Michael Lewis quote

"People really don't like to hear success explained away as luck, especially successful people. As they age and succeed, people feel their success was somehow inevitable. They don't want to acknowledge the role played by accident in their lives. There's a reason for this. The world doesn't want to acknowledge it either. Don't be deceived by life's outcomes. Life's outcomes, while not entirely random, have a huge amount of luck baked into them. Above all, recognize that you have had success, you have also had luck. And with luck comes obligation."

Michael Lewis

Born: October 15, 1960

Occupation: Author

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More quotes of Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis

The sheer quantity of brain power that hurled itself voluntarily and quixotically into the search for new baseball knowledge was either exhilarating or depressing, depending on how you felt about baseball....

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Michael Lewis

Thirdly-but not lastly-there was the bias toward what people saw with their own eyes, or thought they had seen. The human mind played tricks on itself when it relied exclusively on what it saw. There was...

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Michael Lewis

Some coaches believed they could judge a player's performance simply by watching it. In this they were deeply mistaken. The naked eye was an inadequate tool for learning what you needed to know to evaluate...

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Michael Lewis

There has been this - and it's reflected in the broadcasts - this moronic use of statistics. Which has suggested to everyone who is intelligent the use of statistics is moronic.

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Michael Lewis

Every form of strength is also a form of weakness,” he once wrote. “Pretty girls tend to become insufferable because, being pretty, their faults are too much tolerated. Possessions entrap men, and...

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Michael Lewis

Everything, in retrospect, is obvious. But if everything were obvious, authors of histories of financial folly would be rich . . .

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Michael Lewis

At SGI board meetings... Jim Clark's face would get red and he'd start shouting that an investor and board member had cheated him and his engineers.

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Michael Lewis

I was gonna put him on the bus...I got tired of him talking, it was time for him to go home.

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Michael Lewis

As idiotic as optimism can sometimes seem, it has a weird habit of paying off.

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Michael Lewis

Those who know don't tell and those who tell don't know.

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Michael Lewis

The pleasure of rooting for Goliath is that you can expect to win. The pleasure of rooting for David is that, while you don’t know what to expect, you stand at least a chance of being inspired.

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Michael Lewis

Managers tend to pick a strategy that is the least likely to fail, rather then to pick a strategy that is most efficient," Said Palmer. " The pain of looking bad is worse than the gain of making the best...

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Michael Lewis

There was but one question he left unasked, and it vibrated between his lines: if gross miscalculations of a person's value could occur on a baseball field, before a live audience of thirty thousand, and...

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Michael Lewis

He's a machine for competitive balance, ... Yes, the money is in New York. Yes, the money is in his hands. But he squanders money. Thank God for it.

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Michael Lewis

Everywhere you turn you see Americans sacrifice their long-term interests for a short-term reward.

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Michael Lewis

Every form of strength is also a form of weakness,

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Michael Lewis

I thought instead of a good rule for survival on Wall Street: Never agree to anything proposed on someone else's boat or you'll regret in in the morning.

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Michael Lewis

Baseball has so much history and tradition. You can respect it, or you can exploit it for profit, but it's still being made all over the place, all the time.

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Michael Lewis

If you’ve got a dozen pitchers, you need to speak 12 different languages.

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Michael Lewis

People in both fields operate with beliefs and biases. To the extent you can eliminate both and replace them with data, you gain a clear advantage.

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Michael Lewis

Warren Buffett is fond of saying that any player unaware of the fool in the market probably is the fool in the market.

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Michael Lewis

That was how a Salomon bond trader thought: He forgot whatever it was that he wanted to do for a minute and put his finger on the pulse of the market. If the market felt fidgety, if people were scared...

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Michael Lewis

The only thing history teaches us, a wise man once said, is that history doesn’t teach us anything.

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Michael Lewis

It is the nature of being the general manager of a baseball team that you have to remain on familiar terms with people you are continually trying to screw.

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Michael Lewis

One absolutely cannot tell, by watching, the difference between a .300 hitter and a .275 hitter. The difference is one hit every two weeks.

