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Jul 20, 2019 11:37:32

How to be lucky, using the science of luck (2): Place, people, path and persistence

by @jasonleow | 604 words | 340🔥 | 378💌

Jason Leow

Current day streak: 340🔥
Total posts: 378💌
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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 (partly) 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



Place affects luck. Be in the place where luck can find you, where opportunities are going to around you. Most people don’t make the big relocations necessary.

To be rich, go to where the rich people are. Place yourself where you can meet people who would help you. Mother Teresa always flew first class - captive audience for fundraising. 

Fear and lack of confidence are great inhibitors of luck. Not a good target of luck if you sit at home depressed.

Places with best opportunities also have greatest competition. Be where there’s best chance and where you can compete, or when your company is ready/grown enough to compete.

Luck is not a one event thing - one thing leads to another. Luck doesn’t happen in a straight line.



Luck depends on other people. Find luck in others. Identify new networks. 

Rely on the strength of weak ties (people you see less than once a week), tell them what you need, ask for help. Being declarative about your own desires and putting them out into the world creates the conditions for luck. You elicit lucky reactions.

How a space is designed and set up, and the spatial dynamics support serendipitous recombination of ideas. Knowledge spillover.

Face-to-face connections still beats online.

Give luck to get luck. Help people, connect them, make others lucky.

Go to every party, or selectively, depending in what you want. Cast a wide net for better chance of getting something, but be willing to sort through junk too. Or be thoughtful and focused for higher chance.



Zig when others zag. 

Walk your own path, be willing to think different, be unconventional. 

Cultivate systematic unpredictability, unexpected, erratic behaviour i.e. lucky move.

Entertain odd ideas, but realistically not recklessly, playfully having fun not serious.

Fun makes you stick to it longer (thus better chance).

Shut out criticism and ridicule.


Persistence, passion and optimism

Knowing what you want and where you’re aiming is key, not just being hardest working.

Goals make a large difference to luck. Simply wanting it can change your luck.

Keep taking chances, but without talent, it might be your thing is simply no good. 

If you get lots of calls but no confirmations, keep trying. But if get rejected first round, quit, look elsewhere or change.

Persist with informed optimism, otherwise you’re just delusional. 

Positive feedback loops betters luck - having someone/something which had been lucky increases luck.

Anyone who wanted success had to understand failure. 

The odds may be small, but it’s zero if you don’t try.

Optimism and passion encourages you to keep trying, a willingness to believe in a positive future. 

From Jason Leow's collection:

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    @jasonleow - the <a> tag to the book is empty.

    Brian Ball avatar Brian Ball | Jul 20, 2019 09:20:01
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      @brianball fixed!

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jul 21, 2019 22:09:00
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    @jasonleow - That's it. I have to read this book. This is an excellent summary Jason. Thank you for taking the time to write and share this.

    Keep writing.

    Keni avatar Keni | Jul 20, 2019 00:17:30
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      @jasonleow @keni OMG!!! Can we have more than 24hrs in a day :(

      Great book, please keep sharing.

      Gotta read Gary John Bishops' latest book first.

      Seun Oyebode avatar Seun Oyebode | Jul 20, 2019 11:47:59
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      @keni welcome! Let me know what you think about the book after you read it. I enjoyed it immensely and found it soooo useful.

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jul 21, 2019 22:09:51
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      @seunoyebode what's this book by Gary John Bishop? Do share! ;)

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jul 21, 2019 22:10:34
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      @jasonleow @keni Unf*ck yourself: How to get out of your head into your life

      Seun Oyebode avatar Seun Oyebode | Jul 21, 2019 22:54:15
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