I forget what book I read it in – some lifestyle/non-fiction/How To book – but there was entire section devoted to the author’s opinion about luck and lack thereof. He said that we don’t have luck. No one is hit with a lucky stick. Just like no one is unlucky for “just because” reasons.
Shattering a mirror doesn’t give you seven years of bad luck, being born with Mercury in retrograde isn’t good luck (in fact – a planet being in ‘retrograde’ has little to no bearing on life on Earth. It just means we’re moving at a particularly different speed than other planets and have caught up/ surpassed them, so it looks like they’re moving backwards for a hot minute. Or something like that – Astro 006 was a few years ago.)
You make your own luck.
You make the choices that lead your life down certain paths. Drinking to excess will leave you with a terrible hangover the next day. So you feel sick and are late for class. That’s not bad luck – that’s the result of a bad decision. Getting out there and meeting people who can potentially set you up with a job post-graduation isn’t good luck. It’s your hard work and dedication paying off.
Luck is defined (yep, we’re going there) as “success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions.” And I wholeheartedly disagree with that. ‘Brought by chance’ simply means someone else’s decisions have affected you, either positively or negatively, in the Rube Goldberg-like machine that we call life.
It’s October 1st. Perhaps ironically, I/we say “rabbit, rabbit, rabbit” on the first day of the month to “ensure good luck for the duration of that month” according to British tradition. But me saying a few words today won’t mean I’ll float through the month unscathed. I think of it as more of just a superstition – if I don’t say it, bad things might happen. But since I cannot predict the future nor peek into alternate timelines, we’ll never know would have happened to me if I didn’t.
I got in the habit once, after I read the passage I mentioned at the top of this post (I really wish I remember where I read that), of hushed-whispering “you do not make your own luck” whenever a friend mentioned his or her good or bad luck. But if some people wish to believe in it for their own sanity, who am I to tell them otherwise?
Here’s to a marvelous final quarter, 2014. October, November and December are progressively my favorite months. October is insane, with going out of town next weekend, and already looking toward my next exam week (and – ahem – a very important birthday). It doesn’t help that I’ve got November 1 circled with a big red pen on my calendar – Penn State vs. University of Maryland in football. To say I’m excited is an understatement.