I have thought about this luck issue from childhood and did experiment many things as I was really curious to solve this luck mystery. Following are the some of my attempts I made to understand this ‘lady luck’ and the findings;
MYTH 1: ‘Some folks are just born lucky’
I was told by my family and relatives that I was born lucky because of some physical attributes (like certain palm lines, moles in left wrist, and the lucky chin).
WOW! I really felt great for some time. But then I thought just like I am born lucky, some people would be born unlucky and that just doesn’t seem fair, does it? Why should our destiny be decided by our physical attributes over which we have no control whatsoever??
I read a story in my 5th standard about a King who saw the face of the ill-fated person in the morning and his kitten bit his finger pretty badly . So he thought that the unlucky person should be executed as he brings misfortune in other people lives. But then his wise adviser made him realize that if that person is unlucky just because the king saw his face in the morning and got bitten by a cat then the King himself is more ill-fated than him because that person saw king’s face and by that result he has to die.
The time I read that story, I thought luck shoudn’t depend on the physical attributes at all.
MYTH 2: ‘you can buy your luck’
I met a friend when I was eight years old who was very superstitious. He used to wear 4 different rings and lockets and used to tell me that it brings him good luck and I used to get very impressed! Well, I didn’t had that much courage that time to ask my parents to buy me gold chain or diamond ring, so I had to have something that is lucky but less costly. For some days, I carried a red handkerchief and called it my lucky charm but within myself I knew I was fooling myself. Also, I was getting bored of carrying same colour of handkerchief so that strategy didn’t work very well.
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But after few days, I finally found my lucky charm. I got a 10 Rupee bill from somewhere that had ‘786’ as last 3 digits (786 is considered very lucky no. in Islam especially in India as it translates ‘God’ in Arabic language.) And as I was secular even at that time, I thought islamic God would favor me too. I was so happy about it and always used to carry it in my wallet. But guess what! That bill was stolen from my wallet few days later. And I knew it was my that very friend as he asked me several times to sell him that bill in higher price. Also, all the other stuff and money was safe in that wallet so it couldn’t be any other money stealer.
That event changed my thinking about these lucky possessions. The ‘786’ bill wasn’t even lucky enough to save itself from pickpocketing, forget about brining others any lucky charm. In fact, I lost my 10 bucks just because it was considered lucky!
Later on, I further realized that if only by wearing any diamond ring, red handkerchief, costly jacket and shoes or any other materialist thing can make you feel lucky then it shows how less you think about yourself.
My mother is firm believer in feng shui and vastushastra. She already had bought many stuff from a superstitious shop witch was newly opened near to our house. But guess what, that shop had to shut down in just two months because the owner was making huge losses. Once I cracked a joke to my mother that if those thousands of fang shui products couldn’t bring any luck to that shop and stop it from being closed, how will the same stuff will bring any fortunes to our home?However, my mom still believes in feng shui and I don’t mess with her on that topic. 🙂
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And what about vastushastra? The concept how you should build and decorate your home on some superstitious parameters so that it could bring you greater fortune, really makes no sense at all, at least to me. If this was any true, then all the lower middle class people will remain poor because they are living in an unfortunate home and they cant afford to follow the costly vastushastra standards. On the other hand, rich people who can afford vastushastra as they are rich will eventually get richer. What a terrible concept!
MYTH 3: ‘You can know your luck in advance’
This is basically the psudoscience stuff that claims to predict the future so that we could work in advance to change the bad times that may occur in future. The stuff like Astrology, Numerology, Palmstry, Horoscopes, etc. are very famous in India also because most of the hindu marriages do take place only after match-making of the bride and groom on basic 36 parameters that are determined by astrology and numerology.
But when we look deep down in that matter, we find that in western countries (and even in love marriages that take place in India) people don’t follow this match making stuff before marriage and they are living a peaceful life. On the contrary, one my relative who got married to a guy with whom she had majority of points in common, had to go through divorce within a month’s time.
