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Old 03-19-2016, 09:06 AM
 
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I am not really religious...have a very difficult time intellectually believing in the tenants of any religion like Christianity or others that promise a Messiah or specific afterlife because I have read enough to understand that most religions share the same motifs and have evolved over time as a reaction to Man's needs and fears of the unknown--as a method of dealing with innate fears...So the idea that "God" makes decisions that impact a person's life for good or bad isn't something I take seriously--although I guess millions do in countries all over the globe from multiple religions....

I do, however, believe in luck...and it seems that some people just have better luck than others for no specific reason...you can't say that personal skills like intelligence or business acumen are always the reason people succeed and lead happy lives...being born into the "right" family isn't necessarily the guarantee you might expect...and being "religious" and close to God isn't either...And I don't tie being lucky to something as specific as gambling success... I mean overall in your life and your close family--how does luck impact you?

There seems no way to really create "luck" when you want/need it...it either is or is not there, in large or small quantities, for short or long periods of time...although I know people who believe that superstitions and charms might enhance their luck, they are not always effective.
Maybe it is like the Fate the Greeks believed existed...that each person's fate pre-exists at birth, in positive/negative events beyond your control, and you simply unravel it as you live until your thread is at its end and you die...so maybe each person has a specific amount of "luck" to draw against...some people for no particular reason commanding a larger portion than another person so they might live under a lucky cloud for most of their lives and others, with a more finite reserve, can tap out after a shorter expenditure...but again totally outside the control or desire of the person affected...

I have felt for a while that one particular event in our recent past (which wasn't really that bad in itself) marked a series of other negative ones and right now I feel that in some ways our "luck" has turned sour...things that were positive just a few years in the past are negative...aspects we thought we had a "handle" on now are kind of out of our control and not to our benefit...and there doesn't seem to be any way to right the boat so to speak...
And this isn't necessarily tied to money/financial problems although there is an aspect of that involved...
There are positives aspects to our lives--sure--and maybe I am just being too negative/pessimistic about events...but it just feels like we are on a negative roll after a long period of happiness...

Anyone else believe that luck is present in your life and has made a difference?
That you are a "lucky" person more often than not?
Or conversely that you have more than your share of random bad luck?
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Secure, Undisclosed
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My definition of luck is what happens when training and preparation meet opportunity.

People who are prepared can prevail during an unexpected opportunity. People who are not prepared tend not to prevail. Good luck and bad luck, respectively.

When I examine the lives of 'unlucky' people, I tend to find people who aren't prepared for the sunrise tomorrow morning. They have always depended upon others to make decisions for them and are typically still waiting for others to provide them with whatever they think they are entitled to.

Conversely, when I study those who consistently succeed (lucky people), I find people who trained and prepared and worked to become better than everyone else.

Opportunity crosses everyone's path. It's what you do when it crosses yours that we later characterize as lucky or unlucky.
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Old 03-21-2016, 09:56 AM
 
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I do know some people that are very unlucky, but they make choices that make them unlucky.

I am pretty lucky in life, but I make careful choices to help myself along. I have been unlucky due to some poor choices I have made in my youth, and I don't want them repeated.
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:43 AM
 
Location: too far from the sea
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The OP is very interesting. I definitely believe in luck. Sure, there are people who make bad choices in life but that's not what we're discussing here.

My luck has always been pretty bad--but I had a grandmother who used to have lucky things happen to her just by chance.

She believed her lucky number was 4. I don't know why. She always said she had good luck. One time she was sitting by a window when lightening struck! It went through the radio that was beside her but left her unscathed.

Back in 1912 when she and the kids immigrated it was in April that she arrived. The 4th month. She had tried to come on the Titanic! LUCKily, it was overbooked.

If she ever bought a lottery ticket or a raffle, she always won.

There were probably a lot of other examples because it was remarkable just how lucky she was by chance. Her daughter had the same good luck. Her grand daughter didn't inherit the "luck" gene (or whatever it was.)

Oh--and they both threw salt over their shoulder and did other superstitious things. I don't know if that had anything to do with it though, lol.
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Old 03-21-2016, 11:18 AM
 
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I believe in luck. I just tend to be unlucky.

For instance, I can play bingo 20 times and never win. My mother is very lucky and generally wins at least one game every night she goes.

I can take $20 to the casino and lose it very quickly. My brother can walk through an airport, put $20 in a slot and win $25 in five minutes.

They have both won on lotto tickets also (small prizes), while I run over a nail pulling into buy a ticket. I end up needing to buy a tire and still don't win.

Just to give an example. None of these things are a result of bad choices or things I can change. They just happen to be life. Life happens to me often.

I have actually been struck by lightening. Really.
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Old 03-21-2016, 06:00 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LowonLuck View Post
I believe in luck. I just tend to be unlucky.

For instance, I can play bingo 20 times and never win. My mother is very lucky and generally wins at least one game every night she goes.

I can take $20 to the casino and lose it very quickly. My brother can walk through an airport, put $20 in a slot and win $25 in five minutes.

