Emma Gannon
July 27, 2012 3:00 am

“It’s better to be lucky than smart, but it’s easier to be smart twice than lucky twice.” This is a quote by Henry Spencer which stayed with me and inspired me to write about it. It got me thinking whether or not there was an element of truth in it. Are we lucky, or is ‘luck’ simply based on our smart decisions?

I instantly thought of a few people I know who are just lucky, and things just happen for them and life always goes their way. But in general, I had to disagree that they could just be lucky. I think we make our own luck by seizing our own opportunities and making the right choices, and thus becoming our own lucky charm. Many times I have counted myself as ‘lucky’ whereas actually, in hindsight, I did it all myself. I openly put myself out there; I didn’t just get a parcel full of luck landing on my doorstep with big pink bow.

I, for one, shy away from the laws of physics and instead of explaining why things happen in everyday life, I just shrug it off. Why things happen is not something we all want to talk about over a cup of coffee. Even from an early age, we are fed canned responses from our parents in answer to that single word vocabulary of ‘why’. Toddlers pretty much want to know how the world began the minute they can walk, and I’m guessing a Sunday afternoon attempting to potty train might not be the most convenient time to explain the Big Bang Theory to a 2-year-old.

Why that heavy object misses us by a millimetre, being in ‘the right place at the right time’ or meeting that special person is near impossible to explain, which makes me think luck is just another strange human concept that shies away the fact that things just happen. Or we have momentarily morphed into Sabrina the Teenage Witch. In order to make good things happen, we send good luck cards by the dozen, spend hours searching for a four-leaf clover, yell ‘I’ve got my fingers crossed for you!’, add overpriced lucky charm onto charm bracelets and some are convinced the Zodiac is controlling our every move. These are essentially all ridiculous things that beat around the metaphorical bush and do not stop the inevitable and predetermined from happening. But, of course, we all like doing it and I hope we never stop. It fills us with a sense of luck, and maybe that plays an important role in helping along the unfolding of fortunate events.

Not to say I’m majorly superstitious, like those don’t-walk-on-the-drains-else-you’ll-die type people, but I must admit that when I’m not wearing my lucky ring, I have a minor heart palpitation and begin to make a start on the first draft of my will. A slight exaggeration, maybe, but wearing it makes me feel like I have something on my side.

All I know is, I feel very lucky. But I also think you must continue to make your own luck. Luck is a positive bonus, but not an excuse to fall back on, and not something to get too hung up about.

Do you have anything that makes you feel lucky?

(Image via Shutterstock).

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