I’ve spent nearly two decades
observing what makes peopleluckier than others
and trying to help peopleincrease their luck.
You see, I teach entrepreneurship,
and we all knowthat most new ventures fail,
and innovators and entrepreneursneed all the luck they can get.
So what is luck?
Luck is defined as success or failureapparently caused by chance.
That’s the operative word.
It looks like it’s chance
because we rarely see all the levers that come
into play to make people lucky.
But I’ve realized, by watching so long,
that luck is rarely a lightning strike,
isolated and dramatic.
It’s much more like the wind,
Sometimes it’s calm, and sometimes it blows in gusts,
and sometimes it comes from directionsthat you didn’t even imagine.
So how do you catch the winds of luck?
It’s easy, but it’s not obvious.
So I’m going to sharethree things with you
that you can do to build a sail to capture the winds of luck.
The first thing you want to do is to change your relationship with yourself.
Be willing to take small risks that get you out of your comfort zone. Now,
when we’re children,we do this all the time.
We have to do this
if we’re going to learn how to walk or talk
or ride a bike or even quantum mechanics. Right?
We need to go
from someone one week who doesn’t ride a bike to,
next week, someone who does.
And this requires us to getout of our comfort zone
and take some risks.
The problem is, as we get older,
we rarely do this.
We sort of lock downthe sense of who we are
and don’t stretch anymore. Now,
with my students,
I spend a lot of time giving them encouragement
to get out of their comfort zoneand take some risks.
How do I do this? Well,
I start out by having themfill out a risk-o-meter. Now,
it’s basically a fun thingwe developed in our class
where they map out what risksthey’re willing to take.
And it becomes clear very quickly to them
that risk-taking is not binary.
There are intellectual risksand physical risks and financial risks
and emotional risks and social risks and ethical risks and political risks.
And once they do this,
they compare their risk profiles with others,
and they quickly realizethat they’re all really different.
I then encourage them to stretch,
to take some risks that get them out of their comfort zone.
For example, I might ask themto do an intellectual risk
and try to tackle a problemthey haven’t tried before;
or a social risk,
talking to someone sitting next to them on the train;
or an emotional risk,
maybe telling someone they really care about how they feel.
I do this myself all the time.
大约 12 年前
About a dozen years ago,I was on an airplane, early,
early morning flighton my way to Ecuador.
And normally, I would justput on my headphones
先睡一觉 睡醒再工作一会儿 但我决定冒点儿风险
and go to sleep, wake up, do some work, but I decided to take a little risk,
and I started a conversation with the man sitting next to me.
I introduced myself,and I learned that he was a publisher.
We ended up havinga fascinating conversation.
I learned all about the futureof the publishing industry.
So about three quartersof the way through the flight,
I decided to take another risk,
and I opened up my laptop
and I shared with him a book proposal
I put together for somethingI was doing in my class.
And he was very polite, he read it,
读完以后他说 “知道吗 蒂娜
and he said,” You know what, Tina,
this isn’t right for us,
but thank you so much for sharing.”
It’s OK. That risk didn’t work out.
I shut my laptop.
At the end of the flight,we exchanged contact information.
A couple of months later,I reached out to him,
and I said,”Mark, would youlike to come to my class?
I’m doing a projecton reinventing the book,
the future of publishing.”
他说：”好极了 我很乐意去 ”
And he said,”Great. I’d love to come.”
So he came to my class.We had a great experience.
A few months later, I wrote to him again.
This time, I sent hima bunch of video clips
from another project my students had done.
He was so intrigued
by one of the projectsthe students had done,
he thought there might be a book in it,
and he wanted to meet those students.
I have to tell you,I was a little bit hurt.
I mean, he wanted to do a book
with my students and not with me,
but OK, it’s all right.
So I invited him to come down,
and he and his colleagues came to Stanford
and met with the students,and afterwards, we had lunch together.
And one of his editors said to me, “ Hey,
have you ever considered writing a book?”
我说 “你问得真巧 ”
I said,”Funny you should ask.”
And I pulled out the exact same proposal
that I had showed his boss a year earlier.
Within two weeks, I had a contract,
and within two years,
the book had sold over a million copies around the world.
you might say, “Oh,
you’re so lucky.”
But of course I was lucky,
but that luck resulted from a series
of small risks I took,
starting with saying hello.
And anyone can do this,
no matter where you are in your life, no
matter where you are in the world — even if
you think you’re the most unlucky person,
you can do this by taking little risks that get you
out of your comfort zone.
You start building a sail to capture luck.
The second thing you want to do is
to change your relationship with other people.
You need to understand
that everyone who helps you on your journey
is playing a huge rolein getting you to your goals.
And if you don’t show appreciation,
not only are you not closing the loop,
but you’re missing an opportunity.
