Can You Learn to Be Lucky? Why Some People Seem to Win More Often Than Others by Karla Staff

8. You Had Me at Hello: The Lucky Art of Conquering the Impresonl Frontier

  • Just like a kid needs positive early interactions with caregivers, we all need positive interactions with people we meet. You need to be fundamentally motivated to get along. This requires you to not be shy and to not be endlessly self-promoting. Start by seeing everyone you meet as an equally complex individual. Show your passion and interest in the other individual. As you travel try to start up benign conversations with strangers. This will help develop your social skills. Remember, to have more lucky interactions you need to have lots of interactions.
  • Maintaining diverse connections exponentially grows your luck. Cultivate friends who don’t know each other. Be curious and interested in people you meet. Treasure your relationships and try to make a difference. Don’t expect “they” to solve “your” problems. Try optimism to avoid depression. Other people don’t spend much time thinking about you so don’t worry about it. And, finally, travel.

9. My Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades: The Luck-Enhancing Mindset of Embracing Your Inner Kanye West

  • It’s a good idea to overestimate what you can control and to believe that you can handle anything. Sensing a purpose in life, feeling social support, and experiencing positive emotions help you avoid stress. You need to believe in something. For some people, this can be religious faith. For others, it can be faith in themselves. Being overly critical of yourself just increases stress. If you reveal your passion and your goals to others you are much more likely to follow through. Enthusiasm generates charisma. Success is never accidental.

10. Yes, and: Curiosity, Flexibility, Open-Mindedness, and the Law of Increasing the Surface Area of Your Luck

  • Exposing yourself to a rich variety of experiences will make you smarter and luckier just as taking an interest in learning will produce better grades and outcomes. Curious people will expose themselves to new experiences. Be sure to engage with what you don’t know. Don’t passively accept the status quo. (Doug: Try to be bad at taking no for an answer.) Be willing to change course when things aren’t working. (the sunk cost fallacy) Go to conferences and places where things are happening. Don’t let age get in your way. (Doug: I started this blog when I was 62.) Finally, stay curious, stay hungry, and stay humble.

Karla Starr

  • Karla has written for O, The Opera Magazine, The Atlantic, Slate, and Popular Science. She has appeared on CBS Sunday Morning. She is a member of the National Association of Science Writers and the recipient of a Best Science/Health award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Her most recent book co-authored with Dan Heath is Making Numbers Count: The Art and Science of Communicating Numbers. Here is my summary of that fine book. She lives in Portland, Oregon and her website is KStarr.Com.
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