I've grudgingly come to admit that there's some luck in the world. A belief that luck doesn't exist is useful for getting a lot and developing a sense of internal control over one's life, but okay, there's random variables that hit.
A new definition of luck, then, is something like --
Luck: The outcome of variables outside of your control.
To reduce luck's impact on your life, you've got three options:
1. Increase your influence/control over events in your life.
2. Decrease the variables that matter to your end goal.
3. Or make outcomes less contingent on variables.
Of course, you can expose yourself to high-upside low-downside events, which will sometimes yield big positive results... while reducing luck's hold on you in the core areas.
Ha! Sebastian, I feel like sympathetically patting your hand for your grudging allowance of the existence of factors outside your control. You know, while simultaneously giving you a hard time about it.
One of the best ways I know to handle luck is to emulate the Taoist farmer-- good luck, bad luck, who can say? You can only control your reaction to the upset.
I hear people talk about luck a lot. Straightup - luck doesn't exist.
If you believe in luck, then you believe either: (1) some people consistently defy probability, or, (2) some things aren't a result of cause and effect.
Life is a series of probability. Every day, there's a chance that a given set of things will happen. If you want to have a successful life, expose yourself to as much high-upside low-downside probability as you can. Any given thing you do might not work out, but if you expose yourself to high-upside low-downside, good things will happen. Read books, reach out to people, try to get projects working, keep trying to write and build things, keep learning new skills, keep treating people well.
If you want to fail at life, expose yourself to high-downside no-upside probability. This is short term gain at long term expense type stuff. Cigarettes. Unsecured debt for consumption. Most TV.
You'll keep getting "lucky" if you keep exposing yourself to things with upside and limited downside. If you get an amazing job or contract that you had a 1 in 1,000 chance of getting, were you lucky? No, especially not if you applied and pitched 1,000 other places. If you say, "Ok, I'm going to keep trying to get what I want until I do" you'll get it, as long as it's a positive sum game you're playing.
I'm going to start this off with some posts ripped straight from my facebook, because they're from the time when I really noticed the ball starting to roll faster. I started having personal epiphanies on a much more regular basis, and just spewing whatever caught me onto my facebook to have it stored somewhere, and to share it with friends. So, without further ado (super incoherent, by the way):
There's a big difference between living in the moment and living lost in the moment, I think.
In the former, your will is at the forefront, giving direct attention to the world around you and the state that it puts you in. When living in the moment, it becomes easy to lose all concepts of time, ironically, and see past the illusion of continuity, into the infinite. Being truly present gives the ability to become truly absent--you become a peaceful observer.
In the latter, your will has been subverted by the sympathetic nervous system, and you exist as a swirling vortex of discord. You live moment to moment, much as you live paycheck to paycheck, your eyes looking to a murky future you can never reach, and your feet stumbling blindly across the ground beneath you now. You will never see the ground, not even as you die--"Where will I go in six seconds, when my heart stops?" Be still. You will never know what the present means, even though it is the whole of existence. We are given this life, this moment, for a reason.
To look to the future does have value, but that value is often lost on us. You cannot control life. Life is a coursing river, and you are a struggling fly stuck on the surface. The variables shaping each new moment border on the infinite. The value of looking forward is in preparedness, not in planning. Your control is over yourself, your responses; not the moment around you.