Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Do You Believe In Luck?

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Karma. Fate. Kismet. Luck. Blessings.  Coincidence.

What is luck, exactly?

At first glance luck appears to be getting what we want when we want it, through extraordinary means.  The happy coincidence.  The answered prayer.

But what about the "dodge a bullet" kind of luck?  We don't get what we want, but it turns out we were saved from ourselves and our misguided desires.

Some people make their own bad luck, but then I also have known people who appear to just be unlucky.  Weird, unexplainable things occur to them that drive the luck-o-meter needle into the bad luck zone.  And it happens over and over again to perfectly nice people making good choices.

It used to be people blamed the Gods (or God) for bad luck.  The story of Job, the poor man whom God allowed to be tested for steadfastness of faith comes to mind.  Even in Roman and Greek tradition, the Gods would smite those poor mortal souls who angered them or who were found wanting in their devotions.

My life has been pretty blessed.  Unusually so, actually.  (I feel compelled to say "knock on wood" so as to maintain the status quo.  I am not ashamed to admit I'm a little superstitious.)  The only Bad Thing that rocked my world was the death of my sister.  Otherwise, bad things have happened, but we weathered them to see the rainbow after the rain.

I feel so lucky/blessed to be where I am now.  I was able to go to college, I have a well paying job, a husband who is perfect for me, and two lovely and healthy children. My parents live a mile away and watch my children while I'm at work. 

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It's not so much that I believe in luck as the maker of all things good. Quite honestly, I believe hard work is a lot more indicative of success.  But, it seems that in any endeavor there is at least a smidgen of luck required to have that big payoff.

Lately I've been wondering if there is a quota of luck.  If, eventually, the luck pot runs out.

Maybe luck is all in how we view the world and occurrences around us.  Positive thoughts yield happy people and so life isn't any different for "lucky" people, they just feel better about their life as it unfolds.

What do you think?  Do you believe in luck?  Do you feel lucky?  What do you think luck is?


  1. Hey,

    I think you nailed your own thoughts with the last paragraph... I think anyone with a positive attitude has more "good luck" than someone who's always thinking negative...

    I'm also a firm believer in Faith and that God has a plan for us. I believe he gives us the opportunity to make our own luck, too (via education, job choices, etc.)

    Thanks for a very thoughtful, interesting post (and sincere sympathies on the loss of your sister, even if it happened a long time ago, I can't imagine what you must have gone through...)

  2. What is it they say? Luck happens when hard work meets opportunity? I kind of believe that.

    I also think there are unseen forces at work sometimes. I've had luck of both kinds hit me when I'd done nothing more than wake up that morning. Hard to know why stuff happens sometimes. Just easier to call it luck.

  3. I believe in luck and yes some seem to be luckier than others, but we don't see everything in another persons life and most people do not brag about bad stuff. 90% of people who leave the casinos claim they broke even and yet as my son says "there's a reason the bathrooms are all done in granite.

    Seems really lucky people work hard!

  4. I totally believe in luck! I look at my kids and my hubs and don't know what I did to deserve them. I suppose I found a few lucky pennies :)

    I also am familiar with the 'dodge the bullet' when a greater power knows much more than I do when it comes to what's better for me. It's not till I look back on it that I see why it happened the way it did.

    Very thought provoking post! :)

  5. I think you're so right that "luck" is a lot in perspective. I think when things happen that can't be coincidental, they are blessings. I think all good things come from God, so He gets most of the credit, not some horseshoe, four-leaf clover, or rabbit's foot. :)

  6. I am sort of like you. Very lucky/blessed to have a good family. Healthy and happy.

    It makes me appreciate the people who have so many struggles in their life and overcome them.

  7. I think luck, for the most part, is about what we put into the universe. If we put out a lot of negativity we won't get back great things.

    On the other hand, a lot of bad stuff happens that seems super random, so it's hard to say.

    In some ways I've been very lucky but, in others, not so much. I try to stay really positive but sometimes it's hard to do that. I do believe in luck though. A force in the universe that creates positive things. Sometimes, we can tap into that force and make it work for us. To me, that's what "luck" is.

