‘Luck’ can seem like a force that can only ever be understood in retrospect. For instance, someone being born into an ultra-rich family and someone born into a poverty-stricken environment are two circumstances in which we may feel that luck has had two very different outcomes, but when we consider the statistical likelihood of being born into the former family, it can be hard to see just how luck works, or how we should measure it. Additionally, being born into fortunate circumstances does not necessarily mean that good luck will last forever, or that extreme bad luck cannot be felt during the course of that lifetime.
A famous Chinese story is one of the most illuminating explorations of how luck can work in our lives. The beginning, which is all you need to understand the point, is as follows:
“Once upon a time, there was a poor farmer in the central region of China. One afternoon, while working in the field, his horse died. Everyone in the village expressed their sympathies. The farmer said in response, “We’ll see.”
The farmers appreciated his calm attitude, and so banded together to grant him another horse as a gift. Everyone’s reaction now was, “What a lucky man.” And the farmer said, “We’ll see.” A couple of days later, the new horse jumped a fence and ran away.
The village once again felt terrible for the farmer, now harmed a second time. The farmer smiled once again and said, “We’ll see.” Eventually, the horse found his way home once more, replete with energy, and everyone again said, “What a fortunate man.” The farmer said, “We’ll see.””
This goes to show just how good or bad luck cannot be predicted. But how can we encourage it to our aid? Is it possible to do this, and how should we measure its results? We’d love to explore that topic below:
Personal meaning always seems to be a positive when we’re considering our luck. This is because no matter what luck we are beset with, it will influence our life and personality in some way. For instance, people have often undergone extreme hardships only to come out of the other side stronger, understanding their purpose. Right now there are domestic abuse victims, recovered addicts, injured ex-soldiers with missing limbs and many people we may have considered to have bad luck who have turned their situation around and are now serving as beacons of positivity, helping people in their prior situation by providing insight, an encouraging ear, and pushing societal standards for the better.
This shows that personal meaning has the ability to turn a negative into a positive. Think of a prism. It refracts light into its constituent colors, turning one thing into many more opportunities and perspectives. There are people out there who function as human prisms, absorbing bad luck and using it to inform their own actions to make good luck come from that. It’s not hard to be inspired by their example, and from there, consider these implements in your own life.
Take It With A Grain Of Salt
Good luck must always be taken with a grain of salt, as per the introduction in the beginning of this article. We can influence how the circumstances of life are interpreted and what we do about them, but we cannot exercise total control over everything. For instance, some may consider that winning the lottery is a stroke of good fortune worthy of celebration, and it is. But then, when you realize that the money may not solve all of your problems, you can often feel as though becoming wealthy wasn’t the answer, and that may leave you feeling low.
This means that taking life with a grain of salt, no matter what happens, instead increases our sense of personal responsibility and the willingness to try something new or to make the best of a situation, good or bad. To that end, we become our very own good luck charm. This can also help us avoid reading too much into a bad situation. This is because bad luck is always there if you chase it, while good luck, like a beautiful butterfly, seems to only fly away from you if you force it. Yet if you focus on the things that are important to you, and you stay focused, that butterfly may just land on your shoulder.
Use Both Sides As An Opportunity
In this post we have so far discussed how personality responsibility can help us stay afloat of the luck spectrum and thus come to the conclusions on our own. But it can also be worthwhile to use both sides as an opportunity. Bad luck helps you grow and puts you into a challenging situation you can learn from. Good luck helps you experience levity and enjoy life without challenge for a time. Additionally, what may seem like bad luck, such as accidentally becoming pregnant when you’re not prepared for it, may turn into one of the largest blessings of your life. What matters is doing what you can for the benefit of you and your loved ones, and never lamenting the situation you’re in. After all, that’s all you truly can do.
Never Dismiss Good Fortune
Try not to dismiss good fortune. When it comes, appreciate it. Don’t try to artificially extend it, or take it for granted because you took part in a good deed that week. Just try to make the most of it by appreciation, and counting your blessings. You may not think you have good fortune, but you likely do. If you’re reading this, you have an internet connection. That means a relatively stable household and a roof above your head, and likely enough food in your home (or that you can afford) to make reading a blog a valuable use of your time. That’s good fortune. If you have good health, that’s good fortune too. It can’t hurt to figure out what is a good luck color you may adopt as part of your own identity, or to try and encourage it in the little ways you know how. Never dismiss this, because it will make good fortunate that much easier to identify.
With this in mind, we hope you can encourage good luck, but mostly enjoy your life no matter the circumstances.