October 13, 2009 Chris Cox

With A Little Bit Of Luck

Some people have all the luck. I’m on the train heading back from a weekend seeing my family in Bristol and as if to push me to write rather than watch The Wire, I saw a perfect example of good and bad luck at the station. Good luck was given to a lady who managed to run to make her train as it was leaving the station, quite swiftly bad luck was given to this same lady as she got on the train, her suitcase exploded, spraying her clothing all over the place. Good luck meant most of it went over the inside of the carriage, bad luck meant we all saw her pants. Oh how I laughed… then pretend I was laughing at a podcast, then realised I didn’t have my headphones in, so sheepishly offered to help.

How does luck affect our lives? Luck gets credit for a hell of a lot of things, does it exist or is it a piece of superstitious nonsense that we believe to put ourselves at ease. Is luck tangible, and if so, can we make ourselves lucky? At the moment my way of thinking is that anything and everything is just coincidence. Nothing more, nothing less. I’ll gesticulate on this at a later date, but the more moments of coincidence that occur, the more we put them down to luck. Luck takes a hell of a lot of credit for hard work and determination. The age old adage is that you have to be in the right place at the right time, of course you do, but you also have to be prepared enough to be able to exploit whatever opportunity there is and that’s nothing to do with luck.

I know this is a big topic to be writing such a short little piece on, a piece based on nothing by my views and opinions, but I hope at least it is of some interest to you, I’d be interested to hear your views on luck if you get a chance. The myth of luck is that it’s beyond our control and of course in many situations this is the case. Take the lottery, someone has to eventually win despite the odds being 1 in 14 million. In fact if you buy a ticket on Monday for a Saturday draw, then you have better odds of dying before the Saturday than you have for winning the lottery. If you win then it’s got to be sheer bloody luck, luck that there is no way you can control. That or your have a little beard. In my Edinburgh show this year, every night I correctly predicted all 7 numbers out of the lottery machine, this wasn’t luck, this was talent. I can’t predict the lottery, no one can, but what I can do is make my audience think that I can. With the right amount of luck though, perhaps I really could win it? And such is the draw of the lottery combined with luck giving us false hope, broken promises and lightening our pockets.

Controlling luck is entirely do-able, we can make people believe that they are lucky, I suspect people assume me to have a large amount of luck on my side, for in my shows I can get nearly everything right, thus I’m lucky. I’m not though, I just know what I’m doing and have worked bloody hard at it. Tell someone the item of clothing they have on, the chair they’ve sat in, the words they say, the coin they have, is lucky. Make something up and tell that person that they are lucky because of it, you know what? They’ll probably have a luckier day, because if there’s one thing the idea of luck can do is it can change our mindsets, it can alter our lives simply because if you feel your lucky you are inclined to take more risks, and the more risks you take, the better the chances are of those risks paying off.

I seem to live a life where I can’t be happy, or lucky, or in control with every area of my life at the same time. I can be very successful and lucky in one area but down right miserable in another, causing myself then to focus on the shittier side of things rather than enjoying the luckier side. It’s something I’ve said in my previous blog, how we seem to focus on the wrong things a lot of time. Can people have everything? Do you? I’d like to think you’re the same as me, but without the large eyes and scrawny frame. We look at certain icons in our world and assume they are happy, lucky and have everything they want, and who are we to know otherwise. I would adore it if I could be lucky in every area of my life, but I know it probably wouldn’t be as fun or challenging for me. I’d love to give some of my luck to someone else, to make things easier for them, I know I can’t, and even if I did I’d want karma to reward me with more luck for giving some away. I always thought I knew what I wanted in my life, but more and more things seem to pop up and make me question what I want, do I desire something else, something I didn’t expect to? It doesn’t really matter as there is not much we can do about it, unless we are feeling lucky and decide to go for it.

I felt this blog wasn’t saying too much so I asked some of my followers on Twitter for their thoughts on luck. It was surprising the amount of song lyrics that came up from Kylie Minouge who, like us all, wants to be lucky in love, to Guys & Doll’s luck be a lady tonight. Luck is not considered to be a virus by some, others make light of it for if it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all. There are plenty of metaphors and similes for luck, this one I quite like, luck comes in waves sometimes you get the perfect wave and some time you miss it. My favourite thought being that ‘fate sounds *so* much more philomosophical. ‘Luck’ is its chavvy second cousin.’ Either way, be it fate, be it luck, be it random chance, designed choice or chaos, we can’t quantify luck, we can’t be sure if we’ve got it or how to get it, but we can all find certain areas in our lives to feel lucky about, and it’s those that you should focus on.

There are winners and there are losers, you can be lucky or unlucky, because it’s not until you’ve taken a risk that you can know if this is going to be your lucky day.

Comments (4)

  1. Liza

    You got me thinking about it, and I realize that I only really think about “luck” when it’s “BAD luck”. The good stuff is only coincidence or happens because I’ve worked for it. But, when the bad stuff happens (and in threes, always in threes!) it’s because I’ve had a “run of bad luck.” Which upon reflection is a very odd way of viewing things. Why isn’t it just a coincidence as well?

  2. Misha

    Surely if you think of yourself as lucky then thats self perpetuating? (an idea from Richard Wisemans book, 59 seconds) In that if you think to yourself of 5 things that you feel lucky to have, or to be or something along those lines, you’ll be happier for it?
    Interesting thing luck though.
    Surprised no-one made the comment about Felix Fillisis (sp?) 😀

  3. Interesting comments… like how you see good luck and bad luck differently Liza. Everything is coincidence, but we’re more likely to ignore some of the good things, perhaps by noticing them we worry we might lose them? Misha you’re right, the more we think of ourselves as lucky ones, the more luck we should in theory have.

  4. Sarah K

    I’m the opposite of you Liza, I tend to think that if good things happen to me, they’re lucky, but if bad things happen, it’s because I deserve them in some way, or brought them upon myself somehow. But that’s just my crippling pessimism. Rationally, I know that it’s all chance, but that’s how I think about it.
    Well, that’s it then, Chris’ blogs get more upbeat, and I go and bring the mood down again. Well done me. 🙂

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