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It’s a peculiar subject luck. A term we use in describing events in everyday life without actually stopping and realising what we’re talking about on a deeper level.

A Four-Leaf Clover, widely associated with good luck.

Luck itself is fairly ambiguous in that it is perceived differently by different people . Generally there is Prescriptive and Descriptive understanding of what luck means.

Prescriptive luck is when people view it as an uncontrollable paranormal force which acts upon us. In this sense, it is viewed as a constantly changing force, so people aren’t always unlucky or always lucky. My speculation is that most people who believe this version of luck are either religious and believe it is work of God, believe in some sort of Karma or believe it to be a force of nature.

Descriptive luck is when someone uses the term “lucky/unlucky” simply to describe how life events are going for them. e.g. “I tripped, failed an exam and it rained whenever I went outside, I’m not having any luck today”. Most people use the term this way even though they say they do not believe in luck, I would certainly fall into this category.

Whatever view we take however, can influence our lives quite a lot. Ever heard of the term “Self-Fulfilling Prophecy”? It means that something happens because you fully believe it will in your mind. How this applies to luck is like this:

Say you are having a bad day so far, it’s already lunch time and you know you have an important interview in 2 hours. Earlier in the day, you slept badly, woke up late, you had a cold shower due to hot water not working, you stubbed your toe on the way out and you were late to wherever you had to be due to traffic jams and bad weather. You would be pretty pissed off with that day and most likely you’ve said to yourself “This is the worst day I’ve had in a long time and it’s not going to get any better”. Carrying that attitude with you, that no matter what you do the day is doomed to be bad, you didn’t do great at the interview and thus didn’t get the job.

But you knew this would happen because the rest of the day was bad right? Wrong, you gave up because you came into the mindset that everything was going to go wrong as if it was out of your control, when in reality, it could have changed with a change in attitude.

Now, this is an extreme analogy but it outlines how luck -or rather the perception of luck- can affect us a lot, despite not even believing in it as a supernatural force.

The Roman Goddess of Luck -Fortuna Also referred to as “Lady Luck”

If luck does exist in the Precriptive sense -is a supernatural force- then who or what dictates it? Because whoever it, is has almost decided your life for you, I mean, were you lucky to have been born the child of your parents? Or unlucky to be born in an impoverished country suffering from famine?

And if it is a force, is it random? Or is it something deciding on all these parameters and we call those decisions luck? It is all really theoretical, if I had the chance to ask God (if he/she/it exists) I would definitely ask about the phenomenon.

We as humans even create and play with our own luck for a living!

Gambling and betting is often seen as a game of luck, which is why it attracts some people. Not only will they gain wealth if they win, they’ll also feel that dopamine rush entering their bloodstream that makes them feel great and lucky! That feeling can get associated with gambling though and that is when it becomes somewhat of an addiction which is very unhealthy. So you can see that it not only affects life events, but wealth and health among other things!

Whether Luck in either sense exists or doesn’t, isn’t really going to affect how the concept works in human life. People in everyday life are still going to use the term to denote how their day is going and gambling is always going to be attractive to certain people.

The sheer thought of it existing in the different forms that it could exist in, supernatural force, God, Human Concept and more is extremely interesting and I really hope someone is lucky enough to find out one of these days, maybe after death?

– Jamie