How to Get Lucky (Please, Keep Your Pants On)

How to Get Lucky (Please, Keep Your Pants On)

Share & Comment

We’ve all had the feeling at some point in our lives where it seems other people catch all the lucky breaks while everything we do seems to screw up. It’s a common perceptual bias. In other people we focus on the successful result, not the toil and struggle they endured to reach it, the missed opportunities and growth experiences they suffered through. While in ourselves, all we’re aware of is the toil and struggle we endure and not the success that is readily apparent to others. It’s a kind of Blind Man’s Bluff that we’re all doomed to continue playing throughout our lives.

The concept of “luck” stems from this perceptual bias: the belief that some people’s existence defies mathematical probability, that because they have it and we don’t, they’re violating the universe’s probabilities.

The truth is, across the spectrum of a lifetime, we all receive both opportunity and injustice in healthy doses. Some of us may defy the odds early in life, perhaps by being born into perfect circumstances, and then face unfair or unlikely challenges later on. Others may be born into squalid conditions, but as they grow meet great opportunities that change everything for them. Or sometimes chance can be just that; random. My grandfather started seven businesses throughout his lifetime. He became a millionaire once and went bankrupt twice. He finally sold his final business for a modest sum so he could retire in rural Texas with his remaining comforts. A few years later they struck oil on his property. A lifetime of hard work, risk-taking, spectacular successes and more spectacular failures, and the minute he hangs it all up and calls it quits, he struck oil.

Life’s cruel roll of the dice.

But the truth is we can actually control our luck to a certain extent. Although we may not directly affect the major opportunities that enter our life at any given moment (like finding oil on our property), we can indirectly influence how many opportunities spring up and the ferocity in which we pounce on them. In fact, if we define “luck” as the amount of beneficial opportunities and life events that happen to us which aren’t completely in our control, recent research not only finds that some people are much luckier than others, but that those lucky people have quite a few things in common.

And no, it’s not rabbit’s feet. Or a dearth of black cats. Lucky people have specific behaviors and mindsets which cause them to encounter far more opportunities and advantages than others on average. You can, in effect, train yourself to become a lucky person, if you so choose:

1. Be A Social Butterfly

Psychologist Richard Wiseman is an authority on luck — or what is perceived as luck in our lives. In his book The Luck Factor) Wiseman found that the most determinant factor of “lucky breaks” in people’s lives was how social and interconnected they were with those around them. Lucky people enjoy connecting and relating to other people and are comfortable doing so. When presented with new social situations, unlucky people talked to people they already knew or people who were most like themselves, whereas lucky people talked to a large array of people equally.

Most of life’s opportunities don’t land on us mysteriously. They come through our networks, our connections, people we stumble across at random.

My one-and-only attempt at a day job was landed through an acquaintance I had made going out five nights-a-week in Boston back in 2007. I once landed an audition for a touring rock band by randomly meeting the singer at a Fourth of July party (he and I happened to be hitting on the same girl). A blogger recently wrote about sitting down in a coffee shop to work on his laptop and accidentally striking up a conversation with an old man who just happened to have invented the first ever programmable computer and spent the afternoon chatting with him.

Wiseman states in his book:

“I discovered that being in the right place at the right time is actually all about being in the right state of mind… Lucky people increase their odds of chance encounters or experiences by interacting with a large number of people. And that makes perfect sense: Chance opportunities are a numbers game. The more people and perspectives in your sphere of reference, the more likely good insights and opportunities will combine.”

As the old saying goes, it’s not what you know, but who you know.

2. Periodically Do Something Stupid

The perception of luck is more likely to fall on those who take’s a dumb risk or two. Again, it comes back to our perceptual biases. We notice the spectacular successes and quickly forget about the fizzled failures. If you’re on vacation with your buddy and he decides to go on to the strip club by himself at 5AM and next thing you know he’s showing up in your hotel room at noon with two women on his arm and stories about partying with Charlie Sheen all morning, chances are he’s not some divine purveyor of fortune, but rather he’s had a lot of meaningless, lackluster nights at strip clubs and this time he happened to wander into the right one at the right moment.

Spontaneity will open you up to more potential opportunities and adventures. Falling into the same drab fixed routine is going to yield less unexpected opportunities and fewer possible big gains.

There is a horizon to our ability to see opportunities when we pursue certain actions. For instance, we may see the one clear opportunity available if we quit our job or move to a new country or take up a new hobby. But we don’t see the other opportunities that job, that move, or that hobby will lead to.

