• Humans have an innate need to live in a world that makes sense to them, and which they feel they can control and influence. We want to predict, model and manage the world, but this combined with our tendency to find patterns where there are none, can make our perceptions of probability very different from the reality.
• The way we experience and explain random events, and the cause to which we attribute these events, is highly personal. We may have an internal or external locus of control, which is whether we believe we are the cause of life’s events (the former) or whether our lives are at the mercy of external events beyond our control (the latter).
• Research has discovered that there are further distinctions, and that an external locus of control can see luck as either a stable quality a person possesses, or a fleeting phenomenon that could disappear as quickly as it comes. The finding is that viewing luck as stable makes people more proactive – and more successful.
• Attribution theory deals with how we attach meaning to our own behavior and the behavior of other people. How we assign blame and praise depends on how we understand accountability and our influence on events – and it has a powerful influence on how likely we are to act and actually achieve success.
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