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Michael Lewis

Above all, recognize that if you have had success, you have also had luck — and with luck comes obligation. You owe a debt, and not just to your Gods. You owe a debt to the unlucky.

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Michael Lewis

Baseball is this intense subculture that actually doesn't speak very much for the larger culture.

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Michael Lewis

Book tours are almost designed to beat out of an author any affection he has for his book.

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Michael Lewis

I don't think there is a national pasttime. Watching TV is a national pasttime. Really. If there is a national pasttime, it is watching TV.

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Michael Lewis

I think that fans are always looking for someone to blame. Wouldn't it be nice if they looked in the mirror?

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Michael Lewis

If you had to point to one thing that made it less likely that the Red Sox would win the World Series, I would say it was those people that go to Fenway Park to watch the games. And then the media around...

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Michael Lewis

My judgement is not good when I am on a book tour. I am not thinking about it that much. What happens is I will go back home. I have a 4-year-old and a 1-year-old and a wife who is now taking care of them...

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Michael Lewis

People who think they know what they are talking about when they talk about baseball include the announcers and all of the sports press - no matter how much evidence you present them to the contrary they...

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Michael Lewis

The Red Sox are a curious thing because so much here is media driven. You can't go fire half your scouts here because they are all friends with the local reporters. Your life is going to hell in the papers.

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Michael Lewis

The Red Sox are the local scapegoats. It's hard enough to play baseball without being the local scapegoat too.

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Michael Lewis

The sentimentality of baseball is very deeply rooted in the American baseball fan. It is the one sport that is transmitted from fathers to sons.

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Michael Lewis

There used to be this guy called Vinny who worked on the floor of the stock exchange, said one big investor who had observed the market for a long time. After the markets closed Vinny would get into his...

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Michael Lewis

A banking system is an act of faith: it survives only for as long as people believe it will.

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Michael Lewis

People really don't like to hear success explained away as luck, especially successful people. As they age and succeed, people feel their success was somehow inevitable. They don't want to acknowledge...

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Michael Lewis

The world clings to its old mental picture of the stock market because it’s comforting; because it’s so hard to draw a picture of what has replaced it; and because the few people able to draw it for...

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Michael Lewis

Commitment, by its nature, frees us from ourselves and, while it stands us in opposition to some, it joins us with others similarly committed. Commitment moves us from the mirror trap of the self absorbed...

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Michael Lewis

The inability to envision a certain kind of person doing a certain kind of thing because you've never seen someone who looks like him do it before is not just a vice. It's a luxury. What begins as a failure...

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Michael Lewis

In Japan, mothers insist on achievement and accomplishment as a sign of love and respect. Thus to fail places children in a highly shamed situation.

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Michael Lewis

When you're trying to create a career as a writer, a little delusional thinking goes a long way.

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Michael Lewis

A tourist can't help but have a distorted opinion of a place: he meets unrepresentative people, has unrepresentative experiences, and runs around imposing upon the place the fantastic mental pictures he...

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Michael Lewis

Don't be deceived by life's outcomes. Life's outcomes, while not entirely random, have a huge amount of luck baked into them.

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Michael Lewis

What happens when we acknowledge the sovereignty and power of God without trusting in His goodness and faithfulness? A pitcher who saw God's power behind his extremely unlikely rise to the big leagues...

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Michael Lewis

That's what happens when you're thirty-seven years old: you do the things you always did but the result is somehow different.

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Michael Lewis

He was ignorant, but a lot of people mistook ignorance for stupidity, and knowingness for intelligence.

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Michael Lewis

the lesson of Buffett was: To succeed in a spectacular fashion you had to be spectacularly unusual.

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Michael Lewis

The CDO was, in effect, a credit laundering service for the residents of Lower Middle Class America. For Wall Street it was a machine that turned lead into gold.

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Michael Lewis

In Bakersfield, California, a Mexican strawberry picker with an income of $14,000 and no English was lent every penny he needed to buy a house for $724,000.

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Michael Lewis

My client loved risk. Risk, I had learned, was a commodity in itself. Risk could be canned and sold like tomatoes.

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Michael Lewis

The men on the trading floor may not have been to school, but they have Ph.D.’s in man’s ignorance.