For instance, when I started working online, I thought my dating advice business was it or bust. I either made it work or I’d be dutifully gulped back up by the 9-5 world. But over the years, I’ve met people and had opportunities for business ventures in places as odd as Thailand, Ukraine, and Brazil. I’ve made friends of different industries in the most random of ways and have developed connections that keep me confident that I’ll never have to work a day job again for the rest of my life.

And chances are if I had acted on any of those opportunities, they wouldn’t have completely worked out, but would have opened me up to a whole new host of opportunities I can’t fathom at the moment. Such is success: but a long, painful string of failed shots and course corrections. What is commonly perceived as luck is often merely someone who wasn’t afraid to do screw up a few dozen times.

The point is: be open-minded and spontaneous. The guy with the hideous shirt may actually be the perfect business-partner for your new venture. The networking event your brother is dragging you to could actually score you court-side tickets to a playoff basketball game. That guy who sold you cocaine might introduce you to your future wife. You never know.

(OK, probably not.)

3. Maximize Your Return On Luck

See? Bill Gates had bad luck too.

Recently, two researchers finished up a nine-year study on luck and its role in determining the fate of the most successful companies in the world. Did tycoons such as Bill Gates simply get bigger lucky breaks more often? Did software businesses go under when Microsoft thrived because of unfortunate circumstances, because of unpredictable events outside of their control which derailed their company?

The surprise answer is no.

In fact, the researchers found after measuring 230 “luck events” over dozens of businesses, that the ultra-successful businesses did not receive any more lucky breaks than the companies that failed on average and vice-versa. What set them apart is something they dubbed “Return on Luck” (ROL).

All businesses have positive and negative events impact their businesses in unpredictable ways. What sets the successful companies apart from the others is that they maximize their positive luck and minimize their negative luck. They get a high ROL. When Bill Gates found out he had the opportunity to program an operating system from the original Altair, he stayed up for weeks on end, skipping classes, often not sleeping for days at a time, to take advantage of the opportunity. He was able to recognize that he was in a once-in-a-lifetime moment and he had the wherewithal to push through and take advantage of it. That’s a high ROL. Researchers found that the ultra-successful companies regularly did this. And even though other companies were exposed to similarly lucky circumstances, the most successful companies took far more advantage of the serendipitous situation.

Conversely, the best companies were able to minimize bad luck the most successfully, or even in some cases, turn bad luck into a strength and an advantage. The companies that failed? Not so much. As soon as disaster struck, they caved.

4. Be Optimistic

Not to rattle off the ridiculous list of the benefits of optimism or anything (optimists are healthier, happier, more successful, more likable, they live longer, etc.), but being optimistic and generally expecting the best of people and things around you goes a long way to accomplishing bullet point number one above: i.e., no one likes hanging out with a negative asshole.

But beyond just helping you become the most popular girl at the prom (like you’ve always wanted to be), optimism and over-estimation of oneself is more likely to lead to successful performance. Even the belief that one is lucky can alter one’s results drastically. Score another point for adopting positive beliefs.

But this isn’t hocus-pocus stuff. Our performance usually rises to the level of our expectations. If you consistently expect yourself to be better than you actually are, then research suggests that you’re more likely to improve and have a large breakthrough. A little bit of healthy delusion goes a long way.

And in terms of optimism/pessimism, think of it this way. Optimists are more likely to identify a lot of “false positives” while pessimists will likely identify “false negatives” in their lives. (A false positive is believing something is good when it’s really bad, and a false negative is believing something is bad when it’s actually good.) It’s not hard to see what is more advantageous. While optimists will sometimes mistake a steaming turd for pure gold, they will not miss a piece of genuine gold when it crosses their path. Pessimists, on the other hand, will spot every steaming turd they come across (and duly let you know about it, I’m sure), but they will also mistake opportunities of genuine gold and let them slip away (kind of like a turd).

What I’m saying is, are you in the business of spotting turds or spotting gold?

Print Friendly

Did you like this article?

Every couple weeks I send out a newsletter with new articles and exclusive content for readers. It's basically my way of keeping in touch with you and letting you know what's going on. Your information is protected and I never spam.

Subscribe below to stay connected.

50 Comments

Leave a Comment

  • Reply

    lalitaditya

    3 months ago

    I see you have never had to deal with persistent impotence.

