A Bridge

You make your own luck

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Bit of a discussion started off in class two days ago about what exactly luck is. The viewpoints:

Undefinable

– You attract luck towards you with your attitude. If you keep thinking positive, and intensely want something, you will bring good luck upon you. It is not predictable, nor definable.

One of the people who put this view forward referenced the book “The Power of the Subconcious Mind”, by Joseph Murphy. I haven’t read the book, but from the way this person described it, it seemed to be toeing the line between making your own luck and something akin to… karma? Cosmological currents?

– Statistics

The mathematician agreed with the idea that you’re more likely to be lucky if you maintain a positive attitude and work hard, but he saw it as a matter of statistics. Someone is going to get that job. Someone will win the lottery. In 1986, no-one died… It just a matter of numbers, not luck – it has to happen to someone. It is predictable –  the recipient of it isn’t, but the event itself surely is.

To me these seem two sides of the same coin (apt). Statistically, an event will happen. If it’s possible, given infinite time it will occur, let alone if its a scheduled event like  the extraction of lottery numbers or the employment of staff. This is the holistic, objective approach.

The same event seen from a subjective point of view is seen as luck – why me? Was it down to chance? Yes, but the actual event had to happen. Once again, as so much amateur philosophy, it boils down to semantics. Luck, to me anyway, is merely a perception of an objective truth.

And that is without even beginning to think about what constitutes luck. As a friend pointed out to me, before you debate whether luck is merely a statistic or an actual fortuitous event, you have to define what luck is, as one man’s luck might be another’s misfortune.

Anyone else got any ideas?

Oh, and wikipedia does a much better job of explaining all of this too.

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