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Can You Learn to Be Lucky?: Why Some People Seem to Win More Often Than Others

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"I don't know when I've been so wowed by a new author" -Chip Health, co-author of The Power of Moments and Switch A talented journalist reveals the hidden patterns behind what we call "luck" -- and shows us how we can all improve outcomes despite life's inevitable randomness. "Do you believe in luck?" is a polarizing question, one you might ask on a first date. Some of us b "I don't know when I've been so wowed by a new author" -Chip Health, co-author of The Power of Moments and Switch A talented journalist reveals the hidden patterns behind what we call "luck" -- and shows us how we can all improve outcomes despite life's inevitable randomness. "Do you believe in luck?" is a polarizing question, one you might ask on a first date. Some of us believe that we make our own luck. Others see inequality everywhere and think that everyone's fate is at the whim of the cosmos. Karla Starr has a third answer: unlucky, "random" outcomes have predictable effects on our behavior that often make us act in self-defeating ways without even realizing it. In this groundbreaking book, Starr traces wealth, health, and happiness back to subconscious neurological processes, blind cultural assumptions, and tiny details you're in the habit of overlooking. Each chapter reveals how we can cultivate personal strengths to overcome life's unlucky patterns. For instance: - Everyone has free access to that magic productivity app--motivation. The problem? It isn't evenly distributed. What lucky accidents of history explain patterns behind why certain groups of people are more motivated in some situations than others? - If you look like an underperforming employee, your resume can't override the gut-level assumptions that a potential boss will make from your LinkedIn photo. How can we make sure that someone's first impression is favorable? - Just as people use irrelevant traits to make assumptions about your intelligence, kindness, and trustworthiness, we also make inaccurate snap judgments. How do these judgments affect our interactions, and what should we assume about others to maximize our odds of having lucky encounters? We don't always realize when the world's invisible biases work to our advantage or recognize how much of a role we play in our own lack of luck. By ending the guessing game about how luck works, Starr allows you to improve your fortunes while expending minimal effort.


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"I don't know when I've been so wowed by a new author" -Chip Health, co-author of The Power of Moments and Switch A talented journalist reveals the hidden patterns behind what we call "luck" -- and shows us how we can all improve outcomes despite life's inevitable randomness. "Do you believe in luck?" is a polarizing question, one you might ask on a first date. Some of us b "I don't know when I've been so wowed by a new author" -Chip Health, co-author of The Power of Moments and Switch A talented journalist reveals the hidden patterns behind what we call "luck" -- and shows us how we can all improve outcomes despite life's inevitable randomness. "Do you believe in luck?" is a polarizing question, one you might ask on a first date. Some of us believe that we make our own luck. Others see inequality everywhere and think that everyone's fate is at the whim of the cosmos. Karla Starr has a third answer: unlucky, "random" outcomes have predictable effects on our behavior that often make us act in self-defeating ways without even realizing it. In this groundbreaking book, Starr traces wealth, health, and happiness back to subconscious neurological processes, blind cultural assumptions, and tiny details you're in the habit of overlooking. Each chapter reveals how we can cultivate personal strengths to overcome life's unlucky patterns. For instance: - Everyone has free access to that magic productivity app--motivation. The problem? It isn't evenly distributed. What lucky accidents of history explain patterns behind why certain groups of people are more motivated in some situations than others? - If you look like an underperforming employee, your resume can't override the gut-level assumptions that a potential boss will make from your LinkedIn photo. How can we make sure that someone's first impression is favorable? - Just as people use irrelevant traits to make assumptions about your intelligence, kindness, and trustworthiness, we also make inaccurate snap judgments. How do these judgments affect our interactions, and what should we assume about others to maximize our odds of having lucky encounters? We don't always realize when the world's invisible biases work to our advantage or recognize how much of a role we play in our own lack of luck. By ending the guessing game about how luck works, Starr allows you to improve your fortunes while expending minimal effort.

