Stoic Street Smarts

Getting rid of bad luck for a better life

Published 4 months ago • 4 min read

Summary and updates

In this issue of the Stoic Street Smarts Chronicle, I discuss the nature of luck, how to get more of the good kind, and most often overlooked, how to get less of the bad kind.

I've also opened up my Stoic Book Notes Club. It's a hybrid of a book club and book summaries. In the Stoic Book Notes Club, I've archived the complete notes for the books I've read and will continually update the notes I take on the current read (Power vs Force by David R. Hawkins).

The books I'm reading all fit around the theme of the content: managing risk, developing relationships, and facing reality. While I'm not opposed to reading the newest best sellers and popular favorites, you're unlikely to see notes for those types of books there. It doesn't matter to me if it doesn't serve my interests.

I'll occasionally send free snippets of the notes and discussions in the group. To make sure you aren't bombarded with emails, I'll only send them to people who are signed up or have shown interest in signing up by clicking here.

Today's sponsor

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Getting rid of bad luck for a better life

Luck plays a significant role in the life of any successful person.

Hard work is essential, but a little good fortune goes a long way in being successful.

Everyone's gotten a lucky break or two, but people don’t like to admit this for two big reasons:

  1. People believe it takes away from the effort they put in. After all, even people who are OBVIOUSLY lucky don't like to hear that's why they have a good life. If you reduce all success to being in the "right place at the right time," how are you supposed to teach someone how to be successful seriously?
  2. They severely misunderstand what luck is. Most think it's picking the correct numbers or winning the "genetic lottery." These things help you excel, but they don't really matter

Dealing with the first misunderstanding is a natural result of dealing with the second.

Before I define luck, let me warn you: it will probably differ from whatever’s in Webster’s dictionary. If you’re satisfied with your level of luck, read theirs instead.

Ed Latimore’s Definition Of Luck: Let “n” be an intended or predicted outcome. Let k be any events that occur because of “n.” The unintended n+k order of effects of an action is luck.

We aim to increase the amount of good luck and decrease the bad we experience. To accomplish this task, we must first understand the difference between the two.

You benefit from good luck and suffer because of bad. This statement might seem obvious, but notice how it compares to my earlier definition of luck. When speaking of luck, without a modifying adjective, it's an impersonal observation of how the world works. Things happen and as a result of those intended things, other unintended things happen, the sum of which is luck.

When we start talking about “good” and “bad” luck, it becomes a personal experience. Because of the personal nature of good/luck, three factors about every person determine whether an unintended event is a case of good or bad luck.

  1. Position: For some industries, artificial intelligence is a boon. For others, it spells the end of their livelihood. A company merger simultaneously deems some positions worthless and others so significant that they're paid more.
  2. Preparation: When artificial intelligence of the company merger takes your job, a decent amount of savings prevents worry. Furthermore, it allows you to take your time to find a better opportunity or develop skills to do something else. If you were living paycheck-to-paycheck, this is an awful stroke of luck that will put you into an uncomfortable situation.
  3. Perspective: Your position and preparation will influence your perspective on the events. Your perspective is influenced by other factors, such as timing and your general disposition (pessimistic vs. optimistic).

This idea gives a glimpse into what it takes to have more good luck in our lives, but first, let's talk about decreasing bad luck. We must discuss how to stop being unlucky because filling a bucket is easier once you patch up the leaks. In other words, it doesn't matter how fortunate you are if misfortune wipes it out.

Social media round-up

  • On YouTube, I talk about why you need to bet on yourself and how to do it.
  • On Twitter, I reminded people that they are not even close to reaching their full potential.

Cool things I read this week

  • Don't be too smart to borrow what works: This short essay by Thomas Waschenfelder highlights the ego problem that many people have (myself included) that keeps them from becoming wildly successful. My favorite line: "If it works, it works. Don't let pride in your ideas being right get in the way of what could make you money."
  • The Testosterone Solution: This is a free e-book that I checked out because I manage to keep fairly high T-levels (Total: 878 ng/dL, Free: 155 pg/mL), and I wanted to see if there was anything I was missing. I saw a guy I follow on Twitter (Ethan Buck) had this guide, so I checked it out. This is basically the lifestyle I follow, though my sleep is been jacked this past year with the baby. Other than that, for any guys looking to avoid TRT, this can help.
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