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Michael Lewis

He was blessed with an unconventional mind, which overcame his conventional middle-class upbringing.

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Michael Lewis

What are the odds that people will make smart decisions about money if they don't need to make smart decisions--if they can get rich making dumb decisions? The incentives on Wall Street were all wrong;...

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Related quote

Michael Lewis

People really don't like to hear success explained away as luck, especially successful people. As they age and succeed, people feel their success was somehow inevitable. They don't want to acknowledge...

Read more


Michael Lewis

Don't be deceived by life's outcomes. Life's outcomes, while not entirely random, have a huge amount of luck baked into them.

Read more


Michael Lewis

Above all, recognize that if you have had success, you have also had luck — and with luck comes obligation. You owe a debt, and not just to your Gods. You owe a debt to the unlucky.

Read more


Greg Norman

You create your own luck by the way you play. There is no such luck as bad luck. Fate has nothing to do with success or failure, because that is a negative philosophy that indicts one's confidence, and...

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Peter McWilliams

Everyone thinks they can be a writer. Most people dont understand whats involved. The real writers persevere. The ones that dont either dont have enough fortitude and they probably wouldnt succeed anyway,...

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Valentino Garavani

Luck is one thing. It has always been there, it has always been a part of my success. It's a part of everyone's success. Without it, you can't be successful. But luck is something you have to stimulate,...

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Blair Underwood

Its really a luck of the draw or fate or destiny, whatever you want to call it, but you dont know if youre going to resonate with people or not.

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Patrick deWitt

This perhaps was what lay at the root of the hysteria surrounding what came to be known as the Gold Rush: Men desiring a feeling of fortune; the unlucky masses hoping to skin or borrow the luck of others,...

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Ian Fleming

Above all, he liked it that everything was one's own fault. There was only oneself to praise or blame. Luck was a servant and not a master. Luck had to be accepted with a shrug or taken advantage of up...

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Robert Pattinson

But you're not really allowed to complain about any of this, You're just supposed to be grateful. And obviously-I get it. You're lucky and you should appreciate your luck. But, I mean, it just seems if...

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Anton Szandor LaVey

But the average person doesnt have that much imagination. They just want to be entertained. They want to have the tableau presented for them. They dont want to participate beyond a certain point. They...

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Paul Newman

I wanted, I think, to acknowledge Luck: the chance of it, the benevolence of it in my life, and the brutality of it in the lives of others; made especially savage for children because they may not be allowed...

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Al Siebert

Highly resilient people are flexible, adapt to new circumstances quickly, and thrive in constant change. Most important, they expect to bounce back and feel confident that they will. They have a knack...

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Julian of Norwich

And I saw that truly nothing happens by accident or luck, but everything by God's wise providence. If it seems to be accident or luck from our point of view, our blindness and lack of foreknowledge is...

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Abbi Glines

I think that everyone's life is controlled by a series of events. They choose what they want and if it is in their control they can reach it. Sometimes luck shines on them and sometimes it doesn't. I also...

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Henri Nouwen

Joy is what makes life worth living, but for many joy seems hard to find. They complain that their lives are sorrowful and depressing. What then brings the joy we so much desire? Are some people just lucky,...

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Nolan Bushnell

A lot of people think that success is luck and being in the right place at the right time. But I think if you’re willing to work harder than anybody else, you can create an awful lot of your own luck.

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Olivia Munn

I know a lot of people have a hard time talking dirty - they dont know what to say, how to start, or when to end it. Also, at first they will think they sound ridiculous. And they might. But let me just...

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Eleanor Catton

I have observed that male writers tend to get asked what they think and women what they feel. In my experience, and that of a lot of other women writers, all of the questions coming at them from interviewers...

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Kara Goucher

As badly as I want a medal, I know there is a lot of luck involved in that. I want to put myself in position to be in the top three, give it my all and hope luck comes my way.

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Bryan Cranston

Luck is a component that a lot of people in the arts sometimes fail to recognise: that you can have talent, perseverance, patience, but without luck you will not have a successful career.

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“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

― Dr. Seuss