Engineering Luck: Can We Create Our Luck?
I was recently asked the question “How can I ensure that I am in the right place at the right time?” by a friend.
The question was an offshoot of the tweet below:
Immediately after the question, I asked myself have I been lucky? If yes, did I do anything to influence that?
As soon as I asked that, a couple of things came to mind.
- Mama gave her all to give me education: She did hard things
- I failed a lot at many adventures but the few I succeeded at are life-changing: I experimented at scale
- I made an attempt to go for things that interests me: I tried things out
It was these three things that I realized might have contributed to the lucks that I have.
Upon realising that, I answered my friend accordingly, detailing what I believe one can do to increase their chances of being at the right place at the right time.
The following was my response:
This question puzzled me for a while as an individual as well.
I observed that randomness above all things determines a lot about the world in which we live in. And because I believe the Bible and the Bible made claim to the effect of randomness as well (the race is not for the swift but unto whom mercy is shown), I knew from then on that I should take that seriously.
Upon that realization, I started paying attention to patterns.
Following are what I’ve not only learned but that I am actually doing.
Lady Luck favours the one who tries
Being at the right place at the right time I must tell you has a huge element of luck in it.
However, luck work in such a way that it tends to favour people who make attempts more.
A short story
I got my first job from social media. I did a couple of work to get it. Again and again, the question I’ve been asking myself has been what if I never did all I did then? Absolutely I won’t get the job.
Did what I did guarantee the luck? Sure No. I’ve seen others do it and nothing still to show for it. But I happened to just be there at the right time.
So you’ve got to do the work (all work) that brings luck closer to you.
That’s one of the ways I’ve learnt about how to be at the right place at the right time.
Experimentation at scale
Still learning from the first point.
You see, we are a bunch of clueless being. The best we know is yesterday, the average we know is today and about tomorrow, we know absolutely nothing in the realm of possibilities.
Owing to this, we need to experiment.
Experimentation is all about doing anything and all things that look interesting to you. It’s fine to fail at it and then you would move on to another thing.
Because in the grand scheme of things you don’t know what you would do that will offer you what you want out of life, your best bet is to do all things possible and let chance and time choose which one it will use to favour you.
If you don’t do, you won’t know if it can find you a thing.
My adventure into writing was all a product of experimentation even though I never know when I started. But in retrospect, it’s been one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. I’ve experimented on 100 more things and my success rate is probably less than 10% but the little % of success is just well enough to make up for other efforts.
Now think about it, what if I never experimented?
To close this, I should say to you that…
“Success is directly proportional to the number of experiments that you perform.”✓
Do hard things
Still taking a cue from the lessons from the earlier two points.
It’s an incredibly competitive world we live in and it is only by doing hard things that you seem to be able to beat all odds.
Hard and easy
- Reading is easy, writing is hard (that’s why more read, few write)
- Copying someone or some systems is easy, being authentic and or creating your own system is hard.
But this is what doing hard things does…
It offers you Options.
You see, option is what we all want. Unconsciously, it’s what we even optimise for. It is because you want option that makes you say this “I want to be financially strong so to the point that I can achieve other aims”.
The way to Option is to do hard things.
Paul Graham explained this point better than I could ever do. Link to his essay.
Please read that article. It’s a long one but my perspective change from the day I read it.
Those are the three things that I believe one can do to increase there chances of being at the right place at the right time.
- Lady luck favours the one who tries
- Experiment at scale
- Do hard things.
That is at least what I am doing and I can say it has worked for me so far and it will work more.
2 thoughts on “Engineering Luck: Can We Create Our Luck?”
On experimenting at scale, I spoke with a mentor of mine early last month about a financial literacy awareness programme I wanted to start for my friends who are mostly teens and young adults..
His reply was “Execute at the speed of thoughts and let the best move grow”
His reply has been living rent free in my head ever since and it also helped me in being productive.
Thank you for putting all these out David.. This would help me in creating more luck for myself henceforth.