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Life-changing strategy in a fast-changing world.

Luck is for schmucks.

How to make luck work for you, instead of against.

I swear, if I hear another wannabe entrepreneur justify dropping out of college because Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates dropped out, I'll vomit.

Read on and discover why these two examples mean nothing, especially if you think dropping out of Johnson County Community College with no education, experience, or skills is a good idea.

In the vast cosmic ballet, there's a pervasive illusion that luck is the master choreographer.

Hang out on Reddit or some other mainstream media rag, and you'll be bludgeoned repeatedly with the idea that luck is in control. I mean, why bother trying to win your best life when luck lurks around every corner, thwarting your best attempts?

But what if I told you there's a powerful tool, honed by centuries of thinkers, that can smack luck in the face and let you take charge of your destiny?

Ladies and gentlemen, meet my little friend called conditional probability.

Okay, I know what you're thinking. "Probability? Isn't that some dry, dusty stuff I tried to forget after high school?" Don't groan; bear with me. Let's rip off that crusty academic veneer and reveal the jewel inside. If you can master this concept, it's a game-changer.

Conditional probability allows you to make decisions armed with the statistical equivalent of a lightsaber, cutting through ambiguity and randomness with surgical precision.

Let's break it down.

Conditional probability, in simple terms, is the likelihood of an event occurring given that another event has already taken place.

It's like the chain reaction, dominoes effect. 

If one domino falls, it affects the probability of the next one tumbling. Unlike a coin flip where the prior flip means nothing on the next, conditional probability CHANGES the odds of some event or occurrence happening later. Can you imagine? YES, your actions change the odds.

Now, let's leave the theoretical realm and dive into the practical.

The fact that Gates or Zuckerberg dropped out of college and became billionaires isn't relevant... 

What is relevant, is the conditional probability that they were brilliant enough to be accepted into Harvard in the first place.

That huge condition—acceptance to Harvard—is what precipitated the higher likelihood of success. 

A study by the Harvard Business Review found that Harvard graduates are more likely to become millionaires than graduates of other universities. The study found that 21% of Harvard graduates become millionaires, compared to only 8% of graduates from other universities. Using Gates and Zuck as justification to drop out of your community college is like thinking you can mimic Warren Buffet's success by drinking 6 Cokes a day.

Here's another example I've been beating at The Fastlane Forum like a drum: riding a motorcycle in traffic versus a car. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal that motorcyclists, per mile driven, are 28 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a traffic crash.

In this scenario, choosing to ride a motorcycle—the action which alters the probabilities—significantly increases your chances of being involved in a fatal accident. Or worse, you suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and lose your ability to speak, see, or hear. Again, we see the confluence of conditional probability based on our simple actions—actions we ultimately control.

Think about smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. If you're a chain smoker, the likelihood of developing lung cancer is much higher than a non-smoker. The American Cancer Society states smokers are 15 to 30 times more likely to get lung cancer or die from lung-related diseases than non-smokers.

That's a huge difference, right?

This is conditional probability at play. Your decision to smoke alters the likelihood of you getting lung cancer.

conditional probability

Here's another example...

If you're hanging out at Reddit all day complaining about capitalism, luck, and how the system has beaten you down like a rented mule, that behavior is a conditional probability.

I will bet the farm that you will never get rich, much less succeed beyond the average Doomer who makes a day of complaining.

On the contrary, if you spend a few hours a week at The Fastlane Forum learning about new business strategies or have read and applied my books and the CENTS Framework, that, too, is a conditional probability. While the average person's odds of wealth might be 1%, due to conditional probability, yours might be 22%.

Bottomline, you can control your actions which impact conditional probabilities, and if you can do that, guess what? You can minimize the impact of luck in your life.

Here are some other simple random actions in our lives that impact conditional probabilities:

By understanding the impact of our choices on other probabilities, we can make better decisions. It's not about eliminating luck or randomness—these are inherent aspects of life. Instead, it's about minimizing their influence and maximizing the power of deliberate choice and the odds they alter.

Applying this knowledge, you can interact with the world as a sequence of conditional probabilities rather than a string of random events. This perspective shift allows you to recognize that seemingly isolated actions often have far-reaching effects, altering the probabilistic landscape of your future.

Your entire life is about the application of conditional probability. While you might not see the probabilities or know their exact numbers, they exist. Recognizing conditional probability might not ensure that you win every time, but it gives you the edge over those who choose to leave their fate in the hands of randomness.

Yes, your decisions make a difference. The question is, will you make them matter and punch luck in the face? Or will you be a Doomer and let luck leash you to its whims?

Act wisely and manipulate the odds in your favor; act poorly and set them against you.

MJ DeMarco, Entrepreneur, Author

Resources worth checking out...

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How many times in your life have you let yourself down?

How many times have you disappointed yourself?

How many times have you chosen instant gratification over productive activities that would yield better long-term results?

Why is it so hard to do the right thing, and why do most people end up living a life of quiet desperation?

We do not have as much free will as we think we have.

Human behavior is so predictable, that we can build entire bodies of
knowledge (psychology, marketing, etc.) just by observing what people
have always done, and will always do.

All of us, with no exception, are walking through life with a very
complex mathematical function that is always running inside our head.
This function is used to make decisions and navigate through life.

Do we eat doughnuts or salad tonight?
Do we work on our business, or get distracted by bullshit?
Do we go to the gym, or stay home to watch Netflix?


Some books change minds. 
Others change lives.

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Join me at the Forum!

I'm at The Fastlane Forum daily! Other social media platform's make you dumb as you endless chase cat videos. The forum exists so you can achieve your best life! Join me there, or connect with me at any of the venues below. (Your best bet is the forum!)

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