Often we come across these statements-
I am having a bad luck.
If only luck was on my side, I could have cleared that exam.
I am not getting that job only because of my bad luck.
These statements can come from anyone. In fact, almost everyone blame luck at some point of time in their life.
What is luck?
We treat luck as if it is some mysterious invisible fog surrounding us. Sometimes it appears as if luck is some guy who is controlling our outcomes. But that’s just plain indifference.
Luck is anything beyond our control.
All those things that are out of our control constitutes luck. In order to understand what are the things that are “out of our control”, we must understand what is “in our control”.
Just think about it –
What is in our control?
The UPSC exam that you are preparing for – which aspects of that exam can you control?
Your Preparation for that exam.
The fitness you are striving for – what aspect of that fit lifestyle is in your control?
Your nutrition and exercise regimen.
The college that you want to get into – what aspect of admissions is in your control?
Again, your preparation for entrance examination.
Now if I ask you again-
What is in our control?
And so, by transitive relationship we can argue that-
Anything which can not be influenced by our actions, is Luck.
But I guess, we already know that. But how much do we realize that?
Luck is one of the most abused word in English dictionary. Instead of using luck as something beyond our control, we use it as a scapegoat. Instead of accepting our mistakes and learning from them, we plainly drop the bomb on luck.
And so every single time you said luck was responsible for something, was it really so?
A few months ago, I had employed a driver for my newly brought car. He always used to say that all his relatives are in a very good position, but he has such a bad luck to work as a driver. He told me how his so and so brothers used to play with him in childhood and now they are police officers etc
Now there are some things I noticed about him – He was (by all means) a lazy man. After dropping me to office from home, all he used to do is to lay flat and snooze off. Never washing car, trying to skip etc were also some of the behaviors I noticed in him. Only after two months, I got rid of him and took charge of steering wheel myself.
But why did I told you this incident?
Its not about the driver. Its about luck. How he abused luck for his laziness. And many people do this. They use luck for their own inaction.
Why should we stop blaming luck?
Because, it gives you the impression of things are ‘out of your control’. And this impression of lack of control leads to further inaction. Gradually it turns into a vicious cycle.
And people with this cycle ruling their life call themselves unlucky.
How to know If I am in this cycle?
Step 1: Write down three things which happened wrong in your life. It could be anything – failing in exam, some accident, missed one-time opportunity etc.
Step 2: Take these one by one and dissect them. Ask whys. Asking 5 whys in series will lead you to the real reason behind that mishap. As an example read this-
Mishap: Couldn’t clear entrance exam.
Why (1) ? Because I couldn’t get cutoff marks.
Why (2)? Because examiner didn’t like my answer.
Why (3)? I hadn’t written good answers.
Why (4)? Insufficient answer writing practice. Moreover, I hadn’t studied well too.
Obviously, this is a very straight forward example having its real reason extracted in 4 whys only. But in most cases, it will be like this only.
Step 3: If you were blaming bad luck for this mishap then you might be living in the “cycle”.
As the Serenity prayer goes-
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference
We should have the wisdom to know the difference between what is in and out of our control.
For what is in your control, leave no stone unturned while there is still time in your hands.
For what is out of your control, let it go – out from your mind.
As far as luck is concerned, let it be where it deserves to be – with the inactives.