    • Reply

      Rich Duncan

      3 months ago

      Do you consider ‘persistent impotence’ bad luck? Mark is trying to tell you that luck is what you make it regardless if it is a ‘pile of shit/persistent impotence’. Maybe the guy with the impotence problem would have contracted HIV and died of AIDS had he been virile?

    • Reply

      Mark Manson

      3 months ago

      Could be worse. You could have your penis chopped off and thrown out of a moving vehicle.

      • Reply

        lalitaditya

        3 months ago

        Hahaha! Guys, it’s a lot easier to talk like this when you have not gone through the problem yourself. It’s not that I disagree with you guys. Nobody does. Look at all the self help gurus. None of their ideas are really unknown. In fact most people are already familiar with those ideas. But I have yet to see anyone helped by a self help guru. It takes a lot more than beautiful sounding ideas to come out of a real problem.

        • Reply

          alex

          3 months ago

          Well, they’re called self-help gurus, not external-help gurus. They can provide the familiar and beautiful sounding ideas in a context which may resonate with you in a way that you haven’t felt before, but, ultimately, it’s up to you to make something real out of it. Although there are probably commonalities between how other people help themselves and how you can help yourself, the way in which you actually effect a change on your life is unique to you.

          • lalitaditya

            3 months ago

            Yes, they do provide you the familiar and beautiful sounding ideas in a context which may resonate with you in a way that you haven’t felt before. This does provide you with good feelings which spur you to action. However, the problem is that these good feelings do not last for ever. The feelings die very quickly. And with that the motivation to continue taking action dies as well. And then you look for another self help guru to put the same idea in another context just so you can continue getting your good feeling fix. I’ve seen too many of these self-help guru junkies to take this stuff too seriously. Perhaps I am just jaded.

  • Reply

    Justin

    3 months ago

    so true… I once scored a phone interview with an investment banker at goldman sachs I met while drunk off my mind at XS in vegas lol.

    • Reply

      Mark Manson

      3 months ago

      Haha, that’s awesome. Apparently what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas.

  • Reply

    Big Ern

    3 months ago

    The perspective of the pessimist is unattractive to be sure, but it’s often useful and also grounding. The trick is to default to an slightly optimistic state, always at least giving partial attention to those pessimists around us who, whatever their motives, can provide warning or beneficial disillusionment.

    • Reply

      justlikekathy

      3 months ago

      I consider myself an optimist, but my motto in life is “Expect the worst, and hope for the best.”

      If I am ever in a situation that I get too excited about, or I have any preconceived notions about, I find comfort in knowing that I have already envisioned the worst possible outcome.

      And you know what? It’s never as bad as it could possibly be. So therefore, I am never disappointed.

      I think I’m lucky because I have found this mindset.

  • Reply

    Rich Duncan

    3 months ago

    “Luck” in my mind is a lot like “religion” it is something superstitious taught from a young age on through the rest of one’s life.

    I know someone who just ‘hit’ three lottery scratch ticket three in a row in a weeks time very recently. I believe it was $100, $250 and $250. No she can not retire but she is not lucky… she likes to play ‘scratchers’. Luck is NOT involved. She does it for fun.

    The last one for $250 she is giving to her sister as a gift! She is a positive influence on her family and the people around her. Her success in life may not be measured in money… But I am sure in the end it will be measurable by the people around her.

  • Reply

    jay

    3 months ago

    We all know that being optimistic is a good thing…. but what I gather from this post is that there is not a good thing that you’d get from being negative. Hey Mark, what are your thoughts about things to gain from being negative? Or are there no such things?

    • Reply

      Mark Manson

      3 months ago

      I think similar to what Big Ern said, negative thoughts are useful to keep ourselves realistic, to remain aware of challenges and treat them appropriately, also negative thoughts can be very powerful ways to build motivation if used in a healthy manner.

      I don’t buy into the whole “only think positive” thing. I do think we should, on balance, be optimistic and err ont he side of over-estimating ourselves and others. But I don’t believe we should live in fairy land and slide down rainbows together.

      • Reply

        jay

        3 months ago

        Me thinks you should write a an article about it (and my guess, is that you’ll find it more challenging since you’ll have to tap in to your dark side). XD Though, i think it’s fair to hear the negative side of things… after all, we need both yin and yang to strike a balance. ;-)

        • Reply

          Mark Manson

          3 months ago

          I actually want this to be a big theme of the book I’m working on. I also talk about it a bit in the “3 Big ideas” report.

      • Reply

        Traindom

        3 months ago

        But that’s how we get to the pots of gold!

