What do you mean by “Luck”?
We often wish someone “good luck” in their various endeavours. By this we mean to wish them to be successful in whatever they are about to do. However, if you ask whether luck is overrated, you need to first ask yourself what exactly it is you mean by “luck”. Often the same people who wished someone luck will be angry or jealous when they do reach their goals or are successful. As if wishing them luck is simply pretence and you really wish that they’d fail.
Many will then, out of jealousy, try to break the lucky/successful person down – even spreading lies and rumours to say that the person doesn’t actually deserve their success or didn’t work for it. As if you should have the last say about a person’s success or failure. You want to act as if anyone could reach that level of success if you only took the same shortcut the lucky person got to take. You wish to have “instant success”, not “success you deserve after all the work you’ve put into it behind the scenes”.
Who, after all, wouldn’t want instant success without having to have put hours into reaching that success and be the lucky one who made it? The various inspirational quotes which are sent around each day certainly contribute to this as well. It makes me think of a quote in Wee Free Men by T. Pratchett: “If you trust in yourself… and believe in your dreams… and follow your star… you’ll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren’t so lazy”. We all want the luck to be instantly successful, but few are willing to really put the work into what they want to achieve.
We’ve turned luck into a mythological force that chooses random people to become successful overnight – a force that is just too spiteful to choose me and instead chooses them. But waiting for luck to come your way and fulfil your desires is like wanting to be a successful artist/photographer/CEO/athlete or whatever your goal is, by sitting in a corner doing nothing and waiting for someone to come and ask you out of the blue to suddenly be one of these things. Working towards being lucky, however, means working at it every moment that you can and looking for ways in which you can take your skills further.
Instead of not wishing someone good luck/success, we should rather let go of the petty jealousies we want to hold against each other and work towards our own success. After all, if you know how much work someone else has put into reaching their goals, you should be proud of them, not angry and jealous of them. Rather learn from them than break them down.
Author: Carin Marais
Carin Marais writes web articles, guest and blog posts, and fiction. With interests ranging from pop culture and technology to literature, mythology and archaeology, her writing covers diverse subjects. To contact Carin for articles and guest posts, or to read her work, go to her home page, her blog Hersenskim or follow her on @CarinMarais.