Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

If April is the cruelest month then March is the luckiest, thanks to the Irish.  People extol the virtues of luck, and being lucky, as if it is some magical quality that you have no control over. But let’s take a closer look at luck.

  • Are you the lucky type that always gets the parking space right next to the store?
  • Are you “lucky in love?”
  • Do you produce lucky streaks at the craps table in Vegas because you are on a roll?
  • Do things always seem to go your way?

If so, or if you know someone like this, we need to talk.

There is another way to describe this type of luck, its called random chance.

I’ll bet that if you add up all the times you were looking for that perfect parking space but had to settle for one a little farther back you’d see that, statistically speaking, you are probably about average in getting the prime spot.  Plus, the higher and faster the turnover rate, the more likely you are to find an open spot up front.

And no previous roll of the dice affects the probabilities on the current roll; it doesn’t change them or make them more likely than they already are. That streak is just a statistical hiccup that eventually averages out in the long run.

Sorry to burst your lucky bubble. However…I do have Good News!

You CAN affect how lucky you are.

“The harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.”

–Thomas Jefferson

Once you see the connection between luck and probability, you now have the key to being as lucky as you want. Let’s define luck as a good event, lucky meaning having GOOD LUCK.  Let’s also say that a lucky outcome definitely happens once every ten times, so 10% of the time:

Try 1 time, you have a 10% chance of a lucky event.

(people would see you as not very lucky)

Try 10 times, you are guaranteed a lucky event.

(people would say you got lucky)

Try 100 times, you are guaranteed 10 lucky events.

(people would say you are a Lucky Person!)

So how do you control your luck?

Luck Secret #1: Try More

By the one thing you can directly control — how many times you attempt something. The more you attempt, the greater the likelihood of a lucky event popping up.  This is called The Law of Large Numbers. Babe Ruth hit lots of home runs…but he also struck out more than any other hitter of his day. What do we remember, the home runs or the strike outs?

Luck Secret #2: Try Longer

We have a saying, Black Belts are just White Belts Who Didn’t Quit but no one would consider Black Belts lucky.  We all know earning a Black Belt takes hard work, but take note of this luck secret: the longer you are in the game the better chance you have of being in a position to win. Good events sometimes need time to find you.

Luck Secret #3: Be Somewhere

I know people whose lives consist of the same routine.  They wake up, go to work, come home and watch TV.  And repeat daily.  The narrow scope of their routine only allows for a limited possibility of experience.  There’s little chance of a Lucky Event happening without changing their routine and getting out in the world, doing different things, meeting new people and going to different places.

Luck Secret #4: Be Prepared

“Luck is when Opportunity Meets Preparation”

Be prepared to take advantage of lucky opportunities as they arise.  I’m sure you have many opportunities knock on your door but you are not in a position to profit from them. If you are looking for a great deal on a new home, NOW is the time because people are walking away from their homes and everything is on sale. If you are prepared, you can tell everyone you found a lucky deal.

If you want to increase your luck remember that L.U.C.K. stands for Laboring Under Correct Knowledge.

One final story about luck:

A man asks God to win the lottery.  (now there’s a truly lucky event).

Each week when he doesn’t win he asks, “God, why won’t you help me?”

To which God replies,”At least you have to buy a lottery ticket.”