Increase your surface area for luck by saying YES more often

Saying yes to something that doesn't obviously benefit you might seem like a bad idea. But opportunities compound and one simple act could lead to another, which leads to another. If you didn't say YES to the opportunity, you would have said NO to all the opportunities that followed by default.

Increase your surface area for luck by saying YES more often
Photo by Alejandro Garay / Unsplash

You cannot be lucky, if you don't need to be lucky

I can guarantee that somewhere in your life, you have seen someone succesful and said to yourself: "Wow, they are so lucky" or maybe you have achieved some success and someone said those words to you.

I believe most people fall into the following categories:

  1. The people who give luck all the credit for success.
  2. The people who claim that luck has nothing to do with it - it's all hard work!
  3. The people who believe hard work is important, but luck definitely plays a role.

I am part of the 3rd group of people. To say luck has nothing to do with your success, is highly unlikely. Somewhere along the way someone decided to help you or you were at the right place at the right time.

🏌️
"The more I practice the luckier I get."- Gary Player

Say YES to everything

The easiest way to put yourself in more situations where you can be lucky, is to say YES TO EVERYTHING.

But everyone says I need to say NO more?

If you are successful and content with what you are achieving in life, sure, you can say no to everything you want.

But if you haven't reached your goals, or you don't know how you are going to reach them, I would strongly advise you to start saying yes to every opportunity you get.

You never know what it might lead to...

Saying yes to something that doesn't obviously benefit you might seem like a bad idea. For example, let's say you are a musician and an agent invites you to do a gig for R1000. The issue is, you will be spending R800 to get to the gig, leaving you with almost no profit.

Obvious NO right? Well, not really. The agent could see that you are actually pretty good, and offer you another gig, which might be more profitable.

And who knows, maybe you are spotted by another agent. One thing leads to another and you get a record deal.

Opportunities Compound

The example above is a perfect showcase of opportunities compounding.

One simple act, leads to another, which leads to another. Until one day you sit back, reflect on the past and realise, if you didn't say YES to the opportunity, you would have said NO to all the opportunites that followed by default.

Don't expect the answer to be NO

Lastly I would like to challenge a common bias that most people have. "I am not going to ask, because I know the answer will be no."

This bias, sets you up to miss A LOT of opportunities. I have written about asymmetric risks in the past: Even though the answer might be no, if you don't ask, the answer becomes no by default.

If you ask, and the answer is YES, then the upside could be infinite (if the opportunities compound) and you take on minimal risk by asking.

I attended a trade fair a while back, where I got a lot of practice asking. And a lot of NO's haha. If you want to get better at asking, read this.

Put yourself in situations where you need luck

When can you say you were lucky? Certainly not if you didn't need to be lucky. You can only say you were lucky, if you were busy doing something really hard and needed luck to succeed.

My point being: you cannot be lucky, if you don't need to be lucky. Go. Do something hard. Stop complaining about being unlucky.

The more situations you put yourself in where you need luck, the more opportunities there are for you to be lucky.

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