How to be Lucky

Posted May 28, 2013

by Lensyl Urbano

The lucky try more things, and fail more often, but when they fail they shrug it off and try something else. Occasionally, things work out.

— McRaney, 2013: Survivorship Bias on You Are Not So Smart.

David McRaney synthesizes work on luck in an article on survivorship bias.

… the people who considered themselves lucky, and who then did actually demonstrate luck was on their side over the course of a decade, tended to place themselves into situations where anything could happen more often and thus exposed themselves to more random chance than did unlucky people.

Unlucky people are narrowly focused, [Wiseman] observed. They crave security and tend to be more anxious, and instead of wading into the sea of random chance open to what may come, they remain fixated on controlling the situation, on seeking a specific goal. As a result, they miss out on the thousands of opportunities that may float by. Lucky people tend to constantly change routines and seek out new experiences.

McRaney goes also points out how this survivorship bias negatively affects scientific publications (scientists tend to get successful studies published but not ones that show how things don’t work), and in war (deciding where to armor airplanes).

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2013. How to be Lucky, Retrieved April 21st, 2018, from Montessori Muddle: .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

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