I stabbed myself in the hand recently.
No, I’m not suicidal, just an idiot.
Accidentally, when trying to get a tight plastic tier off a gardening product, with much force, I sunk a very sharp knife into the fleshy bit of my hand in between the thumb and forefinger. It hurt like…. oh, I can’t say, but I think you get the picture.
A deep wound, a hole big enough to shove an olive in to be honest. Surprisingly, it hardly bled at all. Thankfully I missed all the vital bits, the muscle took the hit.
I drove to the A&E department and got it stitched up. When I later phoned family and friends, I remember saying that it could have been so much worse, therefore I was “incredibly lucky”.
And that got me thinking. About luck.
Was I lucky? Is there such a thing as luck?
According to the Cambridge Dictionary. Luck is: “The force that causes things, especially good things, to happen to you by chance and not as a result of your own efforts or abilities.”
While according to the Collins Dictionary, bad luck is a “lack of success or bad things that happen to you, that have not been caused by yourself or other people.”
All about luck?
Here’s some of the things we say or may have heard in everyday conversations when it’s apparently all down to “luck”.
“Oh, this beautiful young woman sat right next to me on the train last night. I couldn’t believe my luck.”
Maybe, though, it wasn’t luck, it was your smile or aftershave that attracted her. Or possibly she was simply too tired to walk along the carriage to find another seat.
“The best of luck for your driving test tomorrow!”
You don’t pass a driving test with luck, surely?
“Your luck’s in…”
“I’ve tried to get a plumber, but with no luck.”
“Better luck next time.”
“With a bit of luck, the rain will hold until we get home.”
The weather, though, has nothing to do with luck.
And the classic one: “As luck would have it.”
I’m tempted to say that luck doesn’t exist. But then again, I can think of random things that happen to me, that don’t add up.
Are some people born lucky? Do you know someone who seems to breeze through life without any issues? Or to use that phrase, “everything they touch turns to gold”?
Then there are those who seem that luck has and always will bypass them.
Take Frank Spencer, for example. Poor guy never got a break, did he? Fair enough he is a character of fiction, but I’m sure we all know of someone who seems to have the lack of luck that poor Frank did.
What about in real life? Let’s take sport. When the golfer misses the put, the commentator will often say, “he was unlucky”. Same when the footballer hits the bar or post. “Unlucky”.
But is it really so? Was it not just that the footballer didn’t kick the ball in the exact right direction?
Does luck exist, and what is it?
When playing pool or snooker, someone may say your shot was lucky. You may reply by saying: “Nothing to do with luck mate, it was skill.”
Who’s right? Who knows?
What about tossing a coin and guessing the outcome? Pure luck or law of averages?
Can’t be skill.
Then, of course, there are things, physical items that millions believe will bring them luck. A four-leaf clover, a rabbit’s foot – not so lucky for the rabbit, I’d say; or even a horseshoe.
Do you cross your fingers for luck? I used to, but don’t anymore. I even read somewhere that you shouldn’t cross the fingers on your left hand for that’s actually bad luck. The mind boggles.
Could it be that “luck” is something we create for ourselves?
Someone may be especially good at seeing an opportunity for business or investment. They then listen to their gut feeling, then go for it. If they succeed, others may call them lucky, but maybe it’s simply hard work, diligence, and yes, a wee bit of “luck” thrown in.
Or maybe “lucky” people are just more positive and happier in their outlook, thus good things happen to them. While unlucky people could be anxious or depressed, therefore things go wrong more often, resulting in the tag “unlucky”.
According to the research paper, “the luck factor”, good luck is about your attitude to life, as opposed to some kind of external magic. It therefore does seem that lucky people are happier and more positive, while unlucky folks are the opposite. And these characteristics affect how they grasp or don’t at opportunities and how they handle what life throws at them.
Is it luck or skill?
Take phenomenally successful people, like Richard Branson, for example, or Amazon’s Mr Bezos. Are they lucky to be mega rich? No, I don’t think so. They’ve simply had a vision, a goal, and worked their plan. They are winners and believe they are so.
I don’t believe that people become successful in whatever field they are in, by being “lucky”. I also don’t believe that those who never succeed, be it entrepreneurs, or even writers, can claim it’s all down to bad luck. Could it be that they or their idea is simply not good enough?
But we don’t like to hear that do we? Far easier to blame bad luck when our novel gets rejected again for the umpteenth time.
We really do like to blame others for our apparent bad luck. I’m sure you have at some point, I know I have. But if we’re being totally honest with ourselves…
The National Lottery. There is absolutely no skill in playing the lottery. I think you’d agree. So, what decides who wins? Is it luck, or some hidden force, or karma? No idea.
Let’s take cards. Blackjack. It could be said that luck determines what cards you receive, but skill definitely comes into it after that, as in how you play the hand.
I love that old phrase on life itself, “you can only play the hand you are dealt”.
The Buddha taught that since all things that happen have a cause, be they material or spiritual, then luck or fate or chance, does not come into it.
Is there such a thing as good luck and or bad luck? I guess there is not one answer. It’s very much a personal belief.
Do you believe in luck? Or think life’s all just random chance? Or that we actually create our own luck through our own hard work and tenacity?
I wish you an enjoyable weekend. And if you have a lottery ticket for tonight’s draw…