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In this episode Joel and Antonia talk about the common belief about luck favoring the prepared.

In this podcast you’ll find:

  • In our last podcast, we discussed how nothing happens by cause and effect. Everything is the emergent of a system.
  • If everything is an emergent, how do we have any control over our lives?
  • There’s a significant node many refer to as luck. Is there any way to influence luck?
  • Luck favors the prepared.
  • There are ways to be more responsive when situations present themselves.
  • Lucky or unlucky gives the idea of an external locus of control.
  • “Luck favors the prepared” indicates some power.
  • Some people seem to have luck over and over again, whereas other people can’t seem to catch a break.
  • Is that the nature of the universe? Are there some people that are lucky and others that are just unlucky?
  • Luck also appears to favor the advantaged.
  • Initial conditions are fundamental in systems thinking.
  • If you are born in a part of the world that has extremely high infant mortality, your initial conditions are pretty significant. It has nothing to do with you and everything to do with where you were born.
  • Others were born into families that set up profitable conditions for them.
  • For those who are not advantaged, preparation becomes very important.
  • We have no idea whether or not some people have more luck than others.
  • Some people are more driven to want to improve their conditions. Others are more motivated to maintain homeostasis. And still others may seem to be on a self-destructive path.
  • You don’t have to be massively advantaged to listen to this podcast, but you have a lot more advantage than anybody else has had in history.
  • Humans don’t measure themselves objectively. We measure ourselves in comparison to other people.
  • We are talking about fundamental advantage, not privilege.
  • We only experience contrasts. Like with temperature, in the spring 65 degrees feels warm. In the summer the same temp seems cold.
  • As a human, we are not in the food chain. That’s an advantage.
  • We have self-awareness.
  • We can understand time and tools.
  • There are advantages all of us have that other people don’t have.
  • It is really easy for us to assume we are the disadvantaged ones. Open your mind and see that there are people out there that have more disadvantages than we do.
  • We are often blind to most of the advantages we have as individuals.
  • We experience our disadvantages, so they become very apparent to us.
  • Our disadvantages are obvious to us.
  • Our advantages aren’t as obvious.
  • Don’t deny your advantages to help the disadvantaged.
  • Don’t demonize other people’s advantages as unfair.
  • Putting ourselves at a disadvantage prevents us from using our advantages to make a change.
  • Embrace the advantages you have and attune them to elevate the collective.
  • If you have an advantage, take advantage of it and prepare yourself.
  • Making yourself disadvantaged to honor others of disadvantage doesn’t help those people become advantaged.
  • Use your advantage to help others become advantaged.
  • You haven’t solved anything by forcing yourself into a disadvantaged spot.
  • We aren’t meeting disadvantaged people at their level because we have nets they have never had.
  • What we could do thru hard work is utilize the time that has been created by advantageous technologies and solve the problems that create more advantages for others.
  • The more we focus on our disadvantages, the more time we spend focusing on ourselves and not helping anyone.
  • Become problem solvers not just sympathizers.
  • We equate advantage with lack of problems and challenges.
  • People with money have hardships.
  • Be very thoughtful with how you engage with the word ‘advantage.’
  • These are systems running. It is not cause-and-effect. The belief that people who are rich or beautiful are always happy is one to one correlation.
  • Some wealthy people are ecstatically happy, and some wealthy people are miserably unhappy.
  • Individuals who are stuck in safety and security in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs are in a frustrating situation.
  • So anybody not struggling with basic needs appears to be having an easy life. But each level has its challenges.
  • Some people in Maslow’s level of Love and Belongingness may believe beautiful people have all the love they need.
  • Safety and security are beyond money as a resource. Rich people may feel unsafe that someone is going to kill them for their money.
  • Luck favors the empowered.
  • Not everyone is empowered – rich or poor.
  • Figure out which nodes of your system you have influence over.
  • Don’t sweat the stuff you have no control over.
  • When luck or unluck comes into your life, it doesn’t matter because you have full and total empowerment over the nodes of your life that you have influence over.
  • “I make my own luck.”
  • When you look at systems, one of the biggest nodes is time. We can’t control it.
  • When it comes to being empowered and creating the system required to get the emergent you want, time is always a part of that.
  • Empowerment happens in stages.
  • Empowerment may be THE end game.
  • Empowerment may come from letting all the dialogue and narrative go.
  • All the things that are unhealthy for us.
  • Empowerment happens slowly over time. In stages.
  • Even if you’re not happy every second of every day you have the power to do something about it.
  • You aren’t a victim.
  • You have a say over how you feel and what you will do to make yourself feel better.
  • A lot of the models we teach are tools to help you realize you have the ability to be empowered.
  • You have control over how you feel and think.
  • Sometimes the ways we are disadvantaged incentivizes us to work harder and build skills other people didn’t have to build.
  • Focus on the ways you are advantaged.
  • Focus on the ways you have power and control and cut yourself some slack if it is taking time to reach the destination you have in mind.

In this episode Joel and Antonia talk about the common belief about luck favoring the prepared. #podcast #luck #preparation #personalgrowth

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We want to hear from you. Leave your comments below…


  • Joel Mark Witt
    • Joel Mark Witt
    • May 9, 2018 at 11:49 pm

    Hi Angela,

    I just want to say thank you for your perspective and feedback. As a leader, my personal goal is to be open to greater understanding of other human’s experiences. So thank you.


