Raw Luck - Does it Exist?
Is there such a thing as "raw luck," as in being
born lucky? A purchaser of my book, "Secrets of Lucky People,"
e-mailed me to ask just that. Here is his letter to me and my
I have just purchased your book "Secrets of Lucky
People." I have only started to read it, but I would like
to ask if you know of any research about whether there is such
a thing as Luck. I do not mean "success in life," as
you probably write about in your book. What I mean is "raw
luck". I intend to read your book in the next few days,
but I believe it handles another aspect of what people call Luck,
that is, what to do in order to succeed in life, or to increase
your odds. This involves doing something to improve your luck,
but I believe that each person possesses a certain level of Raw
Luck which he/she is born with.
Raw Luck? - My Answer
Yes, my book is about a cause-and-effect understanding of
luck - what you can do to increase the odds of success. There
is certainly a lot of random chance in life as well, and so some
people will have more "luck" of this sort without any
reason that we can point to. I was watching the most recent Winter
Olympics and it occurred to me that once the first skaters had
finished and done very well, how they placed was entirely out
of their hands. Skill got them to a certain level, but at that
point a great performance, or a mistake, or one of the best skaters
getting ill and so not competing - these things could determine
whether a competitor got gold, silver, bronze or no medal.
Some people have more instances where these random factors
line up for them, but that can be likened to roulette wheels.
Some have more red numbers come up or more long repetitions of
the same number. In both cases, though, probabilities allow for
such unusual cases (if you flip a coin a thousand times it will
normally come up heads seven-times-in-a-row at some point), so
I'm not sure there is anything to study or to prove about this.
A man might win contests, or make money playing poker even without
skill, and have luck of this sort for years, and then get hit
by a car one day. I'm not sure that there is anything that causes
such good fortune, or that prevents it from ending just as unexpectedly
as in that example - other than pure random chance.
By contrast, and getting back to what my book addresses, getting
a lucky break in Hollywood - as much as random chance plays a
role - is more likely if you move there, if you get to know the
right people, and do the work necessary.
There are people who seem to have more "raw luck"
as you put it, but then if a coin can normally come up the same
way seven times in a row, some people can appear to have something
else going on for them, even if it is just random and may end
Interesting question in any case. Thanks for the email.
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