The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.

~ Alfred Hitchcock ~

Lucky You

November 28th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 15 secs

You can be lucky whatever your cookie contains.

What do you think about luck? Is there really anything in feeling lucky? Or is it just a matter of focus?

Obviously a lot of people do believe in being lucky  – enough to spend billions if not trillions in gambling every year. Around the world, whole cities and vast industries depend on people longing to be lucky enough to win a fortune of their own. So far, it has been a formula for outstanding profits, and the gambling industry has been very lucky indeed.

Yet, not everyone gets lucky with wagering. In fact, far more don’t than do. Most folk lose their dough and come home poorer for the experience. But they feel okay because they were paying for the fantasy that they might have won something huge. And, surely, this is gambling’s biggest appeal and surely it seems harmless enough.

However, according to, each year some 500 people in Las Vegas despair enough to commit suicide, giving the gambling capital the highest suicide rate in the US. Likewise, American research reveals some 20% of pathological gamblers attempt to take their own life (higher than any other addictive disorder). No doubt every one of these people feel they are going to be lucky. But, sadly, it doesn’t work out that way.

Gambling aside, feeling lucky has an interesting effect on people’s behaviour in other situations too. Believing that luck is by their side, people dare to do things they otherwise wouldn’t. Sometimes, this boldness pays dividends as people decide to take that job, find a new place, propose, and choose what their peers only dream of doing. Though such decisions can go awry, often they lead to better beginnings. So are these people really lucky? Or is it more a case of fortune favouring the bold?

Believing that some people are born lucky and others aren’t is sure to affect the way we look at life, for it pegs people achievements to forces beyond their control. While a lot of life certainly is out of our hands, I can’t help thinking that too few direct their life enough. Not, of course, in the “Where shall we go this weekend” way. But in intelligently thinking, “Why are things so?” and forming grand plans like, “How can I make my life count?”  

Mind you, all choices matter, from the smallest to the tallest. But it’s the bigger ones that steer you more clearly and explain what otherwise appear to be mysteries. To me, there appear to be two types of lucky people:

  1. Those who naturally have more benefits than most because of mathematical probability and the random nature of who they were born to.
  2. Those luckier folk who find their success because they or their parents made wise decisions that lead to exceptional outcomes.

There’s no magic in being lucky. Just: statistically predictable factors and good thinking. We cannot engineer the former, but we can definitely generate the latter. The trick is not to fall into thinking that luck awaits in gambling dens. Our luck rests firmly in the ingenuity of our thoughts and labour of our hands. But then, only the truly lucky understand that.

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