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4 LUCK - 4 types of Luck and 4 skills to increase luck.

“Luck is what, when preparation meets opportunity.” - Seneca

In my early age, I had a tendency to observe successful individuals and measure their success based on their luck, without giving due considerations to other key factors such as knowledge, efforts, parent support, or location.

It influenced me so much that I also took decisions based and decided to follow path of those individuals and was quite successful in getting grades and nice corporate job.

But I was wrong!!!

Almost 10 years ago, I came to read maxim (above) from Seneca which change my thinking.

  • From: I was lucky because certain events occurred in the sequence as per my plan.

  • To: I was doing hard work compared to others who became complacent due to lack of interest, distraction, and unavailability of resources etc.


Luck is an interesting idea.

There is truly uncontrolled luck which is pure and raw.

Where you were born, who you were born with, and the events in your life all have that kind of luck.

But when we move beyond the baseline luck, the idea of ​​luck turns into something more complex and ambiguous.

Much of what we call "luck" is the macro result of over 1,000 micro-actions. Your daily habits put you in a position where "luck" is more likely to strike.

To be lucky, you must avoid anti-luck factors from destiny by taking increasing actions to expand personal luck.

“Luck has nothing to do with it, because I have spent many, many hours, countless hours, on the court working for my one moment in time, not knowing when it would come.” - Serena Williams

“Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

So, in a nutshell, LUCK is:

• Significant number of tiny actions in the right direction - Preparation.

• An alignment becomes visible when requirements exactly match those tiny actions - Opportunity.

In simple terms, we have to tap these components to become Lucky in this world:

• Preparation

৹ WORK (Experience, Job, Business)

৹ SKILLS (Knowledge, Education, Trait)

• Opportunity

৹ TIME (Knock right door at right time)

৹ MEDIUM (Right Tool, Location, Sufficient Finance)


Please remember there are still some exceptions to this rule.

As per the book "The Unfair Advantage" there are other factors that played a vital role in improving chances of opportunity, and which are generally considered as luck factors in common language called (MILES).

  • Money + Mindset

  • Intellect + Insight

  • Location

  • Education

  • Social Status


This luck study is mind-blowing.

In 2003, Dr. Richard Wiseman conducted simple experiments to discover why some people frequently have good luck while others are always unlucky.

He published ads inviting participants to join a study on luck, specifically seeking people who identified as either very lucky or very unlucky.

During an experiment, participants were given a newspaper and instructed to count the number of photos inside.

The average time it took for the unlucky group to finish was 2 minutes, while the lucky group only needed seconds.

Why the big difference?

The second page of the newspaper had a large, bold message that read: “Stop counting, there are 43 photos in this newspaper.”

The lucky individuals saw the message, stopped their counting, and responded accordingly, which ended the timer.

The unlucky individuals took longer to count because they missed or doubted it.

This common theme emerged throughout the research, with lucky individuals encountering “chance” opportunities due to their daily behaviors, habits, and actions, while unlucky individuals tended to overlook them.

Despite equal access for both groups, the lucky group noticed what the unlucky group did not.

This refers to a concept I used to call “luck surface area”.

It means that we each have a certain area where lucky events can happen.

Some things are out of our control, like where and to whom we are born and acts of nature.

But we can control the size of our luck surface area.

Dr. Wiseman’s study shows that lucky people understand this.

  • They often took different routes to and from work to meet new people and see new things.

  • They bounced back from negative encounters and remained positive towards the future.

  • They discussed distinctive approaches for conversing with varied groups of people at parties.

The luckiest people have created a vast surface of opportunity.

Increase yours in two ways:

1. Add Pro-Luck: 

Doing things and meeting new people can increase your luck.

Add Pro-Luck: Doing things and meeting new people can increase your luck.

Talking about your ideas publicly and sending messages to people you don’t know well are some ways to increase your luck.

People who encourage you to dream big can also help you.

2. Remove Anti-Luck: 

Actions, behaviors, and people that reduce your luck are considered anti-luck.

Pessimism and “blinders” are two common sources of anti-luck.

People who tell you to be realistic are another common source.

So, Expand your luck surface area to create your own luck.