      • Reply

        H man

        3 months ago

        I just found this on Wikipedia about James Stockdale. It goes to this isssue

        When Collins asked who didn’t make it out of Vietnam, Stockdale replied:

        “Oh, that’s easy, the optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart.”[11]

        Stockdale then added:

        “This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”[11]

        Witnessing this philosophy of duality, Collins went on to describe it as the Stockdale Paradox.

        • Reply

          jay

          3 months ago

          Good find!

      • Reply

        Yoda

        3 months ago

        i’m with bertrand russell. don’t think about being optimistic or pessimistic in your beliefs; only concern yourself with the FACTS and the truths the facts bear out. always aim to make accurate predictions, not ones clouded by emotion or ego.

  • Reply

    Dave

    3 months ago

    Re: impotence and optimism- British philosopher AJ Ayer was a notorious womanizer and seducer of colleagues’ wives despite having been rendered impotent due to a WWI combat injury. Talk about finding the “shining gold”…

  • Reply

    Dave

    3 months ago

    Correction — it was Paul Feyerabend and WWII–

    • Reply

      lalitaditya

      3 months ago

      Feyerabend was indeed impotent and had affairs with numerous women and left broken hearts in his wake. Okay! Point taken and thanks, guys!

  • Reply

    H man

    3 months ago

    Sorry one of my favorite quotes says

    “We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.”

    ― Archilochos

  • Reply

    Jamie

    3 months ago

    This is the sort of think I think about all the time. While I admit to being a tad lazy and let a lot of opportunities pass by, I like to think I am improving.

    The Danny Wallace book ‘Yes man’ inspires me so much. Just saying yes more often and start doing things you wouldn’t normally do is often enough to make a massive change to your life, and the luck you have.

  • Reply

    Luckisforlosers

    3 months ago

    I am underemployed. I need a smart career path. I don’t want the 9-5. I want to live humble and survive. Any suggestions?

  • Reply

    Jam

    3 months ago

    Another great article!

  • Reply

    Jr almanca

    3 months ago

    When you’re still stuck on a 9-5 (or, in my case, 8:30-5:30), Monday is usually the day you spend half-hating or “garfielding” and half-reminiscing of the weekend. Probably there are some other things, but they will eventually fit in one of those two categories. Reading an essay that makes us think a little, defying our current deterministic perspective, is a slap on our state of routine.

    Personally, I never believed in luck. My opinion was always closer to what you expose on your essay – luck and success is the result of our actions. The same way that “deep calls unto deep”, opportunity calls unto opportunity. The “right time, right place” is never something random, although our perception might lead us to think as so. You have to move and prepare yourself to be on that place/time. “L’esprit de l’escalier” is usually the result to the lack of attention or prepare. Obviously, some people are born under better circumstances (money, place of birth, time of birth, et al) and the reason they are more lucky is just that they are more exposed to situations that create opportunities.

    All in all, what we have to do is to expose ourselves (no, not like that) a little bit more so that we are able to be reached (or reach ourselves) by the “luck effect” more frequently/intensely.

    Good job on the essay. Keep up the good work.

  • Reply

    Traindom

    3 months ago

    I did number two a couple of years ago (no, not that number two). Kinda long story. I saw an article in the newspaper which stated that the Burn Notice people were filming at the City Parking Garage in Fort Lauderdale. I was like, “Hmm, sounds cool…” I don’t know why, but a light bulb went off in my head. I nonchanlantly remarked to my dad that we should totally go over there and see what’s up. He said, “Sure. Why not?” It was an average day.

    So we get over there and park at some church that was nearby. We see some trailers and I was excited. So we go into the garage and decide to go to the top floor (there’s a helicopter pad there). I wanted to take the stairs to be more stealthy. My dad insisted on the elevator. So yeah, we took the elevator. When we get up there, we see chunks of metal scattered all over the floor and some chairs. It was pretty cool. I manage to snap a picture of the director’s chair, lol.

    All of a sudden this cop comes out of a car and approaches us. He asks us why we were there. I was a little flustered, but I said we were looking for our car. On the highest floor with the helicopter pad. Yep. He was pretty cool about it, though. He told us that they were filming for Burn Notice, and I was like, “Oh really?! I had no idea!” They were on a lunch break, so it was a good thing we decided to enter then. They probably would have beat our asses if we had interrupted the scene.

