What does luck really mean

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

What luck really is?

Can luck help some people live happier lives and make greater achievements in life?
This question has always puzzled me and there were always two contradicting theories explaining it. The first theory says that you can create your own luck by trying and trying while the second says that even if you are great you still need some luck to get what you want.

After years of research and a lot of confusion i managed to find an approach that can help me answer that question. I decided to read the full length success stories of the famous people to find out whether it was hard work or luck that helped them.

Here are some of the findings i made:

  • 1) Steve jobs (Apple): Steve was brilliant, had extraordinary skills and was a real hard worker but hadn't he met Woz (the guy who actually invented the thing that became today's personal computer) Apple might have not been there
  • 2) Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook): There is no doubt that Mark is very smart but hadn't he met the Winklevoss twins he might have never came up with the Facebook idea. And the reason he met those guys was that he created facesmash, a site that compares the attractiveness of students to each other. And hadn't he felt a grudge against his girlfriend he wouldn't have invented Facesmash!
  • 3) Bill gates (Microsoft): Bill gates is the richest man alive. He is very smart, got extraordinary skills and knows how to do business but hadn't he met Steve Jobs Microsoft might have never managed to make that big leap
  • 4) Ben silbermann (Pinterest): Ben is certainly brilliant, persistent and creative but he said he was about to quit Pinterest in it's first year and that the only thing that held him back was that he was too embarrassed to let everybody know that he will quit. Had he been OK with quitting Pinterest wouldn't have been there.

Were those people lucky?

If i said that those people were lucky i would be discounting their extraordinary effort and great skills so it's not right to say that they were lucky. But if i also said that their skills alone helped them reach where they are today i would be discounting the effect of the many coincidences that helped them on the way. So what's the explanation?

The explanation is pretty simple. There are two factors that determine a person's level of success:

  • 1) The factors under your personal control: Hard work, persistence, learning, doing your best, meeting people, brain storming, developing your skills and the list goes on
  • 2) The factors you have absolutely no control over: Your passion, timing, the people you bump into, the opportunities you come across and the list goes on

In my book From 0 to 1 million dollars i said that i created a successful business and that's true but hadn't i been passionate about psychology this business would have never been here. Yes i did great when it came to my part but there were other factors that helped me that i had no control over.

How to get lucky

Yes you can be brilliant, work hard but fail to find the right opportunity because of the factors that aren't under your direct control. Of course you can increase the chance of success by actively searching for ways to succeed and by trying so many times.

This is why some people succeed fast while others catch up later. It's because for some people the uncontrollable factors were more favorable than others. Some people call it luck, i call it God, but in all cases the theory is the same. There are factors under your control and factors that are not.

Now in order to increase your chance of success you need to perfect the factors that are under your control and actively search for help until the factors that are not under your control become favorable.

2knowmyself is not a complicated medical website nor a boring online encyclopedia but rather a place where you will find simple, to the point and effective information that is backed by psychology and presented in a simple way that you can understand and apply. If you think that this is some kind of marketing hype then see what other visitors say about 2knowmyself.

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