We have all been on the receiving end of someone saying, “oh you’re so lucky” when we catch a break, get a promotion, find love, buy a house, or go on a nice vacation.
When people say that somebody else is lucky, they’re usually implying (purposefully or not) that the other person didn’t earn it, work for it, or in some sense deserve it, right?
Saying someone was lucky in these scenarios implies that the outcome was somehow outside of their control. It could have happened to anyone, but the Universe is random and, for some reason, it’s happening to you. Lucky you.
But this perspective is problematic for a few reasons: for one, it negates the months of planning it took to book that trip, the research and saving it took to buy that house, and the hours and hours of dating that it took to meet that special someone.
It dismisses everything that happened behind the scenes. If someone sees an article about you, calls you up, and invites you to be on a TV show and that segment gives you opportunities you wouldn’t have had otherwise, that is indeed a lucky break. But is it really pure luck? Didn’t you work unnoticed for a long time before you got to that initial phone call?
When it comes to hardships, we do the same thing: we tell people who get a bad result on something that it’s bad luck. Perhaps we say this out of compassion, as a way to alleviate any shame. And sometimes it’s totally fair: If someone got into a random accident that leads to an injury, that is, indeed, bad luck. It was truly out of their control. But this isn’t always the case.
Luck is a force that dictates coincidences and circumstances beyond our control. But if you have worked toward something, or have neglected yourself or your work, your “luck” is dependent on those things more than any random force.