General Question

DrasticDreamer's avatar

What do you believe are the characteristics of luck?

Asked by DrasticDreamer (23988points) June 10th, 2009

What is its nature?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

28 Answers

crisw's avatar

Randomness and memorability.

whatthefluther's avatar

Be at the right place at the right time. Luck, as well as disaster, can strike anywhere, anytime. You can improve your odds by placing yourself in a better position (it’s tough to win the lottery if you don’t have a lottery ticket, although, I have quite a bit of email indicating I won millions in a random drawing of email addresses…I’d be glad to forward those to anyone who so desires).

DarkScribe's avatar

Chance. Sometimes good, sometimes bad.

Judi's avatar

I don’t believe in luck. You have to put yourself out there to be at the right place at the right time. Even in the lottery if you don’t play you don’t win. Luck is the result of hard work. I know there is a famous quote about it but it eludes me at the moment.

Judi's avatar

Found it… but I don’t know who to give credit to:
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

rexpresso's avatar

How I’ve heard it defined and has become my personal definition, is:

“Luck is when opportunity finds a prepared person”

Something like that.

You have to be prepared to be lucky…

Which means to consciously reject a mental attitude of “I am unlucky”

Even if it seems like you are.

Trust me I’ve been through a lot of crap in life

Surely nothing comparing to so many others

But by no means I consider myself unlucky—quite the contrary

And that attitude brings good things my way

Good vibe, good people, good opportunities

Einstein said that in life either you see nothing as a miracle or everything as a miracle… i choose to see everything as a miracle


Good luck! I mean, get it in your head ;-)

rexpresso's avatar

And it’s not only a question of mental attitude of course.

If the next person got the job and you didn’t and you both have a great attitude, maybe she took some courses on relevant topics and it looks good on the CV

Which is: preparedness.

Oh, and about the CV: I’ve left for later (and can’t find it now…) a link about the cover letter landing you the job, and the CV just not disqualifying you. Ok, running off topic. Cheerios :-)

gymnastchick729's avatar

If someone wishes you good luck, you never get it. Luck is one of those things that happens when you are not wishing for it or expecting it.

critter1982's avatar

Dedication! Since luck typically presents itself in highly improbable situations, the more dedication you have, the more you put yourself out there, the better statistical probability you are to get lucky or overcome a highly improbable situation. It is also probably based on working smarter and not harder.

Facade's avatar

I don’t believe in luck.

YARNLADY's avatar

When I use the term, it’s just an expression that means I’m glad that I was in the right place at the right time. I don’t really mean anything magical or superstitious by it.

Blondesjon's avatar

Pink Hearts.
Yellow Moons.
Orange Stars.
Blue Diamonds.

fuck the purple horseshoes and red baloons

DarkScribe's avatar

@Facade I don’t believe in luck.

If you win the lottery, will not believe that you had some good luck?

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

There is no luck.
There are merely circumstances.

Luck is only a human concept we use to view random events in our lives but it is not a real force. .

dannyc's avatar

The characteristics of luck are likely mirrored by the character of the person. Those who feel themselves lucky, are, on the average, I think, more optimistic, and looking for opportunities to find unexpected pleasant results.( my definition of luck). Those who feel lost, or glum, or in a funk, are on the average, less lucky. I am unsure if one is causal, but they are certainly related. As far as random lucky events,besides winning a loto, there are not that many. Thus, for example,I have a friend who wins what seems to be a preponderance of door prizes, raffle stuff..etc..But if you actually knew this lady, her sociable outgoing personality and volunteerism drives her to attend many of these events, thus increasing her chances at, luck. All of us have our share of good and bad luck, characteristically it is what we make of it that will drive one forward.

DarkScribe's avatar


There is no luck.There are merely circumstances.

Luck is simply the way we describe those circumstances.

Jeruba's avatar

> If you win the lottery, will not believe that you had some good luck?

I wouldn’t. From the point of view of the lottery, somebody is going to win. It doesn’t know or care who you are. From my own point of view, I would be happy that I won. but my “luck” is exactly the same whether the win goes to somebody else or to me; that is, the odds of my winning depend on factors other than the fact that it’s me, me, me. It’s because we tend to put ourselves in the center of the picture that we think there’s any significance in who wins. That’s not an objective view.

However, I don’t play any lottery games because I think the likelihood of my winning is too low. Sure, somebody is going to win, but I see my chances as being about the same whether I buy a ticket or not. So I don’t.

I often win club raffles, though. Is that luck? Or does it have something to do with the fact that I buy a lot of tickets to help the club?

I think “luck” is just an attempt to see a pattern and influence the outcome of events, like any other superstition

critter1982's avatar

Isn’t luck just another word for a chance happening? I didn’t know you couldn’t believe in statistically improbable events. Perhaps I am missing something?

Facade's avatar

@DarkScribe I’d consider ther that to be just another thing that happened in life

rexpresso's avatar

@DarkScribe to give you a more dramatic example, something on the other end of the spectrum of winning the lottery—having someone you love die in a plane crash. I thought of that yesterday. How would I feel. How would I feel, knowing that the odds of dying in a plane crash are so minimal (that is the reason it’s in the news every time it happens).

I have been through some losses in life and dealt with them pretty rationally. I can’t know for sure how I would react to something that has not happened. But visualizing it, I imagined myself on one hand of course mourning the loss, but on the other hand, not blaming anything on luck or “why me”. I would be appalled and without much to say, probably I’d do some sarcasm to myself like “hey Universe you couldn’t have made me win the lottery instead could you?” but in practice, I would recognize once more what for me is the true randomness of the universal chaos. And I wouldn’t consider myself unlucky.

I “consider” myself lucky as a matter of mental activation of good vibes. Beyond that, I am neither lucky or unlucky. I just am, second after second, a result of my actions and others’ actions. And I can always guide myself somewhat to be more or less vulnerable to the actions of some and not others. That’s how life is and that’s how I like it. Unpredictable, exciting, always something new around the corner.

If I need to choose: I am lucky. Will always be. Even if a loved one would die in a plane crash. Or (even lower odds) hit by lightning. I will only be unlucky when I say so. It’s a mental construct, so, I construct it for myself in the way that suits me the best.

YARNLADY's avatar

@rexpresso changing an example from the good extreme to the bad extreme does not change the fact that life is, and “luck” as a supernatural thing simply does not exist.

DarkScribe's avatar

@rexpresso changing an example from the good extreme to the bad extreme does not change the fact that life is, and “luck” as a supernatural thing simply does not exist.

I have never thought of luck as supernatural, just an other expression for fate. It tends to be described as luck when it is out of the ordinary and occurs rapidly or without much warning, something either good or bad. It is only a term, not something you possess. It is not brought to you by talismans. On occasions I have good luck, it is still just happenstance, not anything that I possess, just something that happens to me.

f4a's avatar

i believe that luck is when preparation meets opportunity. you must do things to make things happen.

DarkScribe's avatar

@fish4answers _fish4answers’s avatar

i believe that luck is when preparation meets opportunity. you must do things to make things happen.

That is not luck, that is success. Nothing to do with luck.

f4a's avatar

@DarkScribe yah, thats why theres no such thing as luck.

what i said is a quote..

critter1982's avatar

luck and success can coexist.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Thanks everyone. :) Interesting answers. I asked because we were talking about this in class and I wanted to see how most people here described it. Luck, in most situations, can be described as supernatural or magical, whether or not most people (Americans, especially) realize that’s the kind of vibe they’re giving it.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Luck is coming across the comments of @DrasticDreamer

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