They have both won on lotto tickets also (small prizes), while I run over a nail pulling into buy a ticket. I end up needing to buy a tire and still don't win.

Just to give an example. None of these things are a result of bad choices or things I can change. They just happen to be life. Life happens to me often.

I have actually been struck by lightening. Really.
Wow. You do have bad luck. But maybe you had good luck when you were struck by lightening and lived to tell about it.

I don't understand what luck really is but some have it, some don't. Some people with good luck can do everything wrong and still come out ahead of the game.

Since this thread intriques me, let me tell you about the aunt I mentioned above who always won the contests and raffles. Well, she had BAD luck in one regard. Bad luck both times she tried to return to England to see her family. This was back in the age of ocean liners, before most people just took a plane. On the first trip back, her husband died aboard the ship. She had to fly back home with the body.

Years later, remarried, she went back again by ship. This time there was a bomb scare aboard and helicopters hovered over while people hoped and prayed for the best. They did make it over to England but it was strange that the two times she went she had bad luck on the ship. Oh well, she always won the raffles.
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Old 03-21-2016, 06:22 PM
 
3,293 posts, read 1,744,709 times
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I think some people here are fundamentally misunderstanding what "luck" means. Luck, by definition, cannot be a product of preparation or personal virtue. It is, by definition, independent of those factors. If you have a good outcome that is explainable by pointing to something you did, that is not luck.

To the OP: Yes, of course luck exists. People in the twin towers on 9/11 were plain examples of bad luck. There is nothing fundamental about working in an office building that would suggest a person is more likely to be the victim of a terrorist attack. Even if we wanted to describe this scenario statistically, the odds would be quite extreme. Yet, those people were on the bad end of long odds, which is almost a perfect definition of being unlucky.

As for "having" bad luck? That again misunderstands what luck is. A person can be unlucky repeatedly, but this is not attributable to anything about that person. It is just a string of coincidences. After all, one in a million people will have one-in-a-million bad luck. This is just a statement about statistical variation, not inherent personal qualities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rescue3 View Post
My definition of luck is what happens when training and preparation meet opportunity.

People who are prepared can prevail during an unexpected opportunity. People who are not prepared tend not to prevail. Good luck and bad luck, respectively.

When I examine the lives of 'unlucky' people, I tend to find people who aren't prepared for the sunrise tomorrow morning. They have always depended upon others to make decisions for them and are typically still waiting for others to provide them with whatever they think they are entitled to.

Conversely, when I study those who consistently succeed (lucky people), I find people who trained and prepared and worked to become better than everyone else.

Opportunity crosses everyone's path. It's what you do when it crosses yours that we later characterize as lucky or unlucky.
I mentioned this above, but I think it's worth repeating: Preparation meeting opportunity might be a memetic definition of luck, but it is a very bad definition. Luck is, by definition, beyond one's preparation or control. A student knowing that STEM fields are in demand and deciding to major in computer engineering is in no sense "lucky" when he or she lands a good job after graduation. That is not luck. People who consistently succeed are, in most cases, not simply lucky people. They may have had some fortunate circumstances, but their success is, in most cases, attributable to far more than luck.

Phrases like "make your own luck" are contrary to what luck is. Luck, by definition, cannot be produced. It is entirely random.
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Old 03-23-2016, 03:48 AM
 
Location: In a state of mind
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I belive in luck. I knew my luck ran out when I was at the airport... and my ship came in. .

I once lived on a sailboat. Twice boats anchored next to us were heavily damaged by lightening, but we were never hit. Once in the Bahamas we were in the worst lightening storm I've ever seen. Literally non-stop thunder and lightening for close to a hour. We were the only thing above sea level with no land in sight. We could SEE the lightening hitting the water around us. You could smell it.

We didn't get hit. Not once out of hundreds of strikes. Was it our grounding system made us "invisible?" Or just pure "luck?" I don't know.

Another time on a tug boat I worked aboard we got hit by lightening from a storm a couple miles away. Burned out all our electronics and melted about a $5,000 ship battery. Bad luck?

Last edited by jamies; 03-23-2016 at 04:00 AM..
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Old 03-23-2016, 04:34 AM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
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I believe in a God, I believe in a Devil, why shouldn't I believe in luck?
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Old 03-23-2016, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Chattanooga, TN
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Personally, no, I do not believe in 'luck' as defined by a supernatural ability to affect random chance. I.e., someone with 'good luck' won't cause a random card draw to magically go his way. In my experience people with 'good luck' are those who are good at recognizing signs around them and changing their actions to fit the situation for the better.

For Christians, the believe would be that someone is 'blessed' or 'cursed', but even that is an oversimplification.

Some scientists believe that atheists do not exists, or at least are much more rare than people tend to believe. Even the most vocal of self-proclaimed atheists will consciously or subconsciously believe in luck, karma, ghosts, dark matter, mother earth, or some other form of scientifically unproven and/or supernatural phenomenon. If you believe in anything other than pure random chance then by definition you are not an atheist: Scientists discover that atheists might not exist, and that's not a joke
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