When someone does something for you,
they’re taking that time that they could be spending
on themselves or someone else,
and you need to acknowledgewhat they’re doing. Now,
I run three fellowshipprograms at Stanford,
and they are very competitive to get into,
and when I send out the letters to
those students who don’t get in,
I always know there are going to be people who are disappointed.
Some of the people who are disappointedsend me notes, complaining.
Some of them send notes
saying what could I do to make myself more successful next time around?
And every once in a while,
someone sends me a note thanking me for the opportunity.
This happened about seven years ago.
A young man named Briansent me a beautiful note saying,
“I know I’ve been rejectedfrom this program twice,
but I want to thank youfor the opportunity.
I learned so muchthrough the process of applying.”
我学到了很多东西 ” 他信中的感恩话语极大地触动了我
I was so taken bythe graciousness of his message
that I invited him to come and meet me.
And we spent some time chattingand cooked up an idea
for an independent study project together.
He was on the football team at Stanford,
and he decided to do a project on looking at leadership in that context.
We got to know each otherincredibly well through that quarter,
and he took the projectthat he started working on
“自主学习项目” 最终 把它变成了一个叫做
in the independent study and turned it, ultimately,
into a company called Play for Tomorrow,
的公司 在那里 他教那些家庭状况不佳的孩子们
where he teaches kidsfrom disadvantaged backgrounds
how to, essentially,craft the lives they dream to live. Now,
the important thing about this story
is that we both ended up catchingthe winds of luck
as a result of his thank-you note.
But it was the winds that we didn’t expect in the first place.
Over the courseof the last couple of years,
I’ve come up withsome tactics for my own life
to help me really foster appreciation.
My favorite is that at the endof every single day,
I look at my calendar and
I review all the people I met with,
and I send thank-you notesto every single person.
It only takes a few minutes,
but at the end of every day,
I feel incredibly grateful and appreciative,
and I promise youit has increased my luck.
了我的好运 因此 首先你需要冒一下险
So first, you need to take some risks and get
out of your comfort zone. Second,
you need to show appreciation.
And third, you want to changeyour relationship with ideas.
Most people look at new ideas that come there way and they judge them.
“这是一个很好的主意 “或 “这个想法很糟糕”
“That’s a great idea”or”That’s a terrible idea.”
But it’s actually much more nuanced.
Ideas are neither good or bad.
And in fact, the seeds of terrible ideas are often something truly remarkable.
了不起的东西 在课堂上 我最喜欢的关于创新的练习之一
One of my favorite exercisesin my classes on creativity
is to help students foster an attitude
of looking at terrible ideas
through the lens of possibilities.
So I give them a challenge:
to create an ideafor a brand new restaurant.
They have to come up
with the best ideas for a new restaurant
and the worst ideas for a new restaurant.
So the best ideas are things
like a restaurant on a mountaintop
with a beautiful sunset,
or a restaurant on a boat with a gorgeous view.
And the terrible ideas are things
like a restaurant in a garbage dump,
or a restaurant with terrible servicethat’s really dirty,
or a restaurant that servescockroach sushi.
So they hand all the ideas to me,
I read the great ideas out loud,
and then I rip them upand throw them away.
、扔掉； 接下来 我把糟糕的点子重新分配给他们
I then take the horrible ideasand redistribute them.
Each team now has an idea
that another team thought was horrible,
and their challenge is to turn itinto something brilliant.
Here’s what happens.
奇妙的事情发生了： 在大约10秒内 有人说 “这真是个绝妙的主意”
Within about 10 seconds, someone says,”This is a fabulous idea.”
And they have about three minutes before they pitch the idea to the class.
So the restaurant in the garbage dump?
What does that turn into? Well,
they collect all the extra foodfrom Michelin star restaurants
that was going to get thrown out,
and they have another restaurantat a much lower price,
with all the leftovers.
Or the restaurant that’s dirtywith terrible service? Well,
that turns into a restaurantthat’s a training ground
for future restauranteurs to figure out how to avoid all the pitfalls.
And the restaurant with cockroach sushi?
It turns into a sushi bar
with all sorts of really interestingand exotic ingredients.
If you look around at the companies,
the ventures that arereally innovative around you,
the ones that we now take
for granted that have changed our life, well,
you know what?
They all started out as crazy ideas.
They started ideasthat when they pitched to other people,
most people said,”That’s crazy,it will never work.” So,
根本行不通的 ” 是的 有时人们出生在糟糕的环境中
yes, sometimes peoplewere born into terrible circumstances,
and sometimes, luck is a lightning bolt
that hits us with something wonderfulor something terrible.
But the winds of luck are always there,
and if you’re willing to take some risks,
if you’re willing to really go outand show appreciation
and willing to really look at ideas,even if they’re crazy,
through the lens of possibilities,
you can build a bigger and bigger sail to catch the winds of luck.