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Just_Justine's avatar

Do you think some people are just "lucky"?

Asked by Just_Justine (6486points) March 30th, 2010

Possibly a few answerers will say you make your own luck. I have tended to agree. However, oddly life has shown me that effort and preparation does not always equal luck. When I stopped “trying” so hard, I seemed to get more lucky.

Or is it some sort of cycle of life? and if it is what propels it? Time?

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61 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

It is just ‘luck’, or what I like to call chance. It’s the same reason why miraculously someone goes to the casino with 50 dollars and comes out with $1,000. Of course it all depends on what you believe, some would say god, karma, etc.

Cruiser's avatar

My best friend seems to have that luck of the Irish and not sure if him being Irish is the key. But he wins at almost everything he does including raffles etc. Karma is a powerful equalizer though and I am not sure I hear about all the unlucky stuff that happens to him.

The_Idler's avatar

Luck only exists in the past.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I’ve never been able to figure this out. Some times it just falls into my lap and other times, it never seems to come my way.

partyparty's avatar

My cousin is just so very lucky. If she enters a competition she always wins, it doesn’t matter whether it is bingo, a magazine competition or whatever.
She has almost furnished her house with her winnings.
She even won a car once.
Just lucky I guess.

wonderingwhy's avatar

I would imagine a lot of it has to do with perception. If I put 10 hours of effort into accomplishing something, when I succeed I don’t consider it luck. On the other hand if I put only 10 minutes of effort into the same thing, when I get the same result I consider it lucky – though I have to understand that I would normally put in 10 hours of effort. At the same time if I see someone else get the same result with minimal effort I might consider them lucky but I’m only seeing the end result – I consider them luckier than me but I don’t actually know what effort they put in (maybe 10 minutes, maybe 10 hours, maybe 100 hours, I don’t know).

Sometimes I really think a lot of the luck we see in others is a function of “the grass is greener on the other side”. But there’s always that instance where all you can do is just stop and say “damn, that was lucky!”

Oh and just as an aside, though most people don’t think about it, remember, not all luck is good.

DarkScribe's avatar

They can be with the right accessories. (Wanna buy a lucky rabbit’s foot?)

RandomMrdan's avatar

I honestly feel some people are presented more opportunities than others, but luck = preparation + opportunity

phillis's avatar

You can expect to get both eastern and western philosophies represented in these answers, Justine. Mine is somewhat of a blend.

Flat out, I don’t believe in good luck or bad luck. I believe you make or break your life according to your perspectives and effort. How many times have you heard a person say these things:

1— It’s me alone in the world.
2— It’s me against the world.
3— I was born under a bad sign.
4— I was born unlucky.
5— I’ve never had much luck when it comes to women/men.
6— I can’t trust anyone.
7— I’m a loner because the world sucks.
8— It’s a dog-eat-dog world.
9— Why do bad things always happen to me?
10 Why can’t I find love, when I have so much to give?
11— Fate conspires against me.
12— I never win!

The list goes on an on. Some people thinks having an unlucky life is God’s punishment for a sinful existence. Others thinks it’s because they were born unlucky, and that’s all there is to the story. You live, then you rot in the ground. If I felt like that, I wouldn’t be motivated, either. Still others think it’s karma. Some say it’s timing, as you suggested. All in good time, they say.

I think some of it sure is karma. From what I know of the universe (knowledge which could fit into a thimble, basically, but it works for me), it’s a non-emoting system of checks and balances that constantly works toward balance as the optimum state. In the universe, it isn’t end results that matters at all. Its the honesty of your heart. What your intentions are, matters here.

What you think comes to fruition. HOW you think is what you’ll get. You have to grab what you want with both hands and actually appreciate it. The biggest thing a lot of people never understand is that THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS. You have to do the work to get the good stuff. Anything worth having is worth fighting for. But mostly, we’re
fighting against ourselves, and blaming everybody else for whatever happens to us. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Idknown's avatar

@RandomMrdan I’d like to add a similar equation I learned at a young age.

Results does not equal to effort. However, with more effort, you increase the chances of results.

And then efficiency is how to balance out the equation with least waste of effort. :)

Good luck equation though – I totally agree!

