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Luck Doesn't Exist

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.

Luck? Fortune? Again, no.

Good comment/question by Jeff on "Luck Doesn't Exist" -


I’ve thought about this a good bit as well, and I think you and I have quite a few similar thoughts on this topic (and others based on your reply above about “Everything is my responsibility”).

I’m not sure I want to enter the fray here, because as you and others have tracked down, there are semantic blurs regarding “Luck”. One has to distinguish between the Magical Thinking version of luck and the other. I’d wager that those siding with the Magical Thinking version don’t really have a clear understanding of the factual world of mathematical probability.

More semantic blurring is evident when one considers the common casual usage of “lucky” without literally believing in the Magical Thinking definition. It is often used (you could argue incorrectly) as a simple expression of appreciation for one’s situation.

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