Sunday Musings: Luck — Does it Just HAPPEN, or do We MAKE it?
Luck is a funny and unfathomable thing.
It seems like we've all experienced moments of luck at one time or another, but how did they really come about?
I remember attending a business success seminar many years ago, and one of the workshop presenters made the statement that ”we create our own luck.” Odd as that may sound, his implication was that the people we often perceive as being ”lucky” have a habit of actively taking steps to be in the right place at the right time… in other words, they put themselves in a position to ”be lucky.”
Viewed from that perspective, you could say that luck is more of a skill than random chance.
But something about that assertion has always sat a little bit wrong with me.
Back when I was very young, I remember playing in the Spanish junior amateur golf championship, and being paired in the last round with another 17 year old youth from Belgium.
Rocks in the Machinery
Pierre and I we're having very similar rounds and were getting towards the end of the day.
On about the 15th or 16th hole, Pierre hit his tee shot deep in the woods on the right — in fact it was so far right that it looked like it was heading for somebody's house — then we heard a hard clanking noise; then suddenly here comes a golf ball flying back out into the fairway! Pierre had in fact hit the tile roof of a house and the angle had been just right that the ball hit the hard surface and bounced some 50 yards back into play.
I doubt you could say that was ”planned” luck in any way whatsoever!
But the illustration doesn't end there.
I was next on the tee and hit my tee shot pretty much in the middle of the fairway, where the ball happened to hit at just the right angle on a small (smaller than the size of your palm, from 225 yards away) exposed piece of rock, and it bounced sky high and straight right… and then into somebody's yard and out of play!
I doubt you could argue that I somehow ”unmade” my luck in some way.
So what is luck really? Is it truly random chance? Is it random chance that can be enhanced by also applying skill?
Moreover, is luck one of those things we apply our cognitive biases to? What I mean by that, this whether our personal experiences push us towards remembering our moments of good luck while blocking out the bad luck… or vice versa.
One of the reasons I find luck so fascinating as a topic to study, is this seeming randomness and the way we somehow feel inclined to categorize people as either lucky or unfortunate.
I look back on my own life — and even if I try to be as objective as possible — it seems like moments of bad luck has a distinct edge over good luck, in general. But if luck is truly random, shouldn't ”good luck” versus ”bad luck” come out to be roughly 50-50?
And then there's a friend of Mrs. Denmarkguy's who likes to play the slots at a casino, not so far from here. We pretty much ALL know that slots are heavily stacked in favor of the house, and is not a game of skill (like Poker, or Blackjack)... and yet this person regularly comes away with much more than average winnings. Is she just "lucky?" Or is something else at work?
Thanks for stopping by, and have a LUCKY week ahead!
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Created at 2023-03-05 23:38 PST
Luck can be happened without anything we do or in some ways luck also comes with our own effort. Indeed it is something that it is hard to explained😄
It's definitely a mystery, of sorts! But also fascinating to study!
Hello @cuddlekitten, nice to see you again!
I love your images, I think you were very lucky to get them, enjoy them and be able to capture them in a camera.
Thanks for the kind words @carolinacardoza, I enjoy trying to capture what I see with my "inner eyes" when I go for walks in my surroundings.