@phillis I’d like to expand this a bit, even though it doesn’t answer the OP’s question (sorry). Interestingly enough, your sub-conscious does exactly as you say, so soft science psychology research says. It is called NLP – look it up for those that are interested. It is the belief that if you say or write something down, a goal, you’ll accomplish it because your sub-conscious will make it happen. Also – it depends how you speak to yourself. I can’t do it, replaced by How can I do it, then followed by I can do it – really makes it happen.

zephyr826's avatar

I’m not sure it’s luck as much as happy coincidence. Sometimes great things happen without any effort on our part, but the people we consider lucky capitalize on those little moments and spin them into larger strings of “good luck”. If you think you’re going to miss the bus but manage to get to the stop just as it’s pulling up, you feel lucky. Then that feeling can inspire confidence and joy in you which others see and sometimes reciprocate, so it seems like more good things are happening to you. It’s not luck, but you feel lucky, and your feelings (and the way you act because of them) can create more beneficial situations.

john65pennington's avatar

Ask any person that gambles regularly and they will tell you that “luck goes in circles”. what does this mean?

Look at a circle. ¾ths of the circle is mainly a none-win period of time. you may win some money, but nothing to brag about. the other ¼th of the circle is known as the “golden time”. this is the period when everything you touch turns to gold. some people have this experience, while others do not.

A and B Personalities:

Some people gamble all the time and are never winners. some people gamble all the time and win freely.

Personality A: this personality type wins all the time. they never use “sacred money” to gamble. this means their bills are paid up to date and the money they are gambling with is extra cash, thats not committed.

Personality B: this personality type rarely wins. they only have a certain amount of money to spend gambling. they use the electric bill money, the tax money, even the food money to gamble. they stay in the hole all the time.

Each person falls into one or the other of these categories.

Its not the luck a person possesses…........its blessings from above.

Exhausted's avatar

I’m not sure I believe in luck. I believe your perception is your reality. I guess that would mean that if you think you are lucky you are. Now, having said that, I do believe in the power of positive thinking. I think if you believe good things are going to happen to you, they will. If you believe you can accomplish something, you will. I think if you choose to see your life from a positive perspective, your life will be rewarding.

phillis's avatar

@Idknown Exactly! It works every single time, UNLESS it isn’t supposed to. That sounds vague, but I’m so tired. Maybe you could expound on my thoughts a little more, please? To benefit anyone interested, that is.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

Luck plays a very small role in the success or failure of most individuals. Everyone experiences 1000’s of luck based transactions and as the number of luck-events increases the number of lucky vs unlucky breaks hits 50–50. Imagine flipping a coin. You can flip 8 heads in a row but if you flip the coin 10000 times you will probably come in very close to 50% heads. Since there are so many luck-based transactions the difference between individuals is not generally attributable to luck. There are of course very rare luck-based events which could kill you, etc but you can’t use the fact that you might die when an object from space comes crashing through your roof or the fact that you might win the megga-lotto to make decisions (OR EXCUSES!) since these events are fleetingly rare.

Seek's avatar

I think that randomness exists in the universe, and sometimes you get things your way, and sometimes you don’t. There’s no cosmic power determining who gets what. A roulette wheel uses centrifugal force and gravity. Neither one of those could give a rat’s arse whether the ball lands in the slot you picked. It either happens or it doesn’t.

partyparty's avatar

This cousin I mentioned earlier went to bingo. They played ten games in total, then a last game which was a bonus game.
Out of the ten games she won four of these games, then went on to win the bonus game.
Is this luck, chance or something working for her that we can’t possibly imagine?
I really don’t know the answer myself, but I have rubbed shoulders with her many times in the hope that ‘some of it’ might rub off on me LOL!!

slick44's avatar

I dont know, but if someone learns how to obtain luck. Let me no. I could use some.

TheOnlyException's avatar

I know what you mean about when you stop ‘trying’, things just seem to fall into place. This however applies only to everyday situations in life for me, not academically (unfortunately…)
But i think when you are constantly on the look out for something to happen and it doesn’t you are even more let down and disappointed than if you hadn’t been expecting anything at all.
If you relax things come a lot more easily and you tend to focus more on the good things that happen because they are not outweighed by the times you were disappointed.

Idknown's avatar

I mean – I’d even gather to change luck to probability. Because luck… I feel like you can take ownership in that. Whereas – you can’t of probability.

There is no denying that there are lucky people in this world. You just can’t explain the streaks – they break probability. If you play a game where you’re supposed to win 50% of the time, but luck has it that you win 80% of the time over a long period – probability was on your side. And you can very well be ‘lucky’.

I don’t think luck is a force – but I fail to see how you can not believe in luck…

Take the WSOP. The veterans consistently make it to the event. But they rarely win. You have these young 21 yr olds winning their first bracelets against the pros who won 7. But here’s the fun fact – the young player will likely not win another.. and the pro has 7. So again, another tip of the hat to @RandomMrdan Skill you will take you there, luck/opportunity will make you succeed.

@phillis Those who are interested will google nlp. But in case they are that lazy…

iphigeneia's avatar

I do believe that you make your own luck, for the same reason that some people believe in God. It may not be true, but if I take an attitude that I can control my destiny, that’s gotta have a more positive effect than believing in the opposite, right?

