Luck: Chance or simply opening your mind?

The past few weeks, if you may have noticed, I have been moaning quite a bit.

Usually when things don’t go the way we want them to go, we attribute it to luck. So what is luck? Luck is defined as “success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than one’s own actions” or “the chance to find or acquire”.

I’ve been also, by sheer chance, reading a book called “Luck: The Essential Guide” by Deborah Aaronson, which as the blurb tells ‘is filled with everything you need to live a luckier life….information, advice, or if you just have to knock on wood”. I was probably drawn to the book because I was moaning about my lack of luck and borrowed the book.
So what exactly is luck? Different cultures view it differently from perceiving it as a matter of random chance to attributing it to faith or superstition.

In Hinduism, luck is said to bestowed by the Gods and if properly propitiated, Lakshmi, the Goddess of money, wealth and fortune, will bestow her blessings on you and so, the individual becomes lucky in business and commerce.

Many cultures have lucky clothing, items to be worn on the body and even directions to face to become lucky. In the Chinese culture, Mahjong players and gamblers especially, are said to be extremely very superstitious when it comes to being lucky. Most of us are guilty of this at some point of time or the other.

I remember when I was young, during cricket matches, especially those between India and Pakistan, if someone made a particular movement or sat in a particular pose or location when an important wicket of the opposing team was got, they were made to do the same till the end of the match! It was hilarious watching otherwise grown, rational and smart people behave like this – but then cricket in India is akin to a religion, albeit one that the entire country believes in!

In Singapore when something happens in public, be it good or bad like an accident or if someone narrowly escaped something, then people usually look for four numbers associated with the incident – number plates of a car or numbers associated with an address for example to be used while buying 4D, which is a local lottery system. I’ve seen many people religiously buy this lottery every single day, sometimes winning, but at the end of the day, I’d like to believe the house always wins. To be honest though, I’ve been quite tempted to put some money at the annual draw which takes place during Chinese New Year and in which the first prize can be in millions….

Some people seem luckier than others. I remember reading once about the winner of a mega lottery who won the same lottery more than once! What could the odds be of such an occurrence, something like probably one in a million I guess!

Can luck be learnt? Lucky people consistently encounter lucky chance opportunities whereas unlucky people consistently miss them. One reason it has been said that lucky people are less stressed and more relaxed, hence are more able to see everything around them – both the expected as well as the unexpected. People who consider themselves unlucky are so focused on looking for something specific or are so caught up in their lives that they don’t have time to stop to smell the roses, which leads them to having missed opportunities.

An article I read had four principles via which lucky people generated their luck. Lucky people are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, they are more outgoing and less loathe to break routines, they make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, they create self-fulfilling prophecies by positive expectations and lastly they adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.

So there you have it – how to change your life and it’s actually quite simple. Open your mind to serendipity and when the chance to do something new or different comes your way, grab it with both hands. Who knows, your luck and perhaps your life may change at that point!

As for me, I too need to take my own advice and keep an open mind……

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