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How Luck Happens

Using the Science of Luck to Transform Work, Love and Life

By Janice Kaplan and Barnaby Marsh
13-minute read
Audio available
How Luck Happens: Using the Science of Luck to Transform Work, Love and Life by Janice Kaplan and Barnaby Marsh

How Luck Happens (2018) debunks the myth that luck is something we have zero control over, revealing that we certainly can influence the level of luckiness in our lives. Packed with examples and practical advice, this book shows how luck can be improved in the workplace as well as the dating scene.

  • Those who are tired of waiting for luck to find them
  • People hoping to improve their success in work, love or family
  • Anyone who wants to beat the competition

Janice Kaplan is a magazine editor, TV producer, writer and journalist. She has written 13 books, including the New York Times bestseller, The Gratitude Diaries.

Dr. Barnaby Marsh is an academic and expert on risk-taking.

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How Luck Happens

Using the Science of Luck to Transform Work, Love and Life

By Janice Kaplan and Barnaby Marsh
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
How Luck Happens: Using the Science of Luck to Transform Work, Love and Life by Janice Kaplan and Barnaby Marsh
Synopsis

How Luck Happens (2018) debunks the myth that luck is something we have zero control over, revealing that we certainly can influence the level of luckiness in our lives. Packed with examples and practical advice, this book shows how luck can be improved in the workplace as well as the dating scene.

Key idea 1 of 8

Luck is a combination of chance, talent and hard work, and we have more control over it than we think.

There’s a common misconception that luck lies beyond our control – and that it occurs randomly. In reality, however, it’s much more tangible than that.

Luck is not the same thing as chance, but chance does play a part in luck. Equating the two is probably the biggest mistake people make. It’s important to understand that while chance is totally out of our control, it’s always accompanied by other factors that we can control. In fact, luck is the result of chance meeting talent and hard work, and increasing your luck involves preparation and the ability to seize opportunities.

For instance, let’s say that, by chance, you get seated next to an investor at a dinner party and that, after pitching your idea to her, she decides to provide you with the initial capital to start your company. Now, some people would call this a random stroke of luck. But notice that there are two parts to it: the seating arrangement and how you handle the seating arrangement.  The first part is chance. The second, which depends on your ability to pitch your idea to anyone at any time, is preparation. Together, they both combine to generate luck.

Having established that chance events are completely out of your control, you should thus ignore them and focus instead on what you can influence – that is, luck.

Think of luck as a slot machine: if you can ensure that two out of three cherries are always lined up – by being curious and working hard – then it’s much more likely that that third cherry will, at some point, fall into place.

Most of us are actually already aware of this. In a national survey conducted by the authors, 67 percent of respondents believed that hard work played a role in luck in their lives, and 64 percent thought that luck depended on curiosity and seeking out opportunities.

So, as you now know, there is a lot more to luck than just random chance. In the upcoming blinks, you’ll learn how to exert control and increase your chances of getting lucky.

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