Sometimes the luck of the draw has nothing to do with how hard you try, or how good you are. Some people seem to have it all, others get hit with tragedy after tragedy. After all, that is how chance works, and in a short human life you don’t always get the chance to see the other side of the coin. All you can do is look on the bright side of life and make the most of whatever lot you draw.

Idknown's avatar

@TheOnlyException I tend to disagree with that statement. You should never stop trying. Just don’t try in one avenue. Try in many different things and if one doesn’t work out – the other will, which will reinvigorate the whole process.

While I am a consultant in Corporate America, I am also a photographer, and am now looking to be a cafe owner. I never stop hustling, and I think because of that, my record of accomplishments serve as a constant reminder of what I can do if I try, and success is bred on success, like money is made on money.

CMaz's avatar

Luck is a label we put on situations, when we don’t have answer to something that just happens or happened.

Timing is everything.

DarkScribe's avatar

I recall a bumper sticker from the seventies.

If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all.

zophu's avatar

People who have a “positive” outlook SEE more opportunities and so have more choices to go for and have higher chances for success. People with anxious outlooks, whether they are negative or not, see less opportunities and often get stuck on little things that would be breezed over by a “positive-thinker”.

So, good luck would generally appear to follow people like that.

Just_Justine's avatar

@TheOnlyException there is something I found very profound in your answer :) @everyone I think everyone’s answers were food for thought thank you as always.

RandomMrdan's avatar

You can be prepared, but if you miss out on opportunities, luck won’t happen. Meaning you’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time

if the opportunity arises but you just don’t have the preparation/skills to take advantage of that moment, bad on you.

You need both opportunity and preparatin to make good luck. Other wise it’s just bad luck, or a missed opportunity.

mrentropy's avatar

yes. I’ve seen it in action.

BoBo1946's avatar

me, i woke up this morning

Ame_Evil's avatar

Statistically some people would be more luckier than others. Luck is just a game of stats anyway.

For example as the number of people increase, “luckiness” will appear to cluster for some of these people. Similar to if you get 1,000,000 people and make them toss a coin 20 times, statistically around 2 people will be able to get the same outcome 20 times in a row.

Of course there are biases in place such as neglecting things that we have lost etc as well as the fact that in some situations there will always be a winner. Such as the lottery – someone is (almost) always going to win. Loads of people also self report that they are lucky or whatnot (ie have a system) after winning the lottery with a 1/13000000 chance or whatever. They may feel “lucky” but the fact is that someone had to win it and a lot of people would react the same way if they did which gives the impression.4

Bleh I wish I could be clearer.

phillis's avatar

@Idknown Perfect! Works for me :)

Coloma's avatar

I belive in what I call the ‘psycho-spiritual’ appraoch to life.

When one is really ready, REALLY READY, for a turn of events, it opens and unblocks ones psychic & spiritual blockages and allows that thing, situation to begin to come into exisitence.

I have expereinced many happy, fortuitious moments of ‘good luck’, not because of luck itself, but because I was truly ready to claim my demonstration.

The house I live in now…about 9 months before I found it, I walked along the river in this area and had a deep and profound feeling overtake me ’ I want to LIVE in this area!’

Let it go, forgot about it and one day, 9 mos. later I found this house by ‘accident’, it was perfect for me and just minutes from the river. I made a deal with the owners and had it in hand by the end of the day!

Another time I was very much wanting a job I had interviewd for, I was really READY for that change, as I was walking downstairs I had a clear thought of ’ I wish they would call me’ and…the phone rang at that moment! I had the job!

I truly beleive that ‘efforting’ is the wrong appraoch and that deep desire coupled with surrender always delivers! I have had too many unfoldings like these to dismiss this ‘truth.’

The more you stress and worry and struggle ’ the more blocked you remain.

Just_Justine's avatar

@Coloma I can so relate. Thanks for much for a XA “excellent answer!!”

Idknown's avatar

@Coloma I don’t believe. But I think that’s powerful stuff if what you say is true.

Please use the power for good only :). And you are lucky to have found that secret while the rest of us effort away.

Coloma's avatar


It’s there for everyone. Just gotta tune out and tune in.

OMG..I can’t even begin to relate all the synchronistic unfoldings I have experienced.

It is true, and it is real!

Always for the good!

TheOnlyException's avatar

@Idknown No I agree. When I mean stop trying, I just mean on the things that don’t really matter. Like maybe seeing that person walk by or getting to that place on time. If you go about doing what you are supposed to, those small things will soon come together and grow into something better, and in a way, can be considered small successes of their own. Have you never wanted to see someone so badly and then have them walk by and you exchange a witty comment or two, doesn’t that make you feel successful in some way? Like you’ve really achieved something? Its little things like those that keep you going until the big successes hit, and personally I have found they have come more for me recently since I have taken a back seat to my life.

