Lucky Charm

Things are looking quite green around here, but I’m not talking about the grass or the leaves that should be covering these bare naked trees. St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner! Aside from the endless rounds of beer, the leprechauns, and numerous shamrock stickers everywhere on this Irish holiday, the idea of luck constantly lingers in the air.

When we learn something new and succeed right away, people say, “Oh she just has beginner’s luck.” If we happen to win a game or gamble, people say, “Oh it was purely luck.” When something bad happens but we managed to just barely avoid it, people say, “Oh boy did she get lucky this time.” But what exactly is luck? Why is luck defining our and others’ accomplishments?

By definition, luck is a noun regarding success or failure that was brought by complete chance rather than through a person’s actual actions.

Things do happen by completely chance or coincidence. Usually at least one person gets “lucky” and is happy with the result. Other times, you watch everyone around you benefit from chance while you wonder what you’ve been doing wrong and why you deserve this streak of bad luck. However, we shouldn’t let luck rule our lives. For starters, chance is all around us. No one can control chance, so there is no use in dwelling over it when something happens. Secondly, it’s not always acceptable to use luck as a scapegoat for your failures or as an excuse for your successes. Everyone may get lucky once or twice, but we can’t downplay other people’s hard work and efforts. We also can’t assume lucky streaks will be our friend forever and take advantage of them. But most importantly, your luck lies in yourself. As Randy Pausch said, “Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.” If you haven’t developed the knowledge or skills to do something, it doesn’t matter how much luck you have. It will not save you rear end when something goes terribly wrong. See, there is a huge difference in taking chances and trying to feed off your luck. Taking chances refers to seizing the opportunity when you feel like the risk is worth your time and effort. Trying to pull your luck every time you want to succeed is just taking a short cut and transforming your precious life into a gamble.

Luck is great when it rolls by with a gift from the universe every now and then. But, we all need to stop letting it determine what is good, what is bad, and how well our days will go. Luck is an accessory; it needs a foundation to lean onto. So, start focusing on bettering yourself and getting what you want through your own actual actions. Then maybe, just maybe, when an opportunity rolls by luck will be on your side, ready to treat you with a nice reward.