30 review for Can You Learn to Be Lucky?: Why Some People Seem to Win More Often Than Others

  1. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    3.5

  2. 5 out of 5

    Delia Turner

    A well-researched and readable motivational book which, though it repeatedly acknowledges the role of privilege and happenstance in finding success, makes some suggestions for improving the odds--that is, how you can go about counteracting the influence of bad luck and adopting the positive (if unearned) attitude of the privileged. Ultimately, it's a "power of positive thinking" approach with some good general suggestions, but it has a heck of a good bibliography.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nessy Dimitrova

    I read this book thanks to Blinkist. This book contains advice I’ve already read before, as well as some very interesting new bits. It gave me a new perspective about old truths. The key message in these blinks: Life often feels random, as though luck is what separates the best from the rest. And it’s true that many events are outside of our control. But when we start to understand how our brains work, and how invisible biases and patterns influence our behavior, we can learn how to be luckier. So I read this book thanks to Blinkist. This book contains advice I’ve already read before, as well as some very interesting new bits. It gave me a new perspective about old truths. The key message in these blinks: Life often feels random, as though luck is what separates the best from the rest. And it’s true that many events are outside of our control. But when we start to understand how our brains work, and how invisible biases and patterns influence our behavior, we can learn how to be luckier. So do your best to position yourself for luck. Expand your social network, stay curious and say yes to new opportunities. Actionable advice: Maximize your lucky opportunities by regularly trying new things. Try out and learn different activities as much as possible. Learn computer programming, study French or try out a new sport. Maybe you’ll stumble upon a world-class talent you never knew you had, or meet your next business partner in class. At worst, you’ll get a better idea of what you truly enjoy doing! Suggested further reading: How Luck Happens by Janice Kaplan and Barnaby Marsh How Luck Happens (2018) debunks the myth that luck is something we have zero control over, revealing that we certainly can influence the level of luckiness in our lives. Packed with examples and practical advice, this book shows how luck can be improved in the workplace as well as the dating scene.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mark Manderson

    Sociability is a predictor of opportunity.  Proximity is a predictor of acquaintanceship.  Appearing last could help your chances of being lucky. Humans like familiar things, so looking the part and being in the right place will increase your luck. Humans are predisposed to favor attractive people, meaning beautiful people get lots of luck. Confidence creates opportunities for lucky breaks.  Students who wrote for 15 minutes about one of their strengths – independence, say, or creativity – went on to Sociability is a predictor of opportunity.  Proximity is a predictor of acquaintanceship.  Appearing last could help your chances of being lucky. Humans like familiar things, so looking the part and being in the right place will increase your luck. Humans are predisposed to favor attractive people, meaning beautiful people get lots of luck. Confidence creates opportunities for lucky breaks.  Students who wrote for 15 minutes about one of their strengths – independence, say, or creativity – went on to perform better.  Be capable of looking at a loss and criticism as a learning experience time and time again, relentlessly focusing on improvement and exercising unyielding self-control. Self-control is an essential component to success. Connecting with other people will help generate new opportunities. Staying curious about new things will increase your chances of finding luck. Maximize your lucky opportunities by regularly trying new things.  

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    This is just such a great read. Informative, motivating, humorous and soooooo helpful. I can kind of relate to being in such a funk, just laying on the couch and binging on netflix, and struggling to get my shit together. But in each chapter Starr gives concise, well researched and even science based neuro stuff, which helps you understand the why. At the end of each chapter there are bullet points, which I think I will paste on my refrigerator!! I definitely recommend this book, it could possib This is just such a great read. Informative, motivating, humorous and soooooo helpful. I can kind of relate to being in such a funk, just laying on the couch and binging on netflix, and struggling to get my shit together. But in each chapter Starr gives concise, well researched and even science based neuro stuff, which helps you understand the why. At the end of each chapter there are bullet points, which I think I will paste on my refrigerator!! I definitely recommend this book, it could possibly motivate you to get off that couch and live your best life!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Davide

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. No. You cannot learn to be lucky. If you don’t have genes, resources and location, no matter how much hard you’ll work, you won’t achieve that. At least according to this book. But the good news is that you can maximize your lucky opportunities with curiosity to learn/try new things, self-control and networking.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Fatih

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mostafa

  10. 4 out of 5

    Venice Li

  11. 5 out of 5

    Vihang

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ketan

  13. 4 out of 5

    Maraezimmerman

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ruoh Peng

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  16. 5 out of 5

    Wynton Wheeler

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Walker

  18. 4 out of 5

    James

  19. 4 out of 5

    Scott

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ali Sirri

  21. 4 out of 5

    Richard Moore

  22. 5 out of 5

    Marce

  23. 4 out of 5

    Karina

  24. 4 out of 5

    David Hoffman

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jason

  26. 5 out of 5

    Olimpia

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cameron

  30. 4 out of 5

    Laura

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