What It Means To Be Lucky

What It Means To Be Lucky

Luck is hard work paying off.
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A couple of weeks ago, I came across a reading that talked about “luck” and what it means to be “lucky.”

I’ve never been exactly sure about where I stand on the topic of luck, fate and free will but what I do know is that as certain events occur throughout my life, my ideas and thoughts on this topic shift.

I’m influenced by what I experience and from what I’ve experienced, I’ve always felt somewhat off when I’ve worked hard to succeed at something and someone makes the comment “oh, you’re so lucky.”

Think about it this way: someone trains at their sport for years and after three failed attempts to pass the Olympic trials, they succeed. Immediately following the good news, an observer approaches the athlete and says:

“Congrats! You’re so lucky, good for you!”

Lucky? Do years of training and failure sound like good luck?

This is how I imagine one might react in this situation.

Here’s another situation: a young girl reads and researches cooking all throughout her childhood. Every chance she gets, she’s watching the Food Network and scribbling down recipes as quickly as her little hands will allow her. One day, after countless bouts with burnt pans and overcooked dishes, she cooks what she feels is the perfect salmon dish. After entering her dish in a local contest, she wins. An older and more seasoned chef—no pun intendedwalks over to the girl (after recently losing to her in the contest) and pats her on the back telling her that “she can thank beginner’s luck for her big win today.”

With both of these situations, hard work is what allowed the lucky break to take place.

I think that I’ve had a skewed understanding of what luck is up until this realization.

I think I thought that luck is some blissful, good fortune that we have no control over.

Sure, things happen and someone who has never played soccer can automatically make an insane shot their first try when they’re just out on the field messing around with some friends.

These instances happen and in these cases, I do believe that sometimes, amazing moments occur by chance when no hard work, research or time was spent leading up to the moment.

However, on the whole, my point is that in certain situations, you set yourself up to be lucky. All the preparing that leads to the lucky break is how one becomes lucky. Hard work = luck.

The multiple failures and years of practice that the athlete spent preparing for the trials lead them to their good luck.

The years of researching, learning and passion that lead the young chef to win the contest led her to her good luck.

Twyla Tharp, American dancer and choreographer, says “you don’t get lucky without preparation, and there’s no sense in being prepared if you’re not open to the possibility of a glorious accident.”

Essentially, luck is a skill and just like any skill, you have to hone it and practice it in order to not lose the mobility and use of that skill. By using this skill, we can set ourselves up to be lucky. It’s as if the hard work and preparation is 90% of becoming lucky and the last 10% is just showing up to be present for the glorious moment.

In another quote, Twyla says that “generosity is luck going in the opposite direction, away from you. If you’re generous to someone, if you do something to help him out, you are in effect making him lucky. That is important. It’s like inviting yourself into a community of good fortune.”

These two quotes brought me to my current understanding of luck and how I perceive its role in my life and the life of those around me. Whether we’re setting ourselves up to be lucky, or we are showing generosity towards another (setting them up to be lucky), we are making our world and their world a better place.

As it turns out, I believe in luck.

I believe that luck is a product of hard work and persistence and in order to be lucky, we have to embrace the chance that luck is entirely possible and probable if we just put in that 90% and show up for the lucky moment to take place.

The harder you work, the luckier you become.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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To All Incoming Freshmen, When You Get To College, Please Don't Be THAT Freshman

I am pretty sure we all know who I'm talking about.

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As we are all counting down the days to return to campus, students are looking forward to meeting new people and reuniting with old friends. And then, there is the freshman.

We have all been there. The eagerness and excitement have been slowly building up through months of summer vacation, all waiting for this moment. I understand the anxiousness, enthusiasm, and insecurities. The opportunity to meet new people and explore a new area is very intriguing. But let's be real, you are here to make memories and get an education. So here are a few pieces of advice from a former college freshman.

1. Don't be that freshman who follows their significant other to college

This is the boy or girl who simply can not think for themselves. The 17-year-old puts their own personal goals and interests aside to sacrifice for a six-month high school relationship. This will more than likely end at an end of semester transfer after the relationship has been tested for a month or two in college life. So if you want to really enjoy your freshman year, make your own decisions and do what is best for you.

