Is Luck Even a Thing?

The concept of luck is ephemeral and pretty controversial as it usually sparks philosophical and religious discussions. There are distinctive views on whether we live our predetermined destiny with this journey called life or if we choose our fate with every decision we make. While I don’t think there is an objective answer to this question with what we see everyday, it often makes us wonder if successful people simply got lucky.

There are a lot of business books about success out there in the market that tackle the importance of failures. More specifically, they praise the idea that failures are absolutely necessary for success and that you should fail often and never give up if you want to be successful. While I think this is true, have you ever wondered why is this?

Looking into nature and the way life evolves, especially with all the genetic mutations and natural selection that got us humans here, you see patterns. It seems like life is a complex combination of probabilities and factors in the form of events that happen over time and are the consequence in repeating results. Life appears to be a manifesto of trial and error that eventually results in perfection.

I think success is no different. On its fundamental level, success is not defined as a formula but rather a collection of factors that you need to get right. If that is true, then enough attempts with different combinations of the equation should get us there. That is how I think we should look at luck as a concept. It is not that you either get lucky or you don’t. The truth is that you get lucky with enough attempts.

In reality, it seems like there is no silver bullet or secret recipe for success. All it takes is being patient and making educated moves in consistency. That is, to make enough broken things until one ends up working. This is exactly why failing and not giving up matters because it is the combination you need to get it right at least once.

I love this quote from Mark Cuban on the topic, “It doesn’t matter how many times you fail. You only have to be right once and then everyone can tell you that you are an overnight success.

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