APRIL 4, 2021
“The winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.”—Edward Gibbon
What do you think? Does luck exist?
Is success only based on chances and probability?
Are all achievements nothing but a result of chance encounters?
The modern debate on the importance and impact of luck on our success and achievement is rife with varied opinions. But arriving at a proper conclusion is actually very simple and easy. Just add practical thinking and an open mind to the mix, and you are all set.
What is Luck?
Before going on the quest to find out the importance of luck, we first need to understand what it truly means. According to the Cambridge Online Dictionary, the meaning of luck is: “the force that causes things, especially good things, to happen to you by chance and not as a result of your own efforts or abilities.”
You become lucky when you go to a restaurant which is giving free dessert on its fifth anniversary, and you did not know that.
You become lucky when you see a crystal-clear sky without any trace of clouds only two minutes after a thunderous downpour.
You become lucky when you see your favorite actor down the street.
This is luck. When you benefit from something that you did not directly cause or contribute towards, you become lucky.
Luck: A Game of Probability.
In the beginning, I said that we need to think practically with an open mind to discern the importance of luck. And when we look at incidents luck plays a major role, we realize that the probability of those incidents occurring was very low. Not many restaurants give free food on occasion, and the likelihood of you going into a restaurant like this out of any restaurant in the world on that specific date is very low. Usually, after a thunderstorm, it takes some time for the clouds to clear. Therefore, it is unique for you to see the sky clear out in just two minutes after heavy rain. Actors often travel on the roads with a lot of security and privacy, so there is very little chance that you run into your favorite one.
It is all based on probability—the events or things that have a very low likelihood of happening become lucky events.
Luck Exists, But How Powerful is it?
These examples prove that luck does exist, and there are times where we can get lucky. But how much of an impact do these lucky events have on us? If you get a free meal at a restaurant, you will save a few bucks. If you see a crystal clear sky only two minutes after a heavy downpour, you will wonder in awe for some moments, click a picture, smile and get back to your work in less than five minutes. If you see your favorite star, you will click a picture, post it on Instagram, and tag that actor. After that, you will move on with your life and continue to live it as it was. None of these unanticipated events create a significant difference in your life.
However, luck is not powerless all the time. Sometimes, your life is entirely based on chance because someone else is in control of the circumstance. For example, you are traveling along a highway with your friends, and suddenly, someone hits the right rear wheel of your car, which spins out and turns over multiple times. When the car stops, it is straight, and all of you inside are able to walk out safely and independently. The probability of surviving such a crash is very low. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and National Centre of Statistics and Analysis, rollover crashes are more likely to result in fatalities than other crashes in the USA. Therefore, surviving such an incident is miraculous and lucky.
The Importance of Luck in Success.
Luck plays a vital role in our survival and short benefits, but the main question now remains, “Does luck play the same role in success?”
The short answer, NO.
If you are satisfied, there you go.
If you aren’t, then read on to find why.
As per the definition of luck, it is something that happens to you without your effort or abilities, and that is exactly where it becomes paradoxical to success.
Let’s take a look at the meaning of success as on the Cambridge Online Dictionary: “the achieving of desired results, or someone or something that achieves positive results.”
As evident by now, success is intentional. We strive for success and work towards it, but luck is entirely spontaneous. If your colleague has been working overtime and finishing all his projects with the highest quality, it is evident that he will be promoted. And when he is, it will happen because of his efforts and not because he “praised the boss” or “cut corners”.
When Steve Jobs became successful, it was not because he was in California by chance and entered the tech space. He worked with his partner Steve Wozniak day and night until they build the personal computer they initially envisioned.
Successful people are often termed as lucky because they built an empire out of opportunities that were presented to all.
It is as simple as that.
Therefore, in terms of success, luck is nothing more than a mere excuse for being unsuccessful.
Any kid studying at Harvard in 1975 had the chance to drop out and build a company like Microsoft. But it was only Bill Gates who had the dedication, commitment, and vision for creating a revolution, and he did.
Luck exists, but not in terms of success. All we did right now was to use an open mind that thought practically, and we arrived at the best conclusion. We cannot deny the existence of luck, but we cannot also prove its presence in terms of success.
We can continue to rant about the existence and non-existence of luck all throughout our lives, but acceptance is the only tool that will let us live life and actually become successful!
Thank you so much for reading this post! I hope that you now understand the role and importance of luck in your success, and you will go and start working towards it instead of waiting for luck to do all the magic! Share your thoughts in the comments below, and I will surely reply!
Partnering in your success, happiness, and growth,