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The Luck Factor: Why Some People Are Luckier Than Others and How You Can Become One of Them by Max Gunther

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Chapter 3: “Audentes Fortuna Juvat”

"Fortune favors the bold," says the old Latin aphorism. At first glance this seems like windy nonsense. One imagines it was authored by some Roman general trying to tune up an unenthusiastic bunch of troops for the next day's battle. It sounds like empty optimism, a bundle of brave-sounding words without any substantial foundation. For it is obvious that Mother Fortune, though she may be good to the bold sometimes, clobbers them at other times. A conflicting motto might be held equally true: "Take no chances and you won't get hurt" – or, as we used to say in the army, "Never volunteer for anything."

Yet here is an odd fact. As a group, lucky people tend to be bold people. The most timid men and women I've ...

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