how to reclaim your muchness
a celebration of spring: 13 ways to enjoy the weather

more than a clover or a pot o' gold: 6 ways to define luck

 

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.”

Thomas Jefferson 

 

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.”

Tennessee Williams 

 

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.”

Oprah Winfrey 

 

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.”

Brian Tracy

 

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.”

Loretta Lynn 

 

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.”

Barbara Sher 

 

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?

Comments

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I've always thought that we make our own luck, so I really liked the quote that "Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity". To me that says that if you've done the groundwork, then when a suitable opportunity arises you'll be ready to capitalise on it - which might feel incredibly lucky (right place, right time, etc), but really you were just poised, ready and waiting for that opportunity.

Topi - I agree that we make our own luck. We really do have to lay the groundwork and use our strengths to make the most of opportunities that come our way.

Dani, it's an interesting topic and one that I blogged about today. Stop by and see my thoughts.

It's so true that luck comes from taking chances. Nothing amazing ever happened to anyone just because they sat in front of the tv all night.

Good post Dani. For me too luck is definitely a blend of believing in luck, putting in the work needed to allow it to appear, and then expressing gratitude for the luck by making the best of it. Sometimes too there is an element of putting in the work, then needing to let go of any anxieties, expectations or further pushing to make something happen, to let luck arrive in its own time with gifts you might not even have imagined beforehand.

Syd - Great post today. I really enjoyed it!

Frances - It's so true that no one who did anything amazing ever got anywhere by just laying around. If we want luck, we have to seek it out.

Catherine - Thanks! You bring up a great point about letting go of anxieties. That's really a great way to let luck in. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

This is an awesome post as usual, Dani! Luck absolutely involves hard work and determination, but sometimes things just go our way (or not) by sheer chance. Take for example if you have an early class, happen to oversleep and find out that the class was canceled. Amazing feeling. ;)But yes, for the most part we determine our circumstances.

Dani,

Happy St. Patrick's Day (and congrats to your Mom and Pop)!

I agree that luck is actually very difficult to define. I found myself agreeing with every single quote in the post. However, it seems like there is some overlap with the word luck and the word success. It's hard to tell which is which.

I tend to mostly look at luck from a law of attraction perspective. I think good luck is typically when people are sending out positive vibrations and bad luck is typically when people are sending out negative vibrations.

But there is a lot of gray area here.

Thanks for the post!

Liz - Thank you! Great example with the class thing -- that's actually happened to me! I agree that some things in life our out of our control and we just have to accept that some things happen by chance. However, we do have to realize that we can make a lot of our own luck just by working hard at it.

Greg - Thanks! It really is a hard thing to define... Good point about the word luck overlapping with the word success. It's hard sometimes to figure out what the differences between the two are. I like the idea of looking at luck from a law of attraction perspective. That's an excellent way of thinking of it!

Wonderful post Dani! I loved it, as always..

I agree with all the points you mentioned. This probably connects to most of what you said, but I also believe that luck is a feeling and a mindset. I'm a total clutz, I say the wrong things all the time and every possible thing that can go wrong in my life usually does. So from the outside it would appear that I generally have bad luck.

But I don't consider myself "unlucky" at all. I see these unfortunate incidents as experience and training. Which makes me quite lucky because I get lots of practise at getting life right. More than most people, at least! :)

Marygane - So happy to hear you liked this one! I'm glad you brought up the idea of luck being a feeling/mindset. I really agree with that. Thanks for sharing your personal experience with this idea. It really is true that how lucky we are really depends on what we choose to focus on. Good for you, seeing the good in things that happen to you!

Wow, a good job in defining luck! I especially love "Luck is making your own luck"; can't agree more. Now, where's that luck recipe of mine...

The Conscious Life - Thanks! I'm glad you liked the post!

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