Luck Is Uneven If You Look At It As An Event

Some people complain about their luck. “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I would have none.” Most people value predictability, so the intrusion of bad luck is a blemish on their plans. Good luck is accepted unconditionally and without thought.

Predictability is largely immune to luck.

The exception is the short run. Luck can influence it and people should prepare for that possibility. It is like the weather. It might rain on my picnic five days hence and there is little I can do to be sure it won’t.  I could choose a location that has a rain shelter if needed.

In the long run, luck plays no part.  The long run is contextual. I don’t know the weather next week, but I do know that July is likely to be hot and January likely to be cold. I have no clue about the stock market three weeks from now, but I am willing to believe that it will generally behave as it has for the past 100 years.

It takes big changes to alter the long term fundamentals of either the stock market or the weather. You should not let the short term fluctuations alter your plans unless what happens in the short run matters.

As for generating more good luck than bad there are guidelines:

Learn to manage bad outcomes. Not every idea works. Quit rather than nurse the weak ones. Learn from the mistake and carry on. If the goal is worthy find another technique.

Take more chances. If luck is random, then exposure to more situations works in your favour so long as you quit the things that don’t work. No one finds much luck while sitting in a chair behind locked doors.

Be more active. Most people have discovered that the harder they work, the luckier they get. The world does not conspire against you or anyone else. Good luck is usually the result of a carefully chosen and well-executed plan. As Kenny Rogers has said, “I was an overnight sensation after spending fourteen years on the road doing one-night stands.”

One factor in good luck making is shifting from short term to long term thinking. The long run is a series of connected short runs but the short runs don’t define the long run unless you participate in all of them. If you bought Coca-Cola at its IPO in 1919 for $40 and reinvested dividends since, it would be worth a little less than $10 million now. But, it has been volatile. For instance in 1920 you would have been able to retrieve just $20 of your $40. People who were in for the long term did not sell.  Some others did.

To be lucky you must be curious and forward thinking.  You must trust yourself and drop your mistakes. You must be disciplined and patient. Luck is not always an event. For many things in life, it is a process and you can manage processes.

The meeting of preparation with opportunity generates the offspring we call luck. – Anthony Robbins

Don Shaughnessy arranges life insurance for people who understand the value of a life insured estate. He can be reached at The Protectors Group, a large insurance, employee benefits, and investment agency in Peterborough, Ontario.  In previous careers, he has been a partner in a large international public accounting firm, CEO of a software start-up, a partner in an energy management system importer, and briefly in the restaurant business.

Please be in touch if I can help you.  866-285-7772

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