How to look at luck

Success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one's own actions.

It is what Google spits out front-page if you search for the work luck.

We have been taught that luck is something fortuitous that happens unpredictably. Something that we have no control over. Yet something that when taken advantage of to the fullest, becomes so powerful that it can be anything from the bedrock of a loving family to the reason why social or political hierarchies get overturned.

Luck seems ephemeral, and only a blessed few are touched by it. Fewer still know what to do, then or in the aftermath.

But if we do a bit of reading, we will discover that there is more than one type of luck. And that they can also be influenced to various degrees.

Luck is unintentional, it is capricious, but we mustn't conclude that it is immune to human interventions.

The book Chase, Chance, and Creativity by dr. James Austin sets out to shed some light on the role of chance, luck, serendipity, or any creative endeavor and open doors hiding different visions of all these topics.

We can observe chance arriving in four major forms and for four different reasons. The principles involved affect everyone.

They were named Chance I - IV.

First off there is luck that occurs accidentally. Pure, blind luck. For which we do absolutely nothing. No effort. That is Chance I.

Then, motion is added. Because it is only when we "stir up the pot" that things have a higher chance of happening.

Keep on going and chances are you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I have never heard of anyone stumbling on something sitting down. (Charles Kettering)

Waste motion should be avoided, but the culprit is that we cannot always tell the difference from the start. Thus a process of trial and error must occur before we can truly separate fruitful action from time wasters.

Unluck runs out if you keep stirring up things so that random elements can combine, by virtue of you and their inherent affinities.

That is Chance II.

Personal and professional skills come into play next. Because as we slowly climb down the ladder of accidental happenings, we encounter luck that is not visible to everyone.

Chance presents only a faint clue, the potential opportunity exists, but it will be overlooked except by that one person uniquely equipped to observe it, visualize it conceptually, and fully grasp its significance.

It is only if we know how to observe, that we will also be able to exploit. It is the realm of experienced traders or thoughtful VCs, who know how to spot build on opportunities.

Chance favours the prepared mind. (Louis Pasteur)

That is Chance III.

The last type of luck is about becoming.

Chance IV is the kind of luck that develops during a probing action which has a distinctive personal flavor. [...] Chance IV comes to you, unsought, because of who you are and how you behave.

It is the ultimate goal. To become the type of person/business that attracts luck. By mere virtue of reputation, opportunities come to you. You are exempted from chasing luck, yet this comfort only comes after a long journey of character building.

Chance IV is so personal, it is not easily understood by someone else the first time around.

It is the realm of known individuals (Warren Buffet, Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, etc.) or established companies (Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, etc.). This type of luck involves a kind of discrete behavioral performance-focused in a highly specific manner over the course of many years. It is ultimately, what the "brand" (personal or company) is based on.

There is more to luck that just pure accident. There is something deeper to it than randomness. Do not believe things are completely out of your control.

If you want to make chance slightly more predictable, start with having a bias towards action. Stay in motion, stir up the pot. Work on your skills, develop your curiosity. Seek to learn and improve yourself. Pay special attention to critical thinking and synthesis skills. And do all these while adding your personal touch and creating your brand.

The ultimate goal is to become. Luck will soon follow.

Escape competition through authenticity. (Naval Ravikant)