Ever hear about those people that just seem to have all the luck? Everything they do just seems to work, as if they’ve been blessed by Lady Luck. What if there was a process to engineer luck? If that interests you then read on as we do a deep dive in this TGA core concept article to unpack what it means to engineer luck and how maybe you can start to engineer your own as well.
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Can we engineer luck? Yes, we believe so. Part of this comes from perspective, the other is receptivity and engineering upside (removing downside). When this is done repeatedly the opportunities that arise tend to be more favorable (“lucky”).
As you go through this training keep in mind that we are talking about risks and probabilities not certainties and absolutes. Our crystal ball is broken. We don’t know what will happen exactly and at what time. When we can accept that there is no crystal ball we can then start to bias risks and probabilities over certainties and absolutes (think back to the Adaptive Dilemma: Scientific V Dogmatic). If you want a refresher on that you can read that here.
Underpinnings Of Engineering Luck
It would be beneficial to go back over the articles and videos if you are not clear on these concepts before moving forward.
What Are The Chances?!
Have you ever been on vacation, traveling, or just in a random location and you end up running into someone that you know that you would’ve never expected?
“What are the chances?”
This might be true, but we have actually retroactively fitted the probability to the circumstance.
It’s not unlikely that you run into somebody that you don’t expect to run into somewhere.
“John what are you doing in Hawaii?”
The probability of this might be low, but low probability things happen all the time. When it happens to us and we end up “naming” the situation, now it becomes improbable.
John in Hawaii, the same time and place as me.
The details drive down the probability.
“Lucky” Enough To Win The Lotto…Twice
Evelyn Adams won the New Jersey lotto twice, in 1985 and 1986. What are the chances of this woman winning twice? The probability of her winning the lotto twice in a lifetime and 1 year after the next was said to be 1 in 17 trillion. Another group decided to do a different study to look at it a different way.
They asked the question what are the chances that someone, somewhere, at sometime gets this lucky? 1:30 was the probability they came to.
Eventually someone, somewhere, sometime was going to get that lucky.
Once this event happened it was “named’, it was this person, she won in this way, at this place, and at this time, now it became astronomically improbable.
If you want to engineer luck (good things happen) and you decide that the ONLY thing that would be good is if you met this random person at this place, at this time and date, the probability of that happening is going to be stacked against you. If you widen it out and be less dogmatic about the approach…
“I’d be very lucky and happy if I met someone, somewhere that I didn’t expect to see”, the probability would increase.
More specificity about exactly what needs to happen so that you can be happy (dogmatic) drives down the probability of something that is favorable or good luck happening randomly.
Lessons From Evelyn Adams To Apply Broadly Toward Engineering Luck
- Stay in the game and do “stuff” (for things to just happen allowing time and randomness to be on your side).
- Don’t get rigid/dogmatic.
- Receptivity (you can’t be see new paths or meet people if you aren’t actually even open to doing so).
Two Undefeated Players In History
You can either choose to have these two be on your team or go against them. Your call, but historically speaking, the odds are not going to be in your favor going against them.
Time has always passed. Fighting the clock drives your receptivity down and your time frame in which something positively unexpected could happen.
Randomness has always happened, nothing ever happens exactly as you plan to the T, there’s always something to not be able to account for. Having randomness on your side is what we call “good luck”.
Remember System Reliability?
How do we increase good luck? You remove negatives or at least turn them into neutral (0), find the neutrals and get them up a tiny bit (more than 0).
Solvable Problem™ As A Base
Having a Solvable Problem™ is going to be the most important part in engineering luck. It will help to inform us of the decisions we should or should not make to get us closer to what we have decided is important to us.
If you don’t know what you want to achieve that will make you happy… How will you know when you get “lucky”?
One of the components of the Solvable Problem™ is time. Are you okay with a longer time preference? This doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll take longer, it just takes the pressure off from having to push on the gas all the time and taking more risk. By having less of that pressure you might be able to relax a bit which may lead you to be more receptive to a path forward to achieving it faster.
Using Solvable Problem™ As A Base And CCA Principle To Engineer Luck
- Least amount of effort.
- Least amount of risk.
- Most amount of options.
Compound effect (in both directions).
This is what can lead to “good luck”. After you’ve outlined your Solvable Problem™ (your destination) you would want to choose the path of least amount of effort, risk, and have the most amount of options.
Would this scenario be appealing to you? You plug in your destination to google maps and it has you take 5 hours and the only option available was by boat through shark infested waters with potential for tsunamis.
- Most amount of effort.
- Most amount of risk.
- Least amount of options.
This will most likely lead you to a path of “bad luck”.
Compare this with same destination but now instead of by boat you have another option of driving which meant it would only take you 1 hour with no traffic and 5 different routes you could potentially take.
By taking the path with the least amount of effort, it creates the most amount of space which allows for rest, relaxation, rejuvenation, and the ability to see something that may reveal itself. By conserving that energy and when a better path shows up, you have the resources to capitalize on it.
“Oh! How lucky you are!”
When you take more risk you have less options. Taking LESS risk is important because this is what will allow you to abide by the number one lesson from Evelyn Adams “stay in the game”.
You can engineer your way out of bad luck
Key Word In The Champion’s Vocabulary
This will be why most people despite understanding everything that was covered today will still struggle.
“I need to do more with my time and feel productive.”
Champions don’t do things for the sake of just doing more. They use tools to measure and then determine what the best and most efficient path to getting them there would be. Restrain yourself from the impulsive behaviors that come with being human, if you’re on track you don’t need to push harder.
6WU- Wisdom Comes From Multiple Perspectives
Share your take aways in six words in the thread below, then read through what others have wrote and see what wisdom you can takeaway from their thoughts.