Can You Learn to Be Lucky?: Why Some People Seem to Win More Often Than Others

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A talented journalist reveals the hidden patterns behind what we call "luck" -- and shows us how we can all improve outcomes that only appear to be random.

"Do you believe in luck?" is a polarizing question, one you might ask on a first date. Some of us believe that we make our own luck. Others see inequality everywhere and believe luck is the only possible explanation. Karla Starr has third answer: "random" outcomes have predictable causes; we call them lucky because their traces are so faint.

In this groundbreaking book, Starr traces wealth, health, and happiness back to subconscious neurological processes, blind cultural assumptions, and tiny details you're in the habit of overlooking. Each chapter blasts open the hardware behind an outcome you thought was random and shows how to hack it. For instance:

* You can beat the 10,000 hour rule if you pick the right skill at the right time, and have the right resources to train.
* Your resume can't override the gut-level assumptions a potential employer makes about you based on the last employee who happens to look similar.
* People make assumptions about your intelligence, kindness, and trustworthiness based on cues that have nothing to do with these traits.

Starr ends each chapter with two liberating possibilities: Either harness the world's invisible biases to work to your advantage, or recruit your personal strengths to overcome these external factors. By ending the guessing game about how luck works, Starr allows you to improve your fortunes while expending minimal effort.
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About the author

Karla Starr has written for O, The Atlantic, Slate, Popular Science, the Guardian, and the Los Angeles Times, and appeared on CBS Sunday Morning as an expert on luck. The recipient of a Best Science/Health award from the Society of Professional Journalists, she lives in New York and spends an inordinate amount of time lifting heavy things. This is her first book.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Aug 14, 2018
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9780698139817
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Psychology / Cognitive Psychology & Cognition
Psychology / Interpersonal Relations
Psychology / Personality
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Steven Pinker
“If I could give each of you a graduation present, it would be this—the most inspiring book I've ever read."
—Bill Gates (May, 2017)

Selected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the Year

The author of Enlightenment Now and The New York Times bestseller The Stuff of Thought offers a controversial history of violence.

Faced with the ceaseless stream of news about war, crime, and terrorism, one could easily think we live in the most violent age ever seen. Yet as New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker shows in this startling and engaging new work, just the opposite is true: violence has been diminishing for millenia and we may be living in the most peaceful time in our species's existence. For most of history, war, slavery, infanticide, child abuse, assassinations, programs, gruesom punishments, deadly quarrels, and genocide were ordinary features of life. But today, Pinker shows (with the help of more than a hundred graphs and maps) all these forms of violence have dwindled and are widely condemned. How has this happened?

This groundbreaking book continues Pinker's exploration of the esesnce of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly nonviolent world. The key, he explains, is to understand our intrinsic motives--the inner demons that incline us toward violence and the better angels that steer us away--and how changing circumstances have allowed our better angels to prevail. Exploding fatalist myths about humankind's inherent violence and the curse of modernity, this ambitious and provocative book is sure to be hotly debated in living rooms and the Pentagon alike, and will challenge and change the way we think about our society.  
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