    Eventually we go back down, but we decide to stick around. There was a bodyguard and some other people who saw the article as directions rather than a notice. I decided to walk back and forth. As I made it to the end of the sidewalk, I turn around and see Jeffrey Donovan. It was kickass. I just stared at him, absolutely mute. He is one tall dude. He then made a quick left and disappeared into his trailer.

    I also saw Bruce Campbell walking around.

    I know it might not be that exciting to others, but at the time, I nearly pissed my pants. And just to think that I never would have seen him if I had stayed home playing video games. This was just a little more productive than that, so it was a good day.

    So yeah, I can relate to the message of this article. I await the “Cool story bro.”

    • Reply

      Mark Manson

      3 months ago

      Cool story bro.

      Actually, stuff like that is really cool, and very random.

      Years ago, one of my favorite metal bands opened for a much bigger act who I didn’t care for. So after my favorite band finished their set, I got a little bored, went outside and started wandering around looking for their tour bus. I found the buses but there were like five of them, so I didn’t really know what to do. I was just kind of hanging around, a little confused and a little drunk. Then some roadies walked by and were like, “you looking for someone?” I got really nervous and just said the band’s tour bus. They were like, “Oh, it’s right over here. Here, we can introduce you.”

      I was so fucking paralyzed. I went on their tour bus and hung out with them for about 15 minutes, just shooting the shit, talking about music. It was so unexpected, I had no idea what to do with myself. Then after a while the drummer (who is one of the best metal drummers in the world, and a very nice guy) was like, “Well man, it was great meeting you, but it’s time for you to go. Friends and family only.”

      I was like, shaking the whole way home.

      • Reply

        Jamie

        3 months ago

        You’re not getting away with it that easily. Who were the band?

        • Reply

          Mark Manson

          3 months ago

          And if you’re a music nerd like me and into this kind of stuff, this is the drummer that I met:

          http://youtu.be/x8TlW9C91ag

          • Jamie

            3 months ago

            You know I actually guessed him but I thought SYL to be too heavy for you. Personally I would be in awe of Devin Townsend, who I can imagine to be geeky away from the stage!

          • Mark Manson

            3 months ago

            Devin is possibly my favorite living musician, period. I think he’s a genius. Unfortunately he was locked away in the back of the bus with his wife and didn’t come out, so I didn’t meet him. I met Jed and Byron but talked mostly to Gene.

            And I don’t know if there’s such thing as metal that’s too heavy for me. Not musical or interesting, sure (there’s tons), but too heavy is almost never a problem. I still think “City” is one of the heaviest albums ever made, but it has more to do with production and arrangement than actual blast-beats or ridiculous shredding or whatever.

      • Reply

        Andy

        3 months ago

        Ha, very nice!

        Sort of the opposite thing happened to me this year.
        There was a band I didn’t know anything about and didn’t care for
        that opened for one of my favorites (metal, too).
        So I arrived late and skipped the first concert but the next day
        I checked a couple Youtube vids of that band and thought
        “Damn, they’re pretty good! Too bad I skipped them.”
        After the gig I had been standing in line to retrieve my jacket
        and their lead singer was standing right next to me, selling
        band merchandise. I could have talked to him and got to know him
        but didn’t because I had not cared about his band and music then.

        Lessons learned:
        1. Be more spontaneous and open.
        2. Be more of a social butterfly.

        Your article is spot on, Mark.

      • Reply

        Traindom

        3 months ago

        That’s awesome! I would crap my pants if I got the chance to talk to my favorite musicians.

        I was pretty shaken just seeing the guy. If I had talked to him, I don’t think I would have slept that night.

        That was pretty cool of them.

        All the more reason to satiate one’s natural curiosity at all times. You really don’t know what cool shit could happen to you.

  • Reply

    mdavid

    3 months ago

    In the book The Black Swan, Taleb writes about this phenomenon in detail. He calls it “getting into the river of life” to expose yourself to more random events…but most importantly, preparing yourself mentally (and fiscally) to jump on opportunities as they happen. Like being ready to quit your job at any time.

    So jumping into the river of life, always watching for opportunities, and finally be mentally and fiscally ready to take risk and try something new is key to “being lucky”. Most people are just too stuck in their ways and too careful to take the needed risk.

  • Reply

    Srinivas

    3 months ago

    Hey Mark,

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks now. I just want to say how much I’m enjoying your content. You’ve taken a topic that typically has a sleazy slant (dating, seduction, and self help) and given it a really classy approach which I really appreciate. I also think you’ve got a great writing stlye and voice.

