Luck: Why It’s the Dirtiest Word in the English Language


Hello, my lovely readers and friends…

Luck. It’s a word most of us, if not all of us, have used at some time or another. I’ve used it many times. In fact, I accidentally used a form of it just today in conversation. But what is “luck.” Is it something tangible or intangible? Does it exist at all? My opinion is that it doesn’t really exist. I know some will criticize and say, “How can you say luck doesn’t exist?!”

I think luck is just a sort of cop out. We never meant for it to be, really. We use it as a sort of treasured word, meaning we cherish it. We cherish the use of the word “luck” because it makes us feel like we can be lucky enough to win at this or that, to get a better job, to have a wonderful family, to have great friends, etc.

The truth is, “luck” isn’t the right word to describe any of that. Winning a game or some sort of lottery or something isn’t even luck. That’s called probability and statistics. All the others have more to do with hard work and the decisions we all have to make in life. I’m a firm believer in the fact that you have to strive to get what you want / need out of life. You have to make big decisions and you have to live with those decisions. Sometimes we make mistakes, but other times, we thrive in our own decisions.

My personal beliefs have gone through a sort of metamorphosis, but I still believe we must take advantage of good opportunities, big and small. Sometimes it’s truly scary. It can be nerve-racking to try new things, go places you’ve never gone, and meet new people. However, it is essential to progress in our own lives. We need to feed off our own experiences and grow from them. We need to meditate on the things we’ve gone through, the things we’ve seen, and the things that have broken us down. Sometimes we may feel like life throws us against the floor and harms us. Sometimes another person’s decision can have a negative impact on us. However, how we respond to it says a lot about us and can have a tremendous impact on our future.

Think about this for a moment. If I want to accomplish the goal of getting a new office desk, for instance, there are some dos and don’ts of accomplishing that goal. For one, I’ll need to have the money to buy the desk. Therefore, I’ll need to save up the money for the desk. Maybe I’ll make the decision to save $50 a week and set that amount aside for the desk fund, so to speak. If the desk costs $200, the wait to attain it would be about a month (or 4 weeks) time. If I need to get the desk faster, I would just try to save more per week. All this is to just paint a picture in your mind. There were logical steps that needed to be taken in order to buy the desk, and therefore accomplish that goal.

Where does luck fit in? It doesn’t. Let’s use another analogy. You want to get a job painting murals on walls of various establishments and restaurants. There are logical steps to reaching that goal as well. Sure, there are other ways of attaining goals sometimes, but there are also some very clear steps you can take, in most cases. For the mural-painting goal, I’d say maybe do some solid research about art, painting, and large-scale work. This will help a ton in this scenario. Once you’ve done your research and honed in on your technical skills of mural-painting (such as practicing on large canvases at home, and asking to do a free mural for a friend or family member), you should then look into the industry of mural-painting and see how to get into the business of doing it full time. Look online and at your library for specific sources that provide detailed steps. If you do it right and you have the passion and technical skill to boot, you should be able to enter the mural-painting business. It’s definitely not easy. Nothing that is worthwhile is easy. It takes hard work and patience.

Did you really read that last statement? It takes hard work and patience. There, I repeated it for you. Nowhere in there did I mention that it required any luck. Luck isn’t going to come to your rescue in any situation. Sure, coincidences can sometimes shape part of any situation as well as circumstances, people’s personalities, and many many other factors. However, luck isn’t any of those things. I think we often mix up the word “luck” and the word “coincidence.” Or even the word “luck” with the concept of probability.

Let’s say you enter the lottery. You buy a ticket. You win. You are not lucky. Luck had nothing to do with it. It happened like this. You bought the ticket. If you hadn’t bought it, you had no chance of winning at all. However, if you buy it, your chances are still very low, but you have some sort of chance. You are now in a group of people who are all trying to win. No one is “luckier” than anyone else. It’s a roll of a dice type of situation. Some will win and some will lose. Someone has to win. It’s part of the game. (There may even be multiple winners.) All it means is, all these names are in this hat, so to speak, and some are pulled from the hat to win (blindly), while others are not. It’s probability and statistics. It’s not luck. The more people who enter a lottery, the lower the chance each has to win (assuming they are drawing the same number of winners each time). In the same vein, the less people who buy a ticket, the more likely each person has to win.

Don’t blame bad luck for your mistakes. Stop making excuses. I know I’ve made my fair share. Life can be scary. It can be tough. All we can do is get up, dust ourselves off, and try harder this time. And don’t tell someone they are “lucky” to have the life they have. Chances are they have gone through similar struggles as you and maybe they have reached some tough to reach goals. Maybe they’ve cried, maybe they’ve gone broke, maybe they’ve lost hope, but bounced back and striven harder. Don’t say someone is lucky just because they have a more “successful” life and have worked their butts off to get there. It makes them feel like you don’t appreciate or even acknowledge their hard work.

Let’s take life by the horns and get where we want to go. It takes patience. It takes dedication. It is really hard to do, but I imagine it will all be worth it once our most treasured goals are reached.

Love you all,