2. Don't be that freshman who lets their parents pick their major

"You are not going to school just to waste my money."

This is a statement you might have heard from your parents. As true as it might seem, this is definitely not a good way to start your college years. If you are not majoring in something you can see yourself doing, you are wasting your time. You can major in biology, go to medical school, and make the best grades. But if deep down you don't want to be a doctor, you will NOT end up being a good doctor. When it comes to picking your major, you really have to follow your heart.

3. Don't be that freshman who gets overwhelmed with the first taste of freedom

Yes. It is all very exciting. You don't have a curfew, you don't have rules, you don't have anyone constantly nagging you, but let's not get carried away. Don't be the freshman who gets a tattoo on the first night of living on your own. Don't be the freshman who tries to drink every liquor behind the bar. Don't be the freshman who gets caught up being someone that they aren't. My best advice would be to take things slow.

4. Don't be that freshman who starts school isolated in a relationship

I'm not telling you not to date anyone during your freshman year. I am saying to not cut yourself off from the rest of the world while you date someone. Your first year on campus is such an amazing opportunity to meet people, but people are constantly eager to start dating someone and then only spend time with that person.

Be the freshman who can manage time between friends and relationships.

5. Don't be that freshman who can't handle things on their own

It is your first year on your own. Yes, you still need help from your parents. But at this point, they should not be ordering your textbooks or buying your parking pass. If you need something for a club or for class, YOU should handle it. If you're having roommate problems, YOU should handle it, not your parents. This is the real world and college is a great time for you to start building up to be the person you want to be in the future, but you can't successfully do that if your parents still deal with every minor inconvenience for you.

6. Don't be that freshman who only talks to their high school friends

I know your high school was probably amazing, and you probably had the coolest people go there. However, I believe that college is a great time to be on your own and experience new things. Meeting new people and going to new places will allow you to grow into a more mature person. There is a way to balance meeting new friends and maintaining friendships with childhood friends, and I am sure you will find that balance.

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5 Ways To Make The Most Of Each Day

Don't wait until tomorrow to start

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Checking off everything on your to-do list is easier said than done. It requires commitment, but above all, it requires creating healthy habits. It does not matter if you are a student, in the workforce, or even a stay at home parent. Who doesn't want to be productive and make the most of their day? It takes practice and you can't change overnight. I put together the top 5 tips to be the best version of yourself each and every day.

1. Morning time = YOUR time.

Each morning you wake up, focus on what you want to accomplish that day. Don't just open Instagram and mindlessly scroll through all the pictures of the people that you probably barely like. As soon as you wake up, drink a huge glass of water, take your personal time to wake up and think about how you want to tackle your day. Even if your goal is to watch as much Netflix as possible, at least you have a goal with a plan. This also is where it pays off to have a calendar to keep track of your future plans.

2. Don't try to do so much at once.

Stop trying to do a million things at once. This inevitably raises your stress and counteracts the whole concept of being productive because you're just too overwhelmed. It is much more efficient to take on one task at a time and finish it with the most effort you can give. You will feel like you have accomplished more when everything isn't half-assed.

3. Pray.

You can't do this thing called life on your own... We aren't meant too. Look to him when you need that boost in your day. God will bring good things your way.

4. Get a good sweat sesh in.

It is proven over and over again that a daily habit of exercising increases your health, happiness, and overall being. Exercise can actually give you more energy, as crazy as that sounds. When you sit around all day, don't you feel more tired? Maybe even sore? Go to the gym for even 30 minutes and you can change your entire mindset throughout the day.

5. Be present with other.

I know I put this last, but this is an example of saving the best for last. I can not stress enough how important it is to be present with the people around you, in public and private. Put away down things that distract you. There is a big world out there. Engage in conversations with others around you. People will remember how you make them feel, positive or negative.

Your life is simply days following days. It is up to you to decide if you enjoy those days or barely survive those days. In the end, the life we choose to live is determined by the choices that we make each and every day. Begin each day by doing something different, big or small, and watch your life change.

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