    It’s amazing how much your luck changes when you become optimistic about things isn’t it?

    • Reply

      jay

      3 months ago

      I 2nd Srinivas’ comment above. Thanks a lot, Mark! You’re a life-changer — more than you’ll ever know. Looking forward to reading your book (Models)! (Once I’m done with Atlas Shrugged that is — which I picked up after reading your review.)

  • Reply

    Sarara

    3 months ago

    Very interesting article. It reminds me of a book I read about a year ago called “The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules our Lives” by Leonard Mladinow. The main theme of the book is that humans tend to have a poor grasp of statistics/probability and we often misinterpret random events as having meaning and the causes of meaningful events cannot be fully understood until after the events occur (the old hindsight is 20/20 notion). It’s also a good introduction to the concepts of probability and statistical analysis. I really want to read these two books back-to-back now, as they seem to be two sides of the same coin.

  • Reply

    Nicd

    3 months ago

    I appologise in advance for the terrible structuring of this comment. I was never a star student when it came to writing, but I hope I get my point across.
    I recognize I am a pessimist to the core. Everything you describe as characteristic to a pessimist (basically seeing invisible turds everywhere and telling everyone how much they stink) I display. Some people that know me very well can appreciate my dark humor and cynicism but most people (especially new people I meet) are repulsed by it. I have been suffering from “generalized anxiety disorder” (so being in constant fear/nervousness for no apparent reason and sometimes getting random panic attacks) pretty much all my life, which is either a cause or a result of my pessimism. I’ve been seeing therapists that keep checking the time, bought into a bunch of programs, but none of those have really done anything. In the end, I believe only I can be my therapist. Progress is slow, if not non-existant, because changing mental habits seems to be really hard for me. In contrast, I’ve been quite successful in changing physical habits, learning new things and sticking to them (such as becoming a gym rat and health junkie from a previously passive/unhealthy lifestyle) because of my motivation to change. I feel like I have the same motivation to change my thinking patterns (trust me, constant fear of nothing, never being able to relax, never really enjoying anything isn’t fun) yet I can’t seem to do it because I’m not consistent with the mental excercises or I get distracted. I keep falling back to my old, fearful, unlucky, pessimistic self. That is why I ask, do you have any tips on how to actually change your way of thinking for good? Are there ways of becoming an optimist if you have been a pessimist your entire life?

    • Reply

      Mark Manson

      3 months ago

      This is a long question that requires a long answer, but here are the bullet points I would give you:

      1) Don’t sabotage yourself by expecting perfection. Negative thoughts are normal. And you never completely get rid of old mental habits, you kind of just build on top of them. So don’t expect to be perfect or super positive all at once and don’t beat yourself up if you’re not.

      2) Take it in baby steps. Give yourself mental challenges throughout the day of “how could I frame this positively?” and just see if you can do it. Writing it down helps.

      3) Physical habits and mental habits are intertwined. Keep up the good physical habits and keep a focus on DOING useful behaviors to go along with trying to think more positively.

      4) Always consider that you may be in the minority of people who has a legitimate neuro-chemical imbalance.

  • Reply

    Sunil

    3 months ago

    Mark, great article. have you read ‘Outliers’ by Malcolm Gladwell? Much of what is in this article is in the book as well. Agree with you on most counts btw.

  • Reply

    zeroseren

    3 months ago

    I recently read The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb. In this book he introduces the idea of the black swan as any event that meets all three of the following characteristics: 1) It is completely unpredictable,  2) It has a very low probability of occurring, 3) It’s consequences are massive.
    He explains how almost every significant event in our lives, and the universe for that matter, are black swans that we can’t control and all we can do is attempt to increase or decrease our exposure to them. If you haven’t read it I highly recommend it.

  • Reply

    Keenan

    7 weeks ago

    I read this article yesterday and it rung something deep within me regarding my social connections. Many people often ask me to hang out but I rarely if ever follow through. Today, I decided to go with the currents of life and I spontaneously decided to spend the day with a co-worker. It was an awesome decision. We ended up watching Brazil – Croatia at the Clevelander in South Beach before hanging out with the daughter of Jason Bonham at their ridiculously awesome house outside of Miami. This all just fell into place. Now I am very likely to continue to hang out with them. And this is because I decided to go out on a whim and put myself out there. I’m not sure if today was a case of beginner’s luck but I damn well am impressed and believe in the power of your message.

Leave a Comment