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Sorta Random Sunday: The Longer You Stay in the Game, The Luckier You Get

Luck plays a real part in our lives. I think most of us acknowledge that. However, we are generally do not acknowledge just how big a role luck plays. But it does have a huge impact. However, we can tip the scales in our favor. Because the long that you stay in the game, the luckier you get.

How luck works in our lives

In any endeavor that we undertake, the same general equation applies:

  • Success = Skill/Effort + Luck

Skill and effort are not enough. I am sure that there were tons of people out there as smart and gritty as Steve Jobs. But only Steve Jobs became Steve Jobs.

luckier you get

Maybe the most salient examples of this exist in the sports world. Everyone in the NFL is incredibly talented. But are the most skilled and hard working always the ones with the most success? Or maybe better put, are two equally skilled and hard working players equally as likely to find success? No way!

Some players end up in the right situations or get lucky early on, allowing them more opportunities in their career.

We need to do everything that we can to maximize the part of the equation that we can control – skill and effort. But luck will have a huge impact and is out of our control.

To a certain extent…

Because I think the above equation is incomplete

A factor is missing. And that factor is time. It should be:

  • Success = Skill/Effort + Luck + Time

Because the longer you stick in the game, the luckier you get. It’s just a fact of life.

By definition, luck is egalitarian. It is an equal opportunity factor. It is just as likely to impact you as someone else in a similar situation.

So, the longer you maintain yourself in your situation, the luckier you get – it’s just math! So time is a way to increase your odds. Obviously time along with maintained skill and effort.

Take me for example

Look at this blog. I am so excited, motivated, and proud at the growth of this blog over the past 2.5 years.

And I would love to attribute it all to hard work and writing skills, along my my entertaining financial foibles

However, that is definitely not the case! A bunch has been luck as well. Posts getting picked up by outlets. A title grabbing your eye. A story resonating with you. The amount of random things that had to go right for every visit and interaction is mind-boggling.

However, I will say that it has not always been like that. As with any success that anyone has ever experienced, the success you see is just the tip of the iceberg. There have certainly been times where it felt like I was writing to nobody. But in persisting, I kept increasing my chances that I would get luckier!

But it’s not always easy…

The trick to staying in the game


It’s hard to stick with something long enough to become successful if you are not passionate for it. Because, many times, the valleys are just as deep, if not more, then the peaks are high. And passion provides meaning and purpose and a strong “why” that pull you through those valleys.

So, it’s imperative that you intentionally think about the goals that you are creating. Make sure you are passionate for them. That an internal drive for success exists. Anything else will lead to burnout, an arrival fallacy, quitting, or any combination of the above.

So maybe the equation is really:

  • Success = Skill/Effort + Luck + Time + Passion

Here are some additional resources to help you optimize your equation for financial success!

What do you think? How big of a role does luck play in our life? Does time in the game help us get luckier? Let me know in the comments below!

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    Jordan Frey MD, a plastic surgeon in Buffalo, NY, is one of the fastest-growing physician finance bloggers in the world. See how he went from financially clueless to increasing his net worth by $1M in 1 year and how you can do the same! Feel free to send Jordan a message at [email protected].

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