Is Luck an Illusion?

It seems like there are some people who are lucky, and others who are not. Or worse yet, there are people with bad luck. And it’s everywhere. Lucky in business. Lucky with relationships. Lucky in finances. Lucky in health. Lucky in life.

But I would suggest that most of what we consider luck…isn’t luck at all. Rather it’s something more direct. Something more about US than luck. But often it’s easier to give credit to…or blame something outside of us. Something that we believe we have no control over. Yes…we credit it to, or blame it on… “luck”.

What is Luck?

Is there “real luck”? I would guess so. Having a meteor fall out of the sky and land in front of us would be “good luck”. Having it fall a couple of seconds later and hit us would be “bad luck”. Neither has really much to do with us inherently. But I believe these are the exceptions.Most of the time our “good luck” and “bad luck” is more likely due to our own actions.

Do you win at the lottery or at roulette? Maybe you lose. But is that really luck? Partially yes, but fundamentally no. I don’t play the lottery, so I consider myself a winner. I don’t waste money on a game of chance thinking I will win because I am “lucky”. It has nothing to do with luck. I don’t participate in the game of chance, so there is no possibility that I would be “lucky” and win. In this case I win by not losing (a statistically far more likely outcome), and it’s a deliberate decision, not luck. It’s a choice that I made.

Are “Lucky” and “Unlucky” people born that way?

How about the person that seems to have everything that they do turn to gold? Is it because they are “lucky” or because they have developed relationships and knowledge that puts them in an optimal position for success? How about the person who is “unlucky” enough to have a fatal heart attack at age 35. Hmmm….seems like bad luck, until you learn that they never exercised, weighed 300+ pounds and smoked 2 packs a day. Now it doesn’t seem much like it was luck…as much as personal choice. Even for people who were truly unlucky enough to be born into a family with bad genetics, some go on to live long and health lives, despite poor genetics, because of how they take care of their self. Or those born into bad situations…yet are able to rise above and excel. On the other hand, how about the child who is a “born athlete”. Chances are there a millions of them out there. But we hear about the ones who have made it big. Is it because they are talented? Partially, but none of that talent would have come to fruition had there not been effort and dedication to the sport they are naturally good at. Their DECISION to do something with their talent. Success for them is not luck…it is a personal decision.

In a conversation with a very successful friend of mine a number of years ago, I mentioned that he was quite “lucky” to have done so well with several business that he started. He quickly replied to me…”I work HARD at my luck”. It was then that I realized that luck wasn’t as common as I had thought. I realized the wisdom in that statement. It wasn’t about chance. It was about the hard work and knowledge that HE had invested into his businesses…and the dividends that he was paid was his success….his “luck”. Decisions, not fate, dictated success.

What you do in your life. What relationships you foster, and those you shun. What you read and what you ignore. What you believe and what you don’t. What you say, or choose not to say. Who you hang out with, and who you avoid. What you eat, what you drink and what you don’t. How you drive. How much you exercise. Who you choose to work with, or not. What opportunities you will develop, and which you will avoid. Each of these choices shapes what happens to you in your life. Each of those choices can create positive and negative events in your life…and you may call them “good luck” or “bad luck”. But most of the time, the concept of luck is merely an illusion. What happens to you is a manifestation of what you think, do, say and the relationships that you have. Your choices are your future.

Abraham Lincoln said

“The best way to predict the future is to create it”.

And it’s also true that the best way of getting “good luck” is to create it. To make positive choices. To work with and associate with successful people. To have wonderful personal relationships. To treat your body in the best manner possible. And to make the most of each of the opportunities that you have.

Do “lucky” things in your life and you become “lucky” in outcomes.

You CAN create your future. Go out and start.

Comment on how YOU have created “good luck” in your life or career….Your comment may be the thought seed to help others create “good luck” in their lives. That’s a pretty nice gift!

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