How Luck Happens

Using the Science of Luck to Transform Work, Love, and Life

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New York Times bestselling author Janice Kaplan examines the phenomenon of luck--and discovers the exciting ways you can boost your chances and set yourself up to get lucky in everyday life.

After spending a year researching and experiencing gratitude for The Gratitude Diaries, Janice Kaplan is back to tackle another big, mysterious influence in all our lives: luck. And this time she's joined on her journey by coauthor Dr. Barnaby Marsh, a renowned academic who guides her exploration.

Together they look at the factors that led a young struggling Harrison Ford to a chance encounter with fledgling director George Lucas, and they find out what distinguishes luck from pure randomness. They discover that much of what we call luck is really under our control, and they reveal the simple techniques to create luck in love and marriage, business and career, health, happiness, and family relationships. Using original research and fascinating studies, they offer breakthrough insights on how all of us--from CEOs to stay-at-home moms--can tip the scales of fortune in our favor.

Through a mix of scientific research, interviews with famous and successful people, and powerful narrative, How Luck Happens uncovers a fascinating subject in accessible and entertaining style.


“A delight … chock full of good advice about how to make your own luck.”
—Daniel Gilbert, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and bestselling author of Stumbling on Happiness

“As much as we hate to admit it, luck plays a huge role in our lives.  This sprightly book explores whether we might be able to make a little more of it.”
—Adam Grant, bestselling author of Give and Take, Originals, and Option B with Sheryl Sandberg

“A game-changer! Clear, smart, and elegantly written, How Luck Happens is an ingenious treatise on how to make your own luck.  I was transfixed, and now have a pile of science-based strategies to make my dreams come true. You will too.”
—Helen Fischer, Research Fellow, The Kinsey Institute, and bestselling author of The Anatomy of Love
“This intelligent, entertaining book is the most compelling argument to date that you make your own luck.”
Martin E.P. Seligman, Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and bestselling author of Learned Optimism

“Nothing is more important than luck. How Luck Happens reveals the science behind the mystery of luck and shows you how to create more for yourself.  Getting lucky never felt so good.”
—Paul J. Zak, author of Trust Factor and The Moral Molecule

“Finally! A thoughtful book that shows how people are able to generate an abundance of luck for themselves and others. Read this book to open your mind and heart to new possibilities and most importantly, the chance to start making a luckier world.”
—Deepak Chopra, bestselling author of The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success and You Are the Universe

The Gratitude Diaries

In this New York Times hardcover bestseller, Janice Kaplan spends a year living gratefully and transforms her marriage, family life, work, and health. Her pioneering research was praised in People and Vanity Fair and hailed on… More

The Invisible Front

The unforgettable story of a military family that lost two sons—one to suicide and one in combat—and channeled their grief into fighting the armed forces’ suicide epidemic. Major General Mark… More