How to Get Lucky

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A four-leaf clover is easier to find than you think. You just need to be prepared.
A four-leaf clover is easier to find than you think. You just need to be prepared.

“Chance favors the prepared mind.” – Louis Pasteur, Dec. 7, 1854

The odds of finding a four-leaf clover are about one in 10,000.

Those are long odds.

But you can give yourself a huge advantage by attacking the mission with a prepared mind.

A four-leaf clover is a mutation of normal three-leaf clover. Geography and time of year contribute to the frequency of the mutation. I don’t have any clue where they are more likely to occur. But I did read the mutation is more likely to happen in late summer than during other times of the year.

I also read that there are several types of clover. But there is one type more susceptible to the mutation than other types. The Trifolium repens—the clover patches you see with the little white flowers that make your lawn look extra shitty—is the variety statistically most likely to have four-leaf clovers within the patch.

So, with that information…

How to Find a Four-Leaf Clover

  1. Take advantage of the late-summer weeks and months. The four-leaf clover mutation occurs more frequently then.
  2. Locate a patch of the white-flowered clover. The mutation occurs most often in that type of clover.
  3. Do not sit on the ground going through each, one by one. Stand up for the “birds-eye” view of the patch. You’re not looking at just one then. You’re looking at hundreds. And as your brain adjusts to the visual rhythm of three-leaved clover, your eyes will more easily be able to pick out the four-leaved anomalies.
  4. Clover grows from roots like every other plant. So, when you find one, you’ll be more likely to find others nearby. Because other clover sprouted from the same root system will share the same genetic code, making it EVEN MORE likely to find some. A four-leaf clover “hot spot,” so to speak.

Ta-da! You found a four-leaf clover. Lucky.

Luck is still a factor.

But, going in prepared? You position yourself to get infinitely luckier than everyone who didn’t prepare to get lucky.

How to Be Lucky in Four Steps

James Altucher is my favorite person I have never met. I love him. And I’m going to keep writing about him because I think everyone should be reading him and thinking about the things he thinks about because the world will be a better place if everyone does that.

In his writing, he often includes his personal method for achieving balance in a world that’s out of balance. He calls it The Daily Practice.

There are four components. Think of them like four legs under a table: Physical, Emotional, Mental, Spiritual.

The four quadrants of your life. And if you keep them healthy and steady, your table won’t wobble.

If you neglect one or more of them, your table is going to be shitty and annoying and out of balance.

You owe it to yourself, and to all of the people you love, and to all of the people who love you to make your table awesome. Like an Amish craftsman would.

Be Abram Yoder. Or Miriam Hershberger. Or Jacob Miller. (Those are apparently super-common Amish names. *shrug*)

Altucher is a genius.

And if you’re willing to accept, as I have, that we need to make changes in our lives in order to experience the inner peace and happiness we all crave, then I beg you to spend some time reading and thinking about the following:

How to be THE LUCKIEST GUY ON THE PLANET in 4 Easy Steps

Because you don’t have to feel shitty.

You don’t have to feel weak.

You don’t have to feel scared.

You don’t have to feel unloved.

You don’t have to sit around waiting for the world to deliver you a better option.

You can take it yourself.

There are no guarantees. Even if you do everything right. Even if you’re fully prepared, there’s still no guarantee you’re going to find any four-leaf clover.

But the world isn’t going to do too much of the work for us.

We can sit around letting things happen to us, which is sometimes good and sometimes bad.

Or we can take what’s ours.

Get lucky.

And make shit happen.

37 thoughts on “How to Get Lucky”

    1. James is a guy! And he’s not so cocky to presume that what he does is what’s best for everyone. He simply tells us what works for him and hopes it works for everyone else, too.

      The feedback would suggest that it does.

      It’s worth reading and thinking about. I promise.

      Happy St. Patty’s Day to you too, miss.

  1. Well said man. I only recently tuned in to Altucher but I certainly like the cut of his jib. Though I did find his ‘how to write a best seller’ post a little patronising…

    Not everyone can call on the CEO of Twitter to write their foreword or can spare $40k to spend on marketing!

    Like you said though, it’s time for me to get lucky and make shit happen.

    1. I hear you.

      He’s got enough street cred these days to have a lot of doors open for him that don’t for the rest of us.

      But I still love all of the humanity that lives in his writing. There’s a lot of it.

