or “how to get lucky”
a list to expand your luck surface area & create more luck.
adapted from an awesome sahil bloom post on 2022 mar 9.
much of what we come to call #luck rises from the macro result of 1,000s of micro actions. your daily habits put you in a position where “luck” will be more likely to strike.
remove the “black holes” (anti-luck) from your existence! take actions to expand your personal luck surface area.
“diligence is the mother of good luck.” – benjamin franklin
how to define #luck?uncontrollable—pure and raw events on your favour?
who gave birth to us, and where. winning lottery tickets without any trickery. the base circumstances of our life all fall into this category of luck and we must not dismiss this as perhaps the greatest luck factor in life. for sure no minor aspect of life!
here, however, we talk about another kind of luck. the second one most people usually refer to when going through the day. and this can actually apply to every kind of luck, but we will now focus only on the how.
our daily habits put us in a position where “luck” will be more likely to strike.
in the movie interstellar (spoiler alert!) we can see the main characters discussing the habitability of a planet on the edge of a large black hole.
the protagonists realize that the proximity to the black hole makes life unlikely to exist on the planet — the black hole absorbed all of the “lucky” events that would spark life: the asteroids carrying the seeds of life, the chance collisions — none of them could occur because the “luck surface area” of the planet was minuscule given its proximity to the all-absorbing black hole.
such a sneakily powerful metaphor for life!
again, remove the “black holes” from existence. take actions to expand the personal luck surface area.
the list follows.
be the dumbest in the room!
when given a choice between entering two rooms, choose the room where you will be the dumbest one in the room.
once inside, talk less and listen more. might sound bad for the ego, but it will be great for luck.
good things tend to happen in these rooms.
hang out with optimists
pessimism sound smart, optimism get lucky.
when choosing who to spend time with, prioritize spending time with optimists/optimism. pessimism see only closed doors. optimists see the open doors — and probably ignore the closed ones.
call the pessimism a “black holes” in life and remove them all to get lucky.
get in the arena
we find no luck on the sidelines — it only syringes in the arena.
a lonely and vulnerable place, but also the only path that bears real fruit. when faced with two paths, choose the path that puts you in the arena — where collisions happen, where luck can strike.
furthermore, surround yourself with arena people/agents. sideline rock slingers never get lucky.
write in public
when you write and publish your ideas and insights, you cast a web of magnets out into the world.
those ideas and insights will attract some people to you — and luckily repel others.
as your web grows, the connections — and luck — compound accordingly.
no qualifications or requirements to get started — just “do it” #energy.
talk to strangers
have you heard of “don't talk to strangers” as a child? this residue carries into adulthood for far too many people. look at the elderly (not just old people). they talk to everyone!
new relationships spark new ideas, insights, and opportunities — these compound just as well as any financial investment.
broad network = broad luck.
see no strangers; only friends you haven't yet met.
send cold emails
cold emails can give you the biggest breaks in modern life — new mentors, relationships, and career opportunities.
even if you get no response or bad response, you can still take a huge advantage of that feedback information. and keep shooting.
schedule free time
some people still hate having free time, permeating one of the greatest lies ever told.
in investing, cash calls options on future investments. in life, free time calls options on future opportunities.
free time gives the headspace to pursue new ideas and go down rabbit holes.
plan for it if needed. get plenty of it. when in doubt, it means we need more.
ruthlessly eliminate negativity
lots of the ideas here got reiterated with different words, for enforcement.
everyone has a few negative agents in their circle. they tell you to be realistic. they laugh at your ambition. they argue.
eliminate this negativity from your life. call it boat anchor, a major black hole, and cut the damn line and run away from it as fast as you can!
and pay attention when other people do it to you, as to monitor your own negativity scale.
embrace the unexpected
we all should spend our life saying yes to almost everything.
saying yes puts us into uncomfortable situations that lead to new relationships, opportunities, and growth.
unexpected moments bring richness of luck. embracing them to capitalize.
bias for motion make good things happen. it creates more random collisions in the ecosystems, like chaos theory. #harmonicchaos
just a bit of hustle goes a long way.
find luck through persistence, hard work, hustle, and motion, such as when running around creating opportunities. generate a lot of energy, do a lot to stir things up. almost like mixing a petri dish or mixing a bunch of reagents and seeing what combines. all this generates enough force, hustle, and energy for luck to find its way. (adapted from naval)
trust the free time test
the smartest people do on their free time what everyone else will do during their busy time in a life time.
observe the weekend projects of the smartest people in your circles. these passion projects are disproportionately likely to offer a looking glass into the future.
make asymmetric bets on these areas.
create value without expectations (a.k.a. unconditional love)
the best things in life come to those who create value with no expectation of a return.
when we put out good energy, it tends to come back — often multiplied.
create genuine value. good things will happen.
put skin in the game
once 3 smart friends talk about something, put some skin in the game with a bit of money.
establish simple investment rules to make it easy to invest.
sometimes, learn more and fold; other times learn more and double down. these small bets bring outsized returns.
get out & engage
nobody gets lucky watching flicks at home on the couch.
only by engaging with people, interacting, and learning.
spend more time engaging and you will find more positions to get lucky.
become an expert
exceptional people get luck knocking at their doors for centuries.
the expertise becomes a magnet for brand new, unique, and interesting opportunities.
public expertise awareness: share your work to widen the reach of your magnet.
normalize boredom. the most creative moments come during periods of boredom.
on a walk, in the shower, at a lone dinner, etc. get bored, let the mind wander, and the thoughts mingle. bam! insight strikes.
boredom creates luck. go for more walks (sans technology), go for more drives, sit quietly and think. and never regret it.
spend time in digital communities
we no longer need to live in a big city or have a fancy degree to connect and build valuable relationships.
the opportunity playing field will always be leveling out more and more. #entropy
join a fediverse, engage in good faith. create value, receive value.
ask great cold questions
when you meet new people, find ways to stand out:
what excite you the most in life?
can you tell me a cool story by heart?
i know almost nothing about your field of expertise. please, tell me more?
get the other person talking. they will remember you for future opportunities.
follow your curiosity
astonishing curiosity hallmarks humans. but somewhere along the growing up way, we may learn to stop asking questions.
learn to follow the chaotic nature of curiosity — trust it. curiosity drives we all to knock down doors and enter new rooms.
fortune favors the curious.