In the book “How Luck Happens“, the authors make a clear distinction between “luck” and “chance”.
Chance is out of our control. Good things happen and bad things happen, and we just need to see where things fall.
Luck is a combination of three things:
- Chance, which is out of our control
- Curiosity, which we can control
- Hard work, which we can control
That means that luck still has an element of chance in it, and nothing is guaranteed, but we can stack the odds in our favor. Going further, the book says:
Think of luck as a slot machine: if you can ensure that two out of three cherries are always lined up – by being curious and working hard – then it’s much more likely that the third cherry will, at some point, fall into place.
Or, as Roman philosopher Seneca has said, “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity“.
We all certainly know people that have been dealt a potentially overwhelmingly awful hand of “chance” (through cancer, car accidents, or other terrible situations), but for most of us we can work to become luckier by raising the bars of the things that we control.