The Role of Luck in Our Lives

valeria-jacket-300Here is an excerpt from a blog post by Valeria Maltoni (“Conversation Agent”) during which she shares her thoughts and feelings about a frequently discussed, often misunderstood subject. To read the complete article, check out others, and sign up for a free subscription, please click here.

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In How to Get Lucky: 13 techniques for discovering and taking advantage of life’s good breaks, Max Gunther say that “luck is one of the most important elements in men’s and women’s lives. Indeed, in many lives it is unequivocally the most important. Yet, strangely, people don’t talk about it much. In fact, most people are reluctant to acknowledge luck’s huge influence.”

Why do we deny the role of luck?

We deny the role of luck because:

o We prefer to think we are in control of our plans and actions,
o discussing luck diminishes our role, and
o our culture is dominated by the Work Ethic that says “we’re supposed to make our way in life by hard work, perseverance, fortitude,” etc.

Culture is a fascinating and under-appreciated aspect of business and life. Yet it has tremendous influence in how we make decisions. It is our personal culture that dictates whether we are comfortable with points one and two, for example.

The third point is interesting because it is embedded in the infrastructure of how we do things in many western countries. About the Work Ethic also known as the Puritan or Protestant, Ethic Gunther says:

“We are taught from kindergarten on that we’re supposed to make our way in life by hard work, perseverance, fortitude and all those grindstony things. If, instead, we make it by blind luck, we’re ashamed to say so in public — or even to admit it to ourselves.

Conversely, if we’re walloped by bad luck, our Puritan heritage encourages us to think it’s probably our own fault. We are supposedly responsible for our own outcomes, whether good or bad.”

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For more on how to get lucky, please click here.

Handpicked by Fast Company magazine for her particular expertise and ability to augment and amplify its brand footprint, Valeria Maltoni is the strategist a number of Fortune 500 businesses with multiple brands, revenue streams, and audiences rely on for brand value and profitable business growth. Leaders in industries as diverse as media and entertainment, consumer goods, beauty, fashion & style, wellness, publishing, and technology tap Maltoni for her strategic mind and hands-on approach. A future-oriented business resource, she drives the creative execution of integrated marketing and communication programs. To learn more about her and her work, please click here.

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