Happy St. Patrick’s Day (and Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad)! Today’s a day that reminds me a lot of one topic in particular and that topic is luck. Do I believe in luck? Sure! But what does believing in luck really mean? In the past I’ve relied a little bit too much on luck – sitting around waiting for things to happen to me, thinking the reason they weren’t happening was because my luck was bad – and I know that hasn’t been healthy (or helpful) at all. Luck can be a powerful thing, but I believe it’s much more complex than “good” or “bad.” I believe it’s much more than just having or not having luck. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word luck means “a force that brings good fortune or adversity; the events or circumstances that operate for or against and individual; or a favoring chance.” While I don’t disagree with those definitions, I personally believe luck is a lot more than that. I believe luck is all of the following (and more!).
LUCK IS HARD WORK.
“I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”
While I do think luck has a lot to do with our lives, especially in terms of what situations we have been born into or come up against, I also think that hard work increases our luck (which means that, in actuality, luck is hard work). A lot of people believe that they are lucky or unlucky. They believe things happen to them and there is little they can do about it. I agree that things happen all the time that are out of our control, but we do have the ability to work hard. We can work hard to get out of a situation. We can work hard to get into a situation. We can work hard at a job, in a relationship, or on ourselves. Luck plays a role in our lives, but hard work plays an even bigger role in luck.
LUCK IS BELIEVING IN LUCK.
“Luck is believing you’re lucky.”
One thing that I’ve always found to be true when it comes to luck is that the more you believe in it, the more you seem to have of it. I used to not believe in luck (mostly because I was looking at the negative instead of the positive; negativity doesn’t lend itself well to believing in luck), but the more I realize that luck is something I can create, something that has a value worth focusing on, the more lucky I feel. I don’t necessarily know if I actually have more luck, but I feel as if I do because I am being more attentive to the world around me. In looking around me and focusing on the present, I realize that I feel very lucky. I suppose it’s really gratitude that makes me feel as if I am lucky. Because I am in tune with the good fortune in my life, I find that I’m more likely to believe I have good luck.
LUCK IS PREPARATION MEETING OPPORTUNITY.
“Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.”
I couldn’t agree with this quote more. When it comes to luck, there’s an element of opportunity, but there’s also a lot of preparation that must fist happen. Think about those you consider “lucky.” It may seem at times as if some wonderful situation just fell into their laps, but that’s generally not how life happens. More often than not, luck is when someone who is given an opportunity works very, very hard to make the most of that opportunity. I really don’t know if there can be luck without hard work attached to it. Luck – opportunities -- might happen, but it only matters if someone makes the most of what comes his or her way. Luck, as Oprah said, is that intersection where all of the hard work collides with an opportunity.
LUCK IS TAKING CHANCES.
“If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active.
Show up more often.”
Luck, as I’ve found first hand, doesn’t happen when you’re sitting around doing nothing. You can wish and hope and dream all day, but that isn’t going to make luck find you. If you want more luck in your life, you have to take more chances. You have to do more things. The more you put yourself out there in the world, the more likely you’ll be to have lucky experiences. Yes, luck can probably find you anywhere, but if you get out there, you’re opening yourself up for all sorts of new opportunities and, if you go back to that Oprah quote again, those opportunities are an essential part of luck. Taking chances can be intimidating, but it’s worth the risk if you really want to have more luck in your life.
LUCK IS MAKING YOUR OWN LUCK.
“In the long run, you make your own luck: good, bad, or indifferent.”
This one I believe in 100%. There are many things in life that our out of our control, but there are also many, many things we can do to make the most of the life we’ve been given. We’re all uniquely awesome and we all have the ability to do amazing things. Sometimes it can be hard to remember this (especially when we’re feeling down in the dumps), but we really do all have the ability to make our own luck. Some of us have a lot more to overcome than others, but we all have the ability to work hard and seek out opportunities. Making your own luck is difficult; it’s much easier to sit back and hope luck comes your way, but if you don’t go out there and go after it, you could spend your whole life waiting.
LUCK IS TAKING ACTION.
“The amount of good luck coming your way depends on your willingness to act.”
Tying in with the idea that to have luck we need to take chances is the idea that if we want luck we have to be willing to act. It can be so tempting to sit back and wait. I know that I used to do this (and still, in some ways, do). I used to sit around and moan about how I didn’t like things. I used to hope that someday they would get better. I would wait around, and you know what? Nothing happened. Luck doesn’t just happen out of nowhere. It wasn’t until I started taking action – really taking steps to make my life better – that I began to see the luck in my life. Don’t just wait for luck to find you. Get up, get out, and do something.
Now that I've shared some quotes about luck (as well as my ideas about these quotes), I'd love to hear what you think about the topic. Luck isn't always what people think it is. It's something that's hard to pin down and often hard to identify. To me, luck is so much more than a four-leaf clover or a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Luck is something we can act on, something we can create, and even something we can share with others. Luck is so many things and it can even be something that's unique for everyone. Even with all that I've written here today, I don't think I've fully gotten to the hang of what luck is. I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment section! Tell me what YOU think luck is.
Do you believe in luck? Do you believe you're lucky?
What does it mean, really, to be lucky?