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Do You Believe in Luck?

July 08, 2020


Let me begin by saying that I’m a big believer in “luck.” But then, I’d like to add a caveat: a lot of effort can often lead to good luck. In fact, I think they are intertwined. A person cannot stay in bed, pull the covers over one’s head and hope for a lucky break. Nope, won’t work – you need action and drive to have good luck.

Photo by Kate Kozyrka on Unsplash

Of course there’s still an element of luck involved. For example, before we were married, Peter, my husband spent a mind-boggling amount of time looking for an apartment for us. In New York City this can be a daunting task so we finally decided to pick out the buildings we liked and let it be known that we were in the market for an apartment. Peter left a simple 4” x 6” index card with the person he spoke to – as a reminder. Sure enough, within weeks we received a phone call and rushed over to sign the lease for a place in Greenwich Village that we really loved.


But it doesn’t really race long. When luck strikes very often all the hard work behind it is not visible. This brings me to a study by Richard Wiseman, a British psychology professor who decided to do a study of “how luck plays a role in our lives.” Here are his fascinating observations about lucky versus unlucky people:

  • Lucky people smile twice as often as unlucky and have more eye contact. This open, social approach helps them meet more people, connect better and maintain relationships.
  • Unlucky ones were more anxious and developed tunnel vision that closed them off from other ventures. Having an open mind and exploring new avenues can open one up to lucky breaks.


While researching this article I came across an interesting piece titled, “Ways to Boost Your Luck” in Real Simple magazine that appeared in March 2020 and was done by Hannah Chenoweth, a Baltimore-based writer who quotes a number of interesting people. Take a look at what they have to say:

Ken Carter, PhD a clinical psychologist – “Believe that you are lucky already. Said differently, luck is the lens through which you see the world. If you wake up and tell yourself you’re going to have an amazing day, you’ll likely ride a wave of serendipity.”

Karla Starr, a professional coach and author – “Surround yourself with optimistic, mentally tough people.” (I’m a big believer in this: negative types are depressing and can drag you down.) Starr says, “I tell my clients to pretend that luck doesn’t exist. Lucky people are just those who don’t stop until they succeed. One has to maintain optimism over the long term, despite setbacks that occur.”

These lucky four-leaf clovers are courtesy of Real Simple magazine, March 2020 – they all say they’re happy to be here

Cynthia Lee Chan, a feng shui instructor – “Have faith in the cyclical nature of life. There are times when we feel lucky and everything falls into place. When luck is nowhere to be found we feel stuck in the mud. Most people think luck is random, but there is energy in our environment that flows in predictable cycles and influences the cycles that we draw into our lives. During unfavorable cycles you can learn, grow and strengthen who you are.”


Luck is often thought as otherworldly and mythical – but bottom line, it boils down to one word said three times: prepare, prepare, prepare. When an opportunity comes along and you’re ready to receive it, that’s when luck happens. This is where this blog started and where it ends. Good luck to all.

Shaun Nelson-Henrick

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