    And I still knock on wood too. (Which originated from thanking the tree-spirits and not wanting them to take away their blessings)

  8. So sorry about your sister :(

    I believe that hard work and dedication are needed in order to put us in the place and time when luck kicks in. We make our own luck.

    Great post my dear!

  9. @Mark - I am convinced each individual's perception of their good luck/bad luck depends on their state of mind. I just don't have an answer for what happens to those poor people who are doing everything right and just keep getting pounded! (And thanks for the sympathies. :))

    @L.G. - I love that quote about hard work meeting opportunity. But there is that something "else" that happens sometimes that is unexplainable good fortune, huh?

    @Joe - Excellent point! Just because we think someone looks lucky doesn't mean that it isn't just one bright spot in an otherwise hideous life.

    @Cassie - Thank God for lucky pennies! I love the dodge the bullet luck the best. But for the grace of God... It's that kind of luck that makes me believe something out there is ordering the universe, no matter what you might call it. :)

    @Emily - I agree. Luck sounds random, and there are situations where the "lucky" occurrence just isn't random at all.

    @Suzi - Sometimes I wonder if the only reason why some people have "luck" is because they do struggle through to the other side. If they gave up, they'd remain unlucky, but by persevering they create that lucky strike.

    @Tamara - I think I'd heard about the tree-spirits before, but thanks for reminding me again! I truly don't want anyone to take away their blessings - God, tree-spirits or the Universe at large! I think you can be commended for continuing on in the face of adversity. It is hard to move along when everything looks like poop. It takes true courage.

    @Kelley - Thank you for your kindness. :) I agree. If we aren't prepared to receive it, then luck can't stick. Kind of like the muse! If you don't show up to work, then she has no one to talk to!

  10. Although I agree with Thomas Jefferson's quote (“I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it") and our perspective in life affecting our luck, I also think that there is that elusive quality to luck - God's had or Karma or whatnot.
    Nice post, and I am sorry about your sister too.

  11. I always see the bright side of life these days and therefore celebrate how lucky I am to have this life, even with the aspects that could be seen as downsides.
    That is how I make my own luck :) also celebrating the small victories opens up for more luck. I am blessed!

  12. Some people do seem to lead blessed lives. Sometimes, I feel like one of them - a happy family, two beautiful grandsons (and I'm nearby so I can see them any time I want). And sometimes bad luck seems to follow me. But I agree with a few others who have commented that a positive attitude can lead you into more good opportunities. I wondered - after surviving numerous horrible situations during my first 40 years - if God had a plan for me. He did - to be here, right now, with my family. The rest of it - work, where I live, what sort of car I drive - that's all just lucky icing on the cake.

  13. Good luck is often a lot of hard work. Just like being an "overnight success" is more like a lot of hard work. One day, a decade ago now, I said I was lucky while I sat in a crazy ICU waiting room. A woman corrected me and said I was blessed. I think about her every time I self-correct myself, especially when "blessed" is more appropriate.

  14. @E.D. - Thank, E.D. It does seem like there is a flaky aspect to luck, but usually hard work trumps luck.

    @Sylvia - I agree. A positive demeanor seems to create positive energy (or something) and so everyday magic is able to reveal itself. :)

    @Karen - I like how you think - some is by design, while the not so important things are luck.

    @Stacy - I find it hard to use the word "luck" too. :)

  15. What a thought provoking subject. I often wonder why the nicest people have terrible things happen over and over--is it a predisposition to poor choices? Or just an inability to sidestep what's free floating around (in the world.) Or just plain (bad) dumb luck?

    My luck was always so odd, I named it: Long shot luck. Be it good or be it rotten, it was always an extreme that never failed to amuse, astound or frustrate. Now how could I possibly cause that? It makes one wonder. :P

  16. I believe in hard work, and I believe that luck and coincidence is God's way of giving us a boost along the way. :)

  17. Sometimes it feels like people just wind up having good luck. But if you pull away all the trappings, I think their luck, a lot of times, is due to hard work and determination. I think sometimes people who seem to have bad luck often make poor choices that continually make them wind up in hot water and numerous woes. Just my observation, and certainly not scientifically based!

  18. Oh my gosh - I totally missed your comments, D.D., Shallee and Cindy! I'm so sorry! I really appreciate you taking the time to comment and next time I won't be so slow!!


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