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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 4: The Ratchet Effect

A ratchet is a device that preserves gains. It allows a wheel to turn forward but prevents it from slipping backward.

Lucky people typically seem to organize their lives in an analogous way. They know that almost any venture can lead to either loss or gain. At the outset it is impossible to know which way the wheel will turn. But if it starts to turn the wrong way, the lucky are prepared to stop it. They have the capacity to get out of deteriorating situations quickly. They know how to discard bad luck before it becomes worse luck.

This sounds like a simple trick – little more, one might think, than plain common sense. But it evidently is not nearly as simple as it sounds. Great numbers of people – the essentially ...

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