Saturday, January 15, 2011

Are you lucky? Is anyone lucky?

I was thinking about luck today. I feel like I'm very lucky in many ways. I'm lucky to have the family that I do. I'm lucky to be in relative good health (above the hips anyway, as you all know about my crazy leg problems). That's not the kind of luck I'm thinking about.

I'm talking about having good luck. Finding a buck on the ground. Winning at a casino. That sort of thing. I don't think I like attributing that stuff to luck. That makes it seem so mystical and something I have no control over. Maybe I'll be lucky, maybe I won't. I guess I have to wait and see if good things happen. Maybe my luck will change unexpectedly. Is my life not in my own hands?

A quick Google search about luck quotes will yield tons of results about luck being connected to opportunity. I've always heard the quote as - luck is merely recognizing opportunity. I like this concept.

Let's say you find a dollar on the ground. Are you lucky or did you recognize the opportunity to pick up a dollar? Think about it like this - that dollar was going to be on the ground whether you walked by that spot or not. It would have been there whether you picked it up or not. Your interaction with that dollar did nothing to impact how, why, or when it was there. So you recognized the opportunity to pick up a dollar. Maybe it's crumpled and doesn't look like a dollar but you recognize it and grab it.

I'll use the casino reference as well. In the 16 months I've been living in Biloxi, MS I have never lost at the craps tables. Sure, I might go down a little bit while I'm playing but I cash out even or with a profit every single time. Am I just that lucky that a multi-billion dollar per year industry that wipes out people's life savings and destroys homes just happens to pay me? I'd hate that. At that point I might as well hand money to the dealer and tell him to let me know if I was destined to be lucky and win or not. I'll tell you why I win. I studied the game in detail. I know the odds. I did the math. I play smart and conservative. I hedge my bets. I'm very careful about the flow and placement of every chip. It is all about leveraging. How much luck does that sound like?

Maybe I'm too pragmatic. Maybe all of life is not about numbers. I do think, however, that luck is not something that is magically bestowed on you for no real reason at some time in your life and it is taken away just as suddenly.

There are opportunities out there. They exist at all times in all places. You may see them and take advantage. You may not. Remember, that dollar is going to be on the ground. Recognize it and pick it up. If that is the definition of luck, then I am lucky because I'm aware and observant. I'm never complacent. I want more; to know more, do more, have more, experience more, feel more. I keep my eyes wide open and absorb all I can so when that opportunity is presented, I don't walk on by.

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