Dr. James Austin, a neurologist, wrote a book titled "Chase, Chance & Creativity: The Lucky Art of Novelty" in 1978. He proposed four categories of luck:

(1) Blind Luck (Accidental) - You cannot force it. (Example: Inherited wealth, Parents, nationality, genes and unexpected disasters)

(2) Luck from Movement (Active) - Keep doing until you stumble on something (Example: Acquire Skills, Trying, Hustle, Right course etc.)

(3) Luck from Knowledge (Prepared) - Explore trends and exploit opportunity (Example: Figuring out how things work, use google search, follow right people)

(4) Luck from Originality (Magnetic/Personality) - Develop your style and behave distinctively. (Example Combining skills, become Polymath)


All those luck factors can be improved by doing 4 super meta-skills:


“The ultimate unfair advantage is curiosity.” - Justin Mikolay


“Reading is the ultimate meta-skill that can be traded for anything else.” - Naval Ravikant


“You don't learn to walk by following Rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.” - Richard Branson

Lines showing how to increase luck surface by iterating.
Increasing the luck surface by iterating.


“The rarest of all human qualities is consistency.” - Jeremy Bentham

So, stop complaining, start reading, stay curious and keep doing to learn and be consistent.


1. Be the Dumbest in Room

If you can choose between going into two rooms, choose the one in which you will be the dumbest person in the room.

After you enter the room, talk less, listen more.

Not good for yourself but good for luck. Good things will happen in these rooms.

2. Add skin in the game

I have a rule: when I want to learn something new, I spent extra time on reading and learn by doing to have a clarity. The skin in the game forced me to dive deeper.

I recommend this to give a try. Establish your rule at whatever acceptable level of experimentation you’re comfortable with.

These are small bets with outsized returns.

3. Hang out with the Optimists

Pessimists seem smart, optimists get rich.

When choosing who to spend time with, spend time with optimists first.

Pessimists see the door closed. Optimists see doors open and can kick them shut.

A bad person is a “energy vampire” that must be removed from your life in order to be lucky. They tell you to be realistic.

They criticized your ambition and kept arguing.

4. Talk to Strangers

"Don’t talk to Strangers" is a classic we were told as children, and for many the rest of it carries over into adulthood.

New relationships lead to new ideas, insights and opportunities; they get compounded as financial investments.

Wide Network = Wide Luck.

"There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven't yet met." - William Butler Yeats

5. Hustle Hard

Good things happen when you love to take action.

You create more chaos in your ecosystem - it's like chaos theory.

A bit hustle goes a long way.

“There’s luck through persistence, hard work, hustle, and motion. This is when you’re running around creating opportunities. You’re generating a lot of energy, you’re doing a lot to stir things up. It’s almost like mixing a petri dish or mixing a bunch of reagents and seeing what combines. You’re just generating enough force, hustle, and energy for luck to find you.” - Naval Ravikant

6. Free Time

The idea that free time is bad is one of the biggest lies you will ever be told.

In investing, it is often said that cash is a call option for interesting investments of the future.

In life, I believe free time is a call to seek interesting opportunities in the future.

When you have free time, you have plenty of room to come up with new ideas and explore the rabbit hole.

Always plan more of it.

7. Ask Great Questions

Find ways to stand out when you meet new people.

Asking good questions is a sure-fire way.

A few of my favourites:

• What is the most exciting thing you are doing right now? • What is your favourite book that you have read recently? • I don't know more about your field of expertise. Can you tell me more about this? This will get other people talking and they will remember you in the future.

8. Creative Boredom

We should normalize boredom.

Some of the most creative moments come when you're bored. Solo walk, shower, dinner by yourself.

You are bored, your mind is always wandering, and your thoughts are mixed with each other.

Boom! Notion Strikes.

Boredom creates luck.

Walk more (without technology), drive more, sit quietly and think.

You will not regret it.

9. Become an Expert

If you are good at something, luck will find you.

Your skills can attract new opportunities you've never heard of before.

Public awareness of your expertise is a plus.

Share your work to increase your reach.

10. Enter the Arena

The arena is where luck happens; there is no luck on the sidelines.

The only route that yields true fruit is vulnerable and lonely.

When presented with two options, choose the road that places you in the arena, where collisions occur, and where luck strikes.

Additionally, surround yourself with those who are also competing. Rock slingers on the sidelines never have luck.

Thanks for reading…


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