Like many early teenage boys, about 25 years ago I got my hands on my old man’s playboy stash. While I enjoyed the photos, I also read all the articles, stories, jokes, and advice columns that were contained therein. One of those magazines, from September 1989, had a short story that I still remember today called An Ounce of Luck. It had to do with a magic bag that went around the owners neck that had 30 magic pills in it, all 1/30th of an ounce. If I remember correctly, the pills had to all be eaten within 30 days, or the bag would strangle the owner. Each of the pills were a physical form of Luck, that rendered the user with the immense ability of luck while the pill was in effect. What you come to find out is that half of the pills are good luck, and half are bad luck. Once the owner finishes all the pills, the bag comes undone and fills again with a new owner where the process repeats.
The story starts out as one would expect, a game of chance with the bag owner eating his final pill, wins big. Gives the luck-bag to an unsuspecting new owner telling him it will change his life, but the new owner doesn’t realize bad luck is also involved. Without giving too much more away (it really is a good story, though can only be found in the magazine or on iPlayboy’s back issues apparently, I did find the start of a crappily transcribed copy here at Highbeam Business which just teases it), the new owner has an accident and breaks his leg, or something along those lines. He figures that’s a bad luck pill, executes a plan to ensure that he will end up with good luck, only to find out that the secondary result of the accident was an amazing stroke of good fortune that results in immense wealth, leaving him with impending bad luck to look forward to.
So coming to my point. When we’re going through life, wishing and hoping for things to happen – for that girl to go out with you, for that dream job you interviewed for, for you to sell your house – sometimes, the best luck is what seems like bad luck at the time. Turn of events can make that negative more of a positive than you imagine. Like when that one girl turns you down (and you end up with a better one, who turns out to be a great wife and mother), or that employer doesn’t hire you (connecting the dots to a better job, and eventually to your own business), or by not selling your house (you end up timing the market better the following year, and as a result you move to a neighborhood that better fits your family).
Think back and you’ll likely see this is true in your life, as it is in mine. Right before Holly met me she broke up with her boyfriend of a while, and her cat died. Bad luck. A week before I met Holly, an ex-girlfriend I had dumped earlier but was trying to get back together with (she was nice, a real cutie, and bisexual to boot – and I was more lonely than really looking for something serious) wasn’t ready to jump back in with me. Holly and I were both separately bummed out about our lack of luck. Then we met each other, and the rest is history (I am really allergic to cats, so it probably wouldn’t have worked if her cat she immensely loved was still around).
I also think most people make their own luck, bad or good. A few people I work with are just shitty people, and constantly have bad luck happen to them (lock their keys in their car, someone smashes into their car, someone breaks into their apartment, constant drama that is “never their fault”). Others just seem to be lucky all the time. Why is that? As they say, Luck is what happens when Opportunity meets Preparation. If you are in a bad mood, you aren’t paying attention to opportunity, no matter how prepared you are. When you’re putting off a raincloud vibe, you will not be inviting much interaction, and opportunities are likely to be missed or never get initiated.
By contrast, if you’re whistling while you’re walking and smiling, you’re looking all around in the moment, and can find opportunity (or opportunity finds you). A positive energy vibe invites people to you who may provide you an opportunity. You will be surprised what good things happen from seemingly chance encounters.
Another thing about lucky people is they listen to their intuition. Something is telling you to take a different way home. Or to call that old friend. As a result, maybe you avoid an accident, or find your old friend is providing you a great opportunity, or you simply reconnect and reestablish a bond that has other impacts on your life. Intuition, if in tune, is a learned trait and one that can really guide you in the right ways to a better future. But you need to be listening, pay attention, and act on the intuition – even against patterns and sometimes against common sense.
So be prepared, have an open mind, and seize that Good Luck as it glances against you uninvited. And remember, just because things aren’t going your way now, or seem like you’re in an unlucky stretch, sometimes these times are purposely setting you up for something better.