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Book Review: Luck by Design: Certain Success in an Uncertain World
by Richard E. Goldman
Review by C.S. Clarke, Ph.D.

In Luck by Design, Richard E. Goldman addresses the children of the Baby Boomers about what personal, social and business issues they will face in striving for success in current times and the near-future. How to become successful at any endeavor and what resources are needed to pursue success are issues that everyone has to work out in his own unique way. But we all benefit from learning how others have worked them out before us. Goldman is a very successful man who has combined his own experiences with reading and advice received from others to not only achieve that success but also to pass on the "how to's" learned from his own perspective.

You will find that much of what he writes you may have heard before, depending upon your age and how much reading you do. That is because the same issues occur in every generation and every generation looks to the past as well as current wisdom to resolve those issues. The older we get, the more experiences we have, and the more we read, the more likely we we are to come to similar conclusions about the way life and success work. The differences between the various writers who pass on their life lessons to others lies in their own unique perspectives, stories and analogies.

In Luck by Design you will be treated to Goldman's stories from his very interesting journey through life and the ideas that his experience has afforded him about how he got here from there. His book is called Luck by Design because one of his discoveries is that, while we already know we cannot control what happens in the world around us to any great extent, we can pay attention to what is going on and be sufficiently self-aware that we can recognize both dangers and opportunities as they arise. Then we can fit them in to our pre-planning to fairly well design the life we want. We may not get exactly what we want, but if we pay attention to our life lessons and the accumulated wisdom of good thinkers who have gone before, we will find we get something that is just as good or even better than what we exactly planned.

Among Goldman's more important ideas are the notions that:

1) Life is misadvertised. Television, advertising, schools, movies, the Internet, and other factors of our modern life cause us to develop a warped sense of the way real life works and unrealistic expectations.
2) The generations following the Baby Boomers are going to have to work harder and longer and, perhaps, relative to their hard work, settle for comparatively less than the Boomers received.
3) Success and luck require planning and design in addition to hard work.
4) The secret to management starts in self-management.

Despite the serious nature of the issues he covers, Goldman treats them with a light hand and some humor. It is a flowing, connected story of success that moves smoothly from one "life lesson" to another. If you pay attention to the lessons Goldman shares, and adopt a good bit of his philosophies and methodologies, you may find that you can design a very lucky life indeed.

Read more about it at his blog:


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