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March 13, 2019 Last updated: March 23, 2019

Podcast #490: Can You Learn to Be Lucky?

There’s no doubt that luck plays a role in how successful we are in life, but the more we believe in luck, the less motivated we feel to proactively go after our goals. How do we navigate this paradox around luck — acknowledging the influence of chance but not letting it demoralize us?

My guest today argues the answer lies in seeing life more like playing a game of poker than pulling the handle of a slot machine. Her name is Karla Starr and she’s the author of Can You Learn to Be Lucky? Why Some People Seem to Win More Often Than Others.

Today on the show Karla argues that no matter what hand you’re dealt in life, there are still many things you have control over that you can influence to make your own “luck.” We talk about how the things that come down to chance, like the timing of a job interview, how physically attractive you are, and whether you have more or less resilient genes can be influenced or counteracted by our own proactive behaviors so that more opportunities in life fall our way.

Show Highlights

  • What is luck?
  • So do we have more control than we think we do? How much of a factor is luck, really?
  • Are all cognitive biases bad? 
  • Why life is more like poker than a slot machine
  • How to influence fortuitous timing for your benefit
  • The power and importance of first impressions
  • Using the mere-exposure effect to your benefit 
  • The role of luck (and personality) in dating and relationships 
  • How physical attractiveness impacts your life (and how to make yourself more attractive no matter what you look like) 
  • Developing and increasing your confidence 
  • Why Olympic winners and successful entrepreneurs are often just lucky (and what Average Joes can replicate from their stories) 
  • The importance of finding the work you’re suited for
  • Why simply believing in luck can help you out 

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