Are you luck? DO things just happen your way all the time? Well I think that you are a rarity. For many a mortals lady luck has not been so kind. However today we look at what Clason relates in chapter 4 of his work, The Richest Man in Babylon. The oozes with the idea of luck and is entitled, Meet the Goddess of Luck.
Talking about luck, I always remember this one time in high school – I must of been 14 or 15, walking from school to get a taxi home I realized along the way that I lost my money – my fare and all! SO my friend and I turned back and began a man hunt for the lost funds. We scored the area time and time again to no avail. Ultimately, we accepted defeat, my money was gone, never to be recovered. My friend, Devasha tried to console me by offering to give me my fair, and while I was grateful I was still bitterly disappointed that I lost my money, unlucky me.
While we walked on tired and me greatly defeated -if you are a student dependent on your parents for money then you know how any lost money was trauma of the highest order. As we walked I saw the school security walking by with a man and as they walked by I heard their conversation. Apparently, this security had just found the same sum of money I had lost in the same area I had lost it in! What luck – well according to him. And what did he do with his newly acquired bounty? Well you guessed it – or not – he bought a lotto ticket – in Jamaica we call it cashpot. My treasured lunch money had become his “lucky” ticket to play a game of chance and possibly strike it rich! No risk with the possibility of a reward! He was the lucky man of the day! I heard him gleefully relate his luck, in finding my money. Let me just say there was no way it could have been anyone else’s money, the evidence was just too great. So it stood to reason that on that day I was the unlucky one. But what made him lucky and me unlucky? What had I done to deserve that fate? Did he deserve to get that money and I deserved to lose it?
A Tale of Two Lucky
The chapter begins with a question, “Is there a way to attract good luck?” Many persons have tried and many will say they do but is this true? According to the Cambridge online dictionary luck is “the force that causes things especially good things to happen to you by chance and not as a result of your efforts or ability”, while google dictionary defines it as “success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through ones own action.” Two things here concerning those definitions, there is good and bad luck, also as many people see it luck has nothing to do with works but chance or possibility not a guarantee. So even though the security had found the money and he felt finding it was a sign that the tides were turning in his favor, it was not a guarantee that he would win anything or that this good fortune would continue and spill over into all areas of his life. However, many of us are sucked into this cycle of seeing on unprovoked good event as a sign of better things to come, a mind a mindset that encourages inaction. So, when you say you I guess I was just luck, it means that good fortune just came your way and stayed without any effort on your part. However, according Clason that is not good luck, but if we depend on that it is a sure fire way to failure. Instead what the chapter emphasizes is that luck is not dependent on inaction but action: “I have learned to attract good luck to oneself, it is necessary to take advantage of opportunities”.
Removing Chance with Action
Here we are not talking about any old action but the action based on reasonable opportunities. From experience I have had many opportunities that I never pursued and I regret that. Those hesitation were based on fear, the fear of failure or the failure to truly believe in my abilities or that I truly deserved to have those opportunities. I had defeated myself before I had even tried. I would put things off, out of fear of being rejected, a nasty habit that we all should ditch. So we are advised that “opportunity, she will not wait for such slow fellow”, those poor overly cautious should like me we find it hard to make a decision either way. Another gem dropped is the idea of conquering procrastination and you know what Norman Vincent Peale said about procrastination – No?. Well, He said and I quote, “If you put off everything till you’re sure of it, you’ll never get anything done”. It is not that some persons are ore lucky than others is what Clason is saying but that some are more discerning and fearless than others as he notes, “opportunities come to all these men. Some grasped theirs and moved steadily to the gratification of their deepest desires, but the majority hesitate, faltered and fell behind”. If that is true of you admit it, and it does not have to be a plethora of opportunities but even one that could have made a difference will be enough.
So, the chapter really made me rethink how I viewed the idea of luck – even though for a while now I had stop hoping to become lucky, it was just not working out for me. As Clason writes: “Action will lead thee forward to the success thou dost desire”, just keep going and never quit!