The Science Of Being Lucky

• Luck may play a bigger role in our success than we think. By examining what we consider lucky breaks, serendipity and fortuitous events, we can better handle the invisible forces that favor some and not others.

• Research has made surprising findings, i.e., that it may be better to be mediocre in skills but lucky than to be highly talented yet unlucky. Mathematical models have tended to show the irrelevance of skill and talent, and emphasize the fact that randomness plays a big part in what we consider success.

• In the case of the discovery of LSD (and many other scientific advances), we can see that luck plays a surprising role.

• Luck may play a role in an absolute sense in determining the hand we’re dealt in what Warren Buffett calls the “Ovarian Lottery” – where we’re born, our genes, and so on. But hard work does matter, and may factor in a more relative sense, i.e., it helps us distinguish ourselves from others who have been similarly lucky.

• Luck and hard work play a part. We cannot control luck, but we can understand how it works and position ourselves accordingly, so that we’re ready to strike when and if opportunity does come our way.

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