Why Greater Skill Leads to More Luck

Skill has become commonplace.

In Michael Mauboussin's manifesto, The Paradox of Skill, he suggests that success is not a byproduct of skill, but a result of the recognition and the luck that highly skilled people create.

Have you ever tried something new, and written yourself off as unskilled?

"I suck at cooking, so I just don't even try."

"I can't do math for shit."

"I don't dance. When I do, I just look like Carlton Banks from Fresh Prince."

But it's this self-talk that really stunts your growth.

When you say things like this to yourself, you've stopped climbing up the stairs at the first step.

It's this resistance that stops us from keeping on with new things that we really do enjoy, but just are scared at sucking at for a while. Once you give yourself the permission to get better at something, you can start making really good progress towards your goals.

"Even if it is not perfectly linear, improvement over time occurs. Efficiency grinds upward."

I call this the "Rocky Mountain" metaphor.

If you devote hours and hours on improving yourself in an area of your life, there is no way that you won't be moving in an upwards fashion. You may encounter some cracks and go down temporarily, but you'll also be reaching those really eye-opening moments when you realize your skill level has gone up significantly.

As long as you are taking steps, you're moving in the right direction.

If you've thought about quitting something because you feel like there's been no progress, reevaluate yourself, and seek new ways to overcome your plateaus. All of our experiences are unique, but our feelings we share with all people.

There's almost nothing out there that someone hasn't experienced before. You just need to find the right person to get you over that hump.

"If you’ve done everything you can to put yourself in a position to succeed, you should accept whatever results appear. Some days you’ll be lucky, and the results will exceed your expectations. Some days the results will be disappointing because of bad luck."

A lot of successful people don't take giant risks. But they do take a lot of small risks every day. Incorporate this mindset into your life. The simple act of taking little bits of action every day will put you in the best position to succeed.

Because the more chances you take, the greater the odds of luck being in your favor.