Good luck, bad luck? Who knows…
Have you ever felt as though the world was conspiring against you? Have you ever wondered why you have such rotten luck, why nothing you do ever works out, or why you just can’t catch a break? If you feel this way, then you certainly aren’t alone. In fact, there are many people out there who feel exactly as you do. They feel as though the world is out to get them — unable to break the cycle of bad luck that seems to be shadowing them everywhere they go.
But what is bad luck really? And is it really as bad as it seems?
Bad luck, good luck or anything in between is nothing more than a situation we find ourselves in. This situation is actually neutral by nature. It doesn’t have any bad or good luck associated with it. We instead give each situation meaning as a result of how we interpret the events and circumstances.
The meaning you assign to a situation depends on your perspective of that situation and on the short and long-term view you take of that situation. And this of course will vary from person to person.
There is nothing good or inherently bad about anything that happens to us, we just make it one way or another based on the questions we ask ourselves when we get caught up in that moment.
The questions you ask yourself can either lead to self-pitty and self-loathing, or they can lead to confidence, excitement and anticipation for what’s to come. It just all depends on the mental attitude you bring to every situation you find yourself in.
Steve Jobs once said that:
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well worn path; and that will make all the difference.”
In other words, what Steve Jobs means is that you can’t pre-judge events or circumstances because in that moment you have a very limited perspective of what this situation might lead to in the future. What might seem as bad luck right now, may actually turn out to be a blessing in disguise. However, you’re unable to see that at this moment because it’s impossible to connect all the dots looking forward.
All the adversity, problems and setbacks you face might not seem pleasant or fair, but in the long-term — in the bigger scheme of things — isn’t it safe to say that it’s way too early to make that judgment call? Unless you have prophetic powers, then you don’t really know whether or not your circumstances are due to bad luck. Just maybe it’s good luck, but you won’t know until days, weeks, months or even years into the future when you look back and connect all the dots. And for that reason it’s important not to jump to quick conclusions about how things are and how they ought to be.
And since you don’t know the long-term effects of these situations, it’s therefore important to keep an open mind. In fact, what might appear to be good luck today might turn south very quickly and ruin your life in a few years time. You just never know.
Have a think about all the seemingly bad things that have happened to you over the years. Looking back at them today, has anything good eventually come from these situations? Also consider all the seemingly good things that happened over the years. Did any of them lead to unfortunate circumstances weeks, months or even years into the future?
The lesson in this is to refrain from judging something as being good or bad, because you just never know the chain reaction of events this situation has triggered. Your bad luck may turn good just as easily as your good luck may turn bad. Who really knows?
The next time you are faced with a seemingly unlucky situation, take some time to ask yourself:
- What’s something good I can take away from this situation?
- How could this potentially be a lucky turn of events?
- What positive outcomes can result from this in the future?
- What valuable lessons can I take from this situation?
- How can I make the best of this situation moving forward?
Whether you experience good luck or bad luck, the best way to approach it is to ask yourself, “Good luck, bad luck… who knows?” Just make the best from every situation and keep an open mind about the future.
IQ Matrix Maps
Here are links to complementary IQ Matrix posters that go into more depth about this topic:
- The Luck Factor: Explores what luck really is and how to have more of it in your life.
- Feeling Lucky: Will help shift your perspective about what you think is lucky and unlucky.
- Remarkable Work Ethic: Luck is all about work ethic. The harder you work the luckier you may get.
- Take Responsibility: Luck tends to favor those who take responsibility for their life and circumstances.
- Quit Complaining: Those who complain rarely get lucky because complainers only focus on problems.