Chance, luck or fortune

As part of the Thrive programme there are 30 locus of control questions that show you if you have an internal or external locus of control. You then need to work through the ones that were external and turn them into internal responses. One of the questions involves the belief in luck or fortune.

For me it seemed obvious that some people were lucky and others were not. Surely it had to be luck that meant you would win the lottery or bad luck if you got into an accident? But that was just my human nature trying to explain something that couldn’t be explained. You see luck and fortune are just man-made concepts. We have a need to explain why something happened (this is particularly true of Emets). Everything has to fit nicely in a little box , something can’t simply just happen. But, things just have to go one way or the other. You will either win the lottery or you won’t; you will either fall down the stairs and break your ankle or you won’t. There is no supernatural reason behind it. This is what chance is but you could also think about it in term of probability or odds.  What are the odds that you would fall down the stairs? If you really looked at it there would be many factors affecting the odds but in simple terms, there is a 50% chance that you will fall down the stairs. In other words, you will either fall down or you won’t!

Another way of looking at luck is that it’s something we create for ourselves. ‘Luck is preparation meets opportunity.’ If you believe that you are lucky then you are more likely to go out looking for opportunities that would make you seem lucky. For example, if you believed that you were going to win competitions because you were lucky, then you are going to actively enter competitions believing your ‘luck’ will make you win. But all this is doing is increasing the chances that you will win. If you believe that you are never going to win anything, you won’t enter the competitions. This will mean you won’t win and that will reinforce the idea that you are unlucky.

Your belief in whether you are lucky or not can also affect other people’s reactions to you. So if you believed that you were lucky and would get any job that you had an interview for, you will come across as confident and this will give the interviewer confidence in you. But if you believe that you are unlucky and would need a miracle to get the job then you will come across as confident, you won’t get the job and that will reinforce your idea that you are unlucky.

So, to answer the Thrive question, ‘do I believe in Luck?’  The answer would be no. It is just a matter of how you perceive chance and how you process what happens to you in your life.

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