Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
One of the presenters I was privileged to watch this weekend at our annual Energetix Lyceum described the methylation pathways of our body. Methylation acts as an on/off switch that allows the body to learn how to deal with the environment and it controls the body’s ability to detoxify.
With the industrial revolution came explosive growth in the production of new substances that have proven over time to be toxic to all living creatures on earth, including you and me. Plastics, preservatives, food colorings, synthetic fabrics, personal electronic devices and so on have made the achievement and maintenance health an increasingly difficult proposition.
I am certain that in all things there is causality. Cause and effect governs the movement from past to present and conditions the movement from present to future. What people call “luck,” as in “I had a lucky day” or “I stumbled upon the solution by dumb luck” is really another way to say “I am not too clear about the cause of this effect, but I am pleased by its occurrence.”
Similarly, the idea of “bad luck” is nothing more than an admission of the same, followed by displeasure with the outcome. In my view, professing to have good luck or bad luck is a convenient and generally acceptable way to shirk responsibility in and or for any given matter.
Those who profess to have good luck are either unwilling to accept responsibility for the investments they’ve made that have constrained to a positive outcome or they are unwilling to recognize and thank others for the seeds they’ve planted that resulted in a desirable harvest beyond themselves.
Likewise, those who claim to be the victims of bad luck are frequently avoiding the fact that they didn’t do the work required to tip the scales toward a positive outcome or they have failed to see the fact that the human race is deeply interconnected and that they more often than not are forced by the objective flow of cause and effect to harvest the less-than-perfect actions of their fellow human beings.
Luck – both good and bad – is not a random process. Like the methylation pathways in our bodies, luck is nothing more than the expression of cause and effect. Luck can appear to be random as cause and effect can be incredibly complex, with multiple agents affecting multiple processes that can link seemingly unrelated events and people.
We are all related in one way or another. Whether you read this blog in a Yurt in Costa Rica, the Presidential Suite at the Plaza Hotel in New York or a dorm room at university, your thoughts, words and actions eventually end up impacting people and events that would appear on the surface to have nothing to do with one another.
Health is also the product of cause and effect. You can no longer bank on having health throughout your life by virtue of having “good” genes. Even those with the strongest constitutions are finding themselves challenges by the mounting toxicity in our world. The point is that if you are concerned to have better luck, you must pay closer attention to causation.
The wise man handles both the good in life as well as the bad with equanimity. After a string of “good luck” he doesn’t take the good things in life for granted, rest on his laurels or forget to continue to plant seeds of inspiration, encouragement and refinement. Similarly, after a bad day or worse a bad week he doesn’t resign himself to blame, complaint or dismay.
The understanding of cause and effect is the basis for a generative life. Without this foundation it is easy to fall prey to the many substandard explanations for why life is the way it is at any given point in time.
The decisions you make in your life affect more than you could ever imagine. Think big when you think. Think of others when you think. And most importantly, think when you’re supposed to think, for luck never made a man wise.
16 thoughts on “Your Lucky Day”
I could not disagree more with you. Claiming that randomness does not exist in this world is indeed a very weird proposition. Causal reasoning can only explain a (often small) part of the reality (ask your statistician friends). Insisting that we live in a deterministic world in which we have got complete control of our lifes is a sheer madness.
Feel free to read the article “the prime bases of luck” in my blog
Thank you for your comment. I’m not sure where I said that randomness does not exist. Perhaps you are extrapolating from my statement that in all things there is causality. Is not randomness a cause?
Dear Gregg, Apologies if I misinterpreted you but I think
that this conclusion is implied in most of your statements. Let me
just comment some “Those who profess to have good luck are either
unwilling to accept responsibility for the investments they’ve made
that have constrained to a positive outcome or they are unwilling
to recognize and thank others for the seeds they’ve planted that
resulted in a desirable harvest beyond themselves.” While it is
true that most people attribute their failures to their bad luck
and their successes to their abilities in reality achievement is a
product of both skill and luck! Contingency and ignorance (the
prime bases of luck) act indeed as causes. But for those we can not
be held accountable for as they are beyond our control. Luck is an
unavoidable feature of a complex world in which we operate beyond
our depths. Hence those who don’t accept full responsibility of
their successes they may do so just because they recognise that
luck has done them a favour! “In my view, professing to have good
luck or bad luck is a convenient and generally acceptable way to
shirk responsibility in and or for any given matter.” As I have
already mentioned it is equally frequent to attribute all our
success to the adequacies of skill or effort and none to our good
luck and fortune. We humans tend to feel godlike when success comes
and we forget that all our decisions are imperfect due to our
limited capability to process complex and imperfect information. To
conclude if contingency and ignorance are to be held as causal
reasons of our success (or failure) it is highly sensible not to
attribute those to ourselves. It makes no sense to blame the
victims of bad luck or to respond to other people’s good luck with
I’ve always thought we make our own luck. I’ve had the experience of working really hard at something and when others saw my success there were the usual number of comments on how lucky I was.
I’ve had things not go my way as much as the next guy. I’ve learned to keep with it and sometimes things start to gel. (Then all my “friends” can comment on my good luck.)
What do they say, good luck is where hard work and opportunity meet.
I liked this post, thanks.
I like that…where hard work and opportunity meet. Thanks for sharing!
I think “luck” could be described as what happens when you make the right decisions in each moment and take advantage of opportunity when it arises.
Good point, thanks!
Greatly appreciate the nature of what you have shared this morning, and trust that it will most certainly have the impact at the level of cause for which it was intended, in my life anyways. I have been finding more than ever that this matter of causality is quite a simple matter when the consistency of vision is maintained, that vision allows us to see things as they are, not getting all caught up in the symptoms but rather looking beyond that and revealing the heart of the matter, which is always invisible!
Wow, you’ve really set the record straight here. Thanks for a brilliant post to ponder today!
I appreciate the extensions of your thoughts on causality. In the field of health, studies are constantly designed to observe the nature of the interconnectedness of things. Does this cause that, or is it merely correlated to that? How about this here? What if I changed that over there? How does that affect the outcome?
Life itself is extremely complex, and it’s funny how when biology is studied, everything is mapped out quite meticulously by necessity. However, why does that not translate over to how we live our lives? I think you just helped bridge that gap, as there are ways to look at the living of our lives that are no less meticulous. The great law of cause and effect, if operable in one area, must be just as much present in another area, if life were to make sense to me.
I’ll hang on Emerson’s quote here for some time! Excellent read
The complexities of cause and effect are sometimes too much for anyone’s brain to figure out. I think the key is to realize that sometimes it’s not your issue, but you have to deal with the fallout anyways. Likewise, the only thing you can do is to do your best all the time and always try to make your best better. Do that and don’t worry about the outcome, and you will lead a much more “lucky” life!
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The mystery of luck dispelled!
You’re pushing your luck with that statement! Just kidding…have a great day.
GREAT post 🙂