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Double Down on What Works – Use Overkill to get lucky

This is the fourth and the last article in the 4-part series where I have tried to demystify luck. This one deals with Overkill and Practice as tools to get lucky.

The other articles of the series are :

Recently, a friend of mine was discussing with me how he missed his chance just by 1 mark. 

That was hard luck – he said. 

I wondered if that should be attributed to luck or bad strategy ? 

It’s not luck 

In 2009, I was preparing for GMAT. I was getting around 700 score in all my practice tests at home. 

Assuming that was a good score clubbed with my experience, I decided to take the test. 

In the actual test, I could score only 640. 

Now, how did that happen ? 

For me it was probably test pressure, but multiple reasons can contribute to such an outcome: 

  • Test Day Pressure
  • Health Issues
  • Bad Mental or Emotional state

Anything out of millions of possible hindrances can come your way. 

But if you Overkill, you will be able to compensate for those. 

How I turned my GMAT from 640 to 710

In my next attempt, I practised hard for 2 months. 

I looked at data after every practice, spotted error patterns. 

Prepared again on weak areas. Tested again. 

Then practised with a timer. 

Again, and Again, and again. 

I practised till I started scoring 760-780 everytime in home tests. 

I now took the exam. An unexpected event occurred as expected. 

There was some construction going on near the test centre. 

Even with the ear plugs on, I was getting disturbed. Everyone was. 

Had it not for my practice, I would have failed miserably. 

The practice allowed me to take on most of the questions almost mechanically. 

I wasn’t very happy with 710, but I knew it was my ticket to my MBA. 

How to Overkill through practice ? 

There are 2 major elements to overkill : 

  • Finding out what works for you
  • Practice, Practice Practice (Abhyas , Abhyas , Abhyas ) – 

Practice has been enough and more emphasized in religions as well. In the Gita, it is stated that continuous practice ( abhyas ) can tame the mind, which is otherwise not easy to control. 

This was the last of the 4 part series on beating luck. 

I hope I was able to deliver some value. 

So what are you waiting for, lets get lucky in 2023 by using these methods: 

  • Part 1 – Understanding the nature of luck
  • Part 2. How to turn failures into learning outcomes and move towards the success zone? 
  • Part 3. Avoid what does not work –  Increasing luck through elimination of errors
  • Part 4. Double down on what works – Overkill as a way to increase luck. 

Also Read – How practice builds nervous circuits that help you. 

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