      Glad you read him!

      And yes. Get lucky. Make shit happen.

  2. I did not know that that quotation was originally from Louis Pasteur (He’s such a cool historical guy). I’m most familiar with the version from The Incredibles where Edna Mode says “Luck favors the prepared.” I’m pretty sure that was in response to Mrs. Incredible (aka Elastagirl) asking why the baby’s super suit was fireproof. I kind of love that movie.

    I’m a big fan of the Stop-limiting-yourself-and-make-shit-happen mindset. You’ve written enough about James Altucher that I may have to look him up now. I still think you should read Choice Theory by William Glasser; you’d probably like his stuff too.

    1. Thank you for the reading suggestion sir the second time. I do need to read it if you believe I need to. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

      1. If you read mine I’ll read yours. 🙂
        At some future junction, post said reading, we can swap opinions or something. It would be fun. I’m pretty sure we both enjoy sharing our thoughts and opinions.

          1. I’ll add it to my list.
            It’s funny that you wrote about balance today. I’ve been thinking alot about that lately and was actually planning to blog about it too. I probably still will….once I’m done procrastinating.

  3. Our lawn (the garden of my childhood) was full of these white clover blossoms – and to my eyes they actually still look beautiful. (And if we are talking about the same variety they also have healing power and are quite tasty in tea and bread.)

    And I agree: awareness and inner balance definitely contibute to a happy life full of luck!

    Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, Matt (with rainbows and shamrocks and four leave clovers)!

    Much love,

  4. Great post – and I went over and read James’ post, too, and loved it! I really liked the “be honest” part… I’m good at that! My friends like to call it “radical honesty”, but I just call it me being my awesome self!
    On a serious note, as much as I have made myself into a “Yes Man” and saying yes to action and adventure, I’ve learned along the way that if I hesitate, if I can’t say Yes right off the bat, then odds are, I don’t want do it,and I’ll come up with some excuse as the time draws nigh to not attend. As such, the lesson I’m teaching myself now is to just say No, if I hesitate, then just go ahead and say No, I can’t attend. I’ve found such happiness in that!

  5. Apparently there are 3 types of people in the world:

    Those that sit and wait for things to happen

    Those that go out and make shit happen

    and Those that wonder what the hell happened.

    I prefer to be one of the middle ones and make stuff happen.

    Happy St Patrick’s Day Matt. Hope you like green beer! 🙂

    1. I, too, think being the kind of person who makes shit happen is probably the best choice.

      I have never drank green beer! True story. Which is probably weird. *shrug*

      They tend to color the inexpensive, watery light beers.

      And I like to drink Cool Guy higher-end craft beers. Like a hipster, minus all the identifiable traits.

  6. lol, gonna be honest here.. i was too lazy to real all that now… i’m sure it was good and entertaining as your posts always are. hope you’ve had a good day so far

  7. I’ve never heard of Altucher, but Ill take a little look. I think my table is wonky, it may even have only 3 legs, and its outside, and its windy 😛

  8. Awesome!! I can’t wait to read this. My husband, daughter (toddler), and I are taking a trip next week and this will be nice to read on the plane. It’s our first flight with our daughter and a long one at that. I’m crossing my fingers I’ll have some down time to read this on the flight because just by the description you gave I’m thinking “I want to make my table more stable!” Thanks Matt!

    1. It’s the perfect metaphor.

      Four legs of a table. And if one of them is just a little bit off-kilter, the entire table sucks.

      It’s worth thinking about. Have fun on your trip!

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  10. The Altucher wisdom rocks, of course, but so does the big-picture-pattern-recognition point. It feels a little like letting the luck help in it’s own discovery. Otherwise, it’s a tedious process of examine/rejecting almost everything. I don’t have time for that what with aging, fun, and movie schedules!

      1. I’m getting better. I found my four leaf clover patch (metaphor alert!) but am still not sure I’m right. Four? That’s the number of fingers on my hand minus that sideways wide-looking one, right? I better go recount.

  11. You know I watched a young girl find three four-leafed clovers in a patch on my front lawn one afternoon. Apparently she has quite a collection of them pressed in books at home. I guess some people are just naturally lucky.
    The rest – like you and me, must work to find the happiness we want. And I think you’re on the right track. 🙂

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Matt Fray

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