by Henrylito D. Tacio
I was reading Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races recently, and one particular segment of the story was this:
Sean reaches between us and slides a thin bracelet of red ribbons over my free hand. Lifting my arm, he presses his lips against the inside of my wrist. I’m utterly still; I feel my pulse tap several times against his lips, and then he releases my hand.
“For luck,” he says. He takes Dove’s lead from me.
“Sean,” I say, and he turns. I take his chin and kiss his lips hard. I’m reminded, all of a sudden, of that first day on the beach when I pulled his head from the water.
“For luck,” I say to his startled face.
I usually don’t use the greeting, “Good luck.” Instead, I utter the words, “God bless you.” You see, I believe that it’s not luck that you win something or being into this world. It’s God’s plan. The famed Albert Einstein himself said, “I do not believe that the Good Lord plays dice.”
But some people do. In fact, most people do. “Shallow men believe in luck, believe in circumstances: It was somebody’s name, or he happened to be there at the time, or it was so then, and another day it would have been otherwise,” commented American author Ralph Waldo Emerson. “Strong men believe in cause and effect. The man was born to do it, and his father was born to be the father of him and of this deed, and, by looking narrowly, you shall see there was no luck in the matter, but it was all a problem in arithmetic, or an experiment in chemistry.”
Luck can be defined as the necessity of an additional power, which may be spiritual, rational, or social, so as to provide success to one in his life. In other words, you need 5 percent of the destiny power in addition to 95 percent of hard work to attain success. “Luck is a dividend of sweat,” said Ray A. Kroc. “The more you sweat, the luckier you get.”
In The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden, Jessica Sorensen wrote: “Life is full of luck, like getting dealt a good hand, or simply by being in the right place at the right time. Some people get luck handed to them, a second chance, a save. It can happen heroically, or by a simple coincidence, but there are those who don’t get luck on a shiny platter, who end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, who don’t get saved.”
Indeed, there are two types of luck, either good or bad. Someone once said, “Good luck is when opportunity meets preparation.” Robert Collier pointed out, “The man who persists through the bad luck — who keeps right on going — is the man who is there when the good luck comes — and is ready to receive it.”
Don’t just wait for good luck. Work for it. Alan Bond reminded, “I’ve always worked very, very hard, and the harder I worked, the luckier I got.” American President Thomas Jefferson himself admitted, “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”
Can luck be scientifically proven? “For centuries, people have recognized the power of luck and have done whatever they could to try seizing it. Take knocking on wood, thought to date back to pagan ritual aimed at eliciting help from powerful tree gods.” wrote Richard Wiseman in an article that appeared in Reader’s Digest.
Is being lucky really real? Wiseman conducted a study on why some people are lucky while others are not. He interviewed 400 men and women from all walks of life – ages 18 to 84. Scientifically, he found three things on how a person can make his own breaks.
“How can you say luck and chance are the same?” asked Amy Tan. “Chance is the first step you take, luck is what comes afterwards.”
But one wonders: Why do lucky people always get those chance opportunities? The answer: lucky people open their minds. “Unlucky people miss chance opportunities because they’re too busy looking for something else. Lucky people see what is there rather than just what they’re looking for,” Wiseman explained.
Brian Tracy has the same idea: “I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often.” Ovid agrees, “Luck affects everything; let your hook always be cast. In the stream where you least expect it, there will be fish.”
What about misfortunes? How do lucky people deal with them? Wiseman asked his subjects being in a situation: “Imagine you are in a bank. Suddenly, an armed robber enters and fires a shot that hits you in the arm.”
Unlucky people responded that it was their bad luck to be in the bank when the robbery happened. Lucky people, on the other hand, said it could be worse; that is, being shot in the head. “This kind of thinking makes people feel better about themselves, keeps expectations high and increases the likelihood of continuing to live a lucky life,” Wiseman said.
Mark Cuban shares this statement: “It doesn’t matter how many times you fail. It doesn’t matter how many times you almost get it right. No one is going to know or care about your failures, and neither should you. All you have to do is learn from them and those around you because all that matters in business is that you get it right once. Then everyone can tell you how lucky you are.”
Good behavior can enhance good fortune, according to Wiseman. Always look at the brighter side of life. Don’t delve into the negatives; think positively. Learn from the past; history repeats itself. “The only good luck many great men ever had was being born with the ability and determination to overcome bad luck,” Channing Pollock said.
To explain his theory, Wiseman relates this story: “One unlucky subject said that after adjusting her attitude – expecting good fortune, not dwelling on the negative – her bad luck had vanished. One day, she went shopping and found a dress she liked. But she didn’t buy it, and when she returned to the store in a week, it was gone. Instead of slinking away disappointed, she looked around and found a better dress – for less.”
Finally, here’s a word of wisdom from Nathaniel Mayer Victor Rothschild: “Never have anything to do with an unlucky place, or an unlucky man. I have seen many clever men, very clever men, who had no shoes on their feet. I never act with them. Their advice sounds very good, but they cannot get along; and if they cannot do good to themselves, how can they do good to me?”