I still remember, All the famous astrologers, numerologists and tarot card readers predicted before the cricket world cup 2003 final that India would win the match. Guess what? They lost in the worst way it could have been possible by Australia. Doesn’t it prove the vague nature of all these future tellers? Many astrologers still predicted in 2007 again that Australia won’t be able to win the world cup for third consecutive time. They didn’t lose even a single match in entire tournament and they became the proud world champions yet again.
Think for the moment, how could possibly the stars & planets who have no self-consciousness at all, could affect the character and fate of our life?
So, what is luck all about?
Let’s first understand the difference between chance and luck. Chance events are like winning the lottery. They’re events over which we have no control, other than buying a ticket. They don’t consistently happen to the same person. They may be formative events in people’s lives, but they’re not frequent. People say, “I met my partner by chance.” Or “I’m in this particular career because I just happened to go to this party.” In this particular perspective, chance or probability is only affected by confirmed causal connections. A brick falling on a person walking below, therefore, is not a function of that person’s luck, but is instead the result of a collection of understood (or explainable) occurrences. Statistically, every person walking near the building was just as likely to have the brick fall on them.
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Luck or chance do not depend on any God’s will. Case in point: Have a crowd of around 64 people and divide them into two groups. And then flip a coin and ask one group to predict ‘heads’ as result and another group to predict ‘tails’ to arise. 32 people would be right about predicting the result and then do the same exercise till the end. In the end there would be one person that predicted the correct result 7 out of 7 times which is really very rare event, isn’t it? But that rare event could have happen with any member of that crowd of 64 people because it was bound to happen. It just happen to be that person was lucky enough to be that lucky person of that day. It was not a miracle of God.
On the other hand, When people say that they consistently experience good fortune, by definition, it has to be because of something they are doing.
What is success all about?
Success can be defined in many ways. Here is my own success thumb rule…
Result (success/failure) = Ability X Efforts X Luck
Notice that all the variables in above formula are in multiplications. So, even if any of those variables is 0, the overall result will be failure. For example, suppose if someone had 100% luck and 80% ability but he put zero effort then the overall result would be 0.
Success is when opportunity meets preparation. Without effort and preparation, lucky coincidences don’t happen. It would be highly improbable event and must not occur frequently when someone had 100% ability and given 100% efforts but had no luck at all.
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No luck at all is rather more unlikely event than getting lucky all the time.
What I’m arguing is that we have far more control over events than we usually think. You might say, “Fifty percent of my life is due to chance events.” No, it’s not. Maybe 10% is. That other 40% that you think you’re having no influence over at all is actually defined by the way you think.
Efforts are within our control. Ability can be improved overtime. But how can we create our own luck?
According to Richard Wiseman, these four principles can create good fortune in your life and career.
1. Maximize Chance Opportunities
Lucky people are skilled at creating, noticing, and acting upon chance opportunities. They do this in various ways, which include building and maintaining a strong network, adopting a relaxed attitude to life, and being open to new experiences.
2. Listen to Your Lucky Hunches
Lucky people make effective decisions by listening to their intuition and gut feelings. They also take steps to actively boost their intuitive abilities — for example, by meditating and clearing their mind of other thoughts.
3. Expect Good Fortune
Lucky people are certain that the future will be bright. Over time, that expectation becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because it helps lucky people persist in the face of failure and positively shapes their interactions with other people.
4. Turn Bad Luck Into Good
Lucky people employ various psychological techniques to cope with, and even thrive upon, the ill fortune that comes their way. For example, they spontaneously imagine how things could have been worse, they don’t dwell on the ill fortune, and they take control of the situation.
EARN YOUR OWN LUCK!
He worked by day,
And toiled by night.
He gave up play,
And some delight.
Dry books he read,
New things to learn.
And forged ahead,
Success to earn.
I. What I Know, Assume or Imagine Just a couple of weeks ago, I was thinking of a topic for this I-Search Paper, but I didnt really know what I want to do except that I want to do something unique, something that will surprise the readers, something that has not been done before. I came up with two possible topics: landscape designing and origami. After couple more days of dilemma, I ended up ...
He plodded on with
Faith and pluck;
And when he won,
Men called it luck.
“I believe in luck: how else can you explain the success of those you dislike?” ~Jean Cocteau
“The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work.” ~Harry Golden