Ah, Lady Luck. So much of what happens to us in life is reliant upon random chance. In fact, the caprices of fate begin to play their part from the moment of our conception onward, in the form of the genes we have inherited and the unpredictable ways in which our brains and bodies develop. It is important to remember that only a relatively few fortuitous genetic tweaks and neural pathway connections prevent you, or me, or even my Aunt Mabel’s deranged pet shih tzu from being a chess grandmaster, a supermodel, a serial killer, or all of the above.
Of course, there are those who will tell you that people create their own luck through hard work, intelligence, and perseverance. But they are only saying that in an attempt to make me feel guilty about being a lazy whiner, or else they are trying to sell you an inspirational self-help program. To give you an example here, if there were a direct correlation between hard work and financial fortune, wouldn’t your average single parent working multiple jobs to put food on the table be farting through silk and texting their pilot to fire up the engines of the personal aircraft for a quick shopping trip to Milano? Not to be a fatalist or anything, but the truth is that whatever happens, happens. Que sera, etc. It’s all out of our hands.
I, for one, find this a comforting thought. It takes a lot of the pressure off. If you ask me, there has been far too much emphasis placed upon individual responsibility.
So, if it’s all about flukes and happenstance, how exactly does one go about getting on a roll by wooing Lady Luck into your arms? By what means may you harness the horses of glad happenstance to your personal chariot? Not to put too fine a point on it, but how do you make Dama Fortuna your bitch?
Well, for a start, you can forget about chasing luck around. You’ll look as foolish as a cat attempting to pounce upon a fake rabbit’s foot that’s being dragged across the floor on the end of a length of string. For many years I have tried this strategy in gambling dens, casinos, racetracks, and stock exchanges, and have rarely broken even. Nor do prayer or superstition seem to shift the needle in any meaningful way. As far as I can tell, you can knock on wood until your knuckles are bloody and light candles in the cathedral until the fire brigade arrives and you won’t gain yourself so much as a $20 scratch-and-win ticket.
Strange as it sounds, though, I have lately begun to wonder if my whole understanding of the concept of good fortune might need an overhaul. Maybe I’ve been looking for luck in all the wrong places. Perhaps I have been far luckier than I have ever appreciated, in terms of experiences, health, family, friendship, love—that I have, in fact, been cashing in a winning ticket every day of my life. At the very least, it’s food for thought. Fingers crossed; I will soon have another year to think it all through.