@Just_Justine I am glad you found my answer to be profound :) I think if everyone took that into account, life would be a lot less stressful. There is always another opportunity.

Exhausted's avatar

@malevolentbutticklish, well said,I have to agree.

Mikelbf2000's avatar

I know some people are just “lucky”.

MoneyMakingMommy's avatar

People that win the lottery sure do seem lucky.

Idknown's avatar

@TheOnlyException “There is always another opportunity.”

That thinking will lead to a happy life. But off topic, so I won’t do more than to say I agree. :)

Coloma's avatar


I agree as well. Always another door about to open.

skfinkel's avatar

Randomness is just that—and it makes some people look lucky and others not. But it really all is random. Except for my parking karma. That seems to be real.

Just_Justine's avatar

parking karma is a great gift

Scooby's avatar

I count myself lucky every day! :-/

Cruiser's avatar

@Coloma I completely agree with what you said. The minute you tear down not just some but all your barriers to events you wish to embrace….things will start to happen. It is no guarantee but I certainly can’t help but notice the difference open positive thinking makes in my life. When I need to do something seemingly impossible…I just think positive and I’ll be damned if the opportunity(s) doesn’t just present itself.

gorillapaws's avatar

Statistically speaking, it would be ABNORMAL if some people didn’t win the lottery twice (not often, but it should happen rarely). Coincidences are a natural part of our life, but our minds tend to pick up on random patterns and then attribute meaning to them. Is the person who wins the lottery twice an incredibly lucky person? or did he just get incredibly lucky (see the difference)?

I do believe that we make our own “luck” as others have said, but what this really means is that people who are constantly trying new things, and attempting to make opportunities for themselves will eventually find them. It’s like the guy who hits on 20 women at the bar in a night being more likely to get laid than the guy who just hits on 1 and gets discouraged when it doesn’t go anywhere. He might think that the other guy is just incredibly “lucky” with women, but really the other guy is just trying harder and creating more opportunities for himself.

anartist's avatar

@MoneyMakingMommy So many people who win the lottery handle their winnings poorly and end up far wor4se off than they were before, almost as if winning the lottery was bad luck for them.

mrentropy's avatar

I don’t even mean lottery class winning. I mean not getting thrown in jail every other night lucky.

Facade's avatar

Less “lucky” and more blessed and watched over.

Ame_Evil's avatar

@gorillapaws Do people enter lotteries after they win it once? Personally I would stop buying lottery tickets after winning say £1,000,000 or whatever. Not that I play the lottery.

Coloma's avatar

My personal theory is that if one is unable to truly be happy for anothers good ‘luck’..well…no rewards there. lol

davidbetterman's avatar

Absolutely, yes. However, said luck is a blessing from the creator.

tuxuday's avatar

Yes, for sure. But everyone gets lucky at some point in their life!

WolfFang's avatar

Yes I agree with other’s that so called “luck” can just be result of opportunities, effort, good things happening over time, etc. but some people out there are genuinely born with better opportunites in life, in either how they were raised, or their natural talents, giving them better chances in life situations. Also taking more chances may seem like more “luck”. I also agree with phillis Coloma idknown and TheOnlyException in the fact that if you break down your mental barriers of disbelief and reliance on our so called “facts” of our established realities influenced by society and you genuinely let go of everything in this realm of existence, you realize that you are beyond the perceptions of society and see beyond what is right in front of you, You are then freed to do practically anything, altering outcomes as you please. Of course for many this is hard to do on a whim but most of us have done this or continually do it subconsciously.
This gift, my friends, is an inherent part of all human nature, and ties in to our capabilities to create, and ability to alter our “destinies”. It’s possible for anyone to do this but again, it is all in perception, in the mechanics of the mind. All you have to do is believe

Just_Justine's avatar

When I was going through tough times, which lasted four years. I would do all this “The Secret” shite and think positively, hypnotise myself all that, when I stopped all of that, I got lucky. I can’t explain it. It’s more to my mind a cycle of some sort.

WolfFang's avatar

@Just_Justine lol “The Secret” when i saw that thing it made me laugh. what a joke…then again maybe it works for some people, indirectly

mattbrowne's avatar

Long-term happiness does mostly not depend on luck.

philosopher's avatar

It does often seem that way.

DrBill's avatar

people make their own luck

GabrielsLamb's avatar

I think some people think better about themsleves than others do therefore they make their own luck by staying positive. It’s all about the energy, it’s there for anyone to tap into, some are simply better at it than others.

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