's so many areas in life one can try it. Will let you know when I do decide to proceed :)

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jul 22, 2019 19:51:36
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