  • Angela
    • Angela
    • May 6, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    Thanks Antonia for taking the time to both post my reflection and to respond it.  I have since listened to more episodes  (and continue to do so) and see a pattern of the undertone that was represented in the specific episode under inspection as well as your response. 

    In giving you the benefit of the doubt, however,  I will acknowledge your leading statement that you and Joel did not really understand my criticism (hopefully it still landed constructively as that was my intention).  As a person having my own podcast (and several blogs), I completely accept that it is possible to not always understand feedback.  So, I am just going to file your response in the positive file cabinet of good intentions and leave it here (squashing my desire to dissect further for the sake of effectiveness… [lol, INTJ in the house :) ].

    Before going, I want to add that I am also “empowerment” driven. In fact, if you Google Empowerment Starts Here, it shouldn’t take long to find me as a brand (which includes a podcast, several blogs, a book, a school/curricular model, and a dissertation). And, in terms of empowerment, I have often acknowledged that some people try to overtly create an apolitical space simply by staying away from it (because by their political privileges —capital and lowercase P, they don’t have to account for the covert and latent conditions that always exist).  So while I do not agree with your apolitical treatment of the concept, I do respect your right to treat it as you see fit. As a result, I do not come to your podcast looking for politics or looking for you to feed me politically. I just don’t want my political experience to be negated (this is directed at Joel).

    I think the short end of it could reside in your target audience (avitar?). I personally am struggling to narrow mines down to a very specific person (as advised by the marketing gurus). It is very hard for me to intentionally leave people out. But I can see by your podcast, and its treatment of the nuances that truly make personal development possible, that it is inevitable.  So, I might as well act responsibly.  And while I’m probably not in YOUR target audience (for reasons you might not appreciate or accept), I am a faithful and ardent fan!! I love your discussions around the MBTI and I’m learning.

    In one of your episodes, you talked about not discounting feedback. While I don’t demand you accept my feedback, I do hope you won’t dismiss it (by explaining it away).

    In conclusion, thanks for allowing me to be in community with you.


  • Antonia Dodge
    • Antonia Dodge
    • March 30, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Hey, Angela -

    Thanks for reaching out. Joel and I just listened to the podcast (it had been a while) to review what it was we said that disappointed you. I’m not sure if I’m accurate, but comparing the podcast with your comment the only thing I could come up with was that we didn’t spend much time validating disadvantages people in the west experience versus, say, in developing countries. This is very intentional. The podcast (both in the abstract and in this specific case) isn’t intended to speak to specific political challenges people are facing. We acknowledged in the podcast that privilege exists and is an initial condition some face, and we agree that giving people tools to overcome their challenges is the most important thing we can do. In this case, the tool is a mindset of empowerment. There is no context an individual can face that won’t be improved by an empowering mindset.

    I think you agree – your statement that you can become the best version of yourself and have a positive impact in the world regardless of your initial conditions is exactly the mentality that we’re hoping to validate.

    Sometimes we get messages that go against how we would like them to be given. I’ll take your feedback and consider how we could do better. And if it makes sense to you at this time period in your development, you can listen for how the way we worded the podcast may be exactly what you needed to hear.


  • Angela
    • Angela
    • March 29, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    I hate that this is my first time commenting on the podcast because it isn’t as favorable as it would have been had I commented on ten of their other episodes I have consumed and have ABSOLUTELY loved!!! I believe this is a good podcast and want to offer constructive feedback.

    Here goes…

    For an episode that starts off referencing systems thinking, and brilliantly makes the case that our individual experiences are the result (emergence?) of structural systems, it is quite disheartening that the hosts (actually one in particular) spent so much time trying to invalidate or nullify political advantages (i.e. privilege).

    Yes, we all have advantages (privileges) and yes, we often don’t recognize our advantages because we aren’t experiencing any tensions around them. However, some people, by their associations (race, gender, class, religion, sexuality, etc) have greater advantages than others.

    I don’t make this point to suggest that those who are disadvantaged should give up and spend their time simply hating those with advantages, however, to not equip people (those with fewer advantages) with an understanding for how structural systems work is counter-intuitive to the overall value of this particular episode. I would have liked to hear more talk around how to maximize on what advantages one does have as opposed to neutralizing the political advantages of those who are politically privileged.

    If this was not the intended impact of the words used, I hope my feedback will assist you in selecting better words in the future. This podcast has been such a resource for me because of your precision with words and your deep insight into people who are different from you (regarding personality types). I believe that you can show the same insight/depth and a little bit more sensitivity to those who are structurally disadvantaged. As I represent four of the disadvantages listed above (in terms of being politically disadvantaged), I still believe I can become the best version of me that is possible and have a positive impact on the world. I was hoping this episode would have assisted me in my endeavors. Oh well. :(

    In closing, I hope this feedback is taken in kindness and I hope you guys continue to keep up the overall good work.

  • Abby Eagle
    • Abby Eagle
    • September 6, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    How to hack the Pareto Distribution – and to move up the dominance hierarchy? I have been wondering about those key elements. I think personality type plays a significant role with moving up in the world, especially with those people who came from a low socioeconomic background and missed out on gaining a university degree.

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