One of the biggest ideas from 8 full years of writing this blog is Michael Mauboussin’s success equation.
Outcomes are a mix of skill and luck. Persistence is a measure of skill: coaches making the playoffs, sales staff hitting targets, or personalities in the news. Skills are things which can – and should – be controlled.
But sometimes life is luck too.
He’d (my dad) seen enough of the big time, so to speak, and we went to lunch one day, and I said to him, “I think I’m going to try this comedy thing. I think I’m going to give it a shot. Do you have any advice for me?” And his big gut talk to me was, “You know what? I think you have the skill, but it takes a lot of luck. If you don’t make it, don’t worry about it. You can just try something else.” Like, don’t worry if you fail, because it’s a crapshoot anyway. And so, from that point, I was like, Oh, I’m just playing the lottery here so I might as well just go have fun.Will Ferrell, Sicker in the Head
That’s our advice for the year ahead: Work hard on skills and have fun with luck.