You won’t find the verb “to luck” and the associated gerund “lucking” in the dictionary. Why? It’s my word, that’s why. Lucking means creating your own luck, and we’re all doing it all the time. The question is, what kind of luck are we creating, and if it’s not the kind we want, can we change it?
For me, lucking is the skill of recognizing every time fortune smiles upon me. I add up these happy events and compare the number against the number of times things don’t go my way. But lucking can go the other way too.
Maybe I’m unusual, but I have a tendency to focus on the negative. I can easily get upset when traffic backs up in front of me. And as those who’ve had the misfortune of playing golf with me know, almost nothing works right for me on a golf course.
If I use my golf game as a metaphor for “lucking,” I can see myself as an unlucky person. And (based on my response to failed shot after failed shot) I know I am going to be unlucky before I even hit the green. It’s me being right. I told myself the shot was gonna go 45 degrees to the right, and it did…so I was right.
See the vortex of self-generated and self-supported bad luck here?
Ever told yourself that the more you needed something to go your way, the more it seemed to do the opposite? “Dammit!” I’ve said. “I knew that was gonna happen.” I’m sure that’s happened to every one of you at some point or another. That’s lucking—the negative version.
If you tell yourself you are unlucky, you’re probably going to be right. You’ll actually get some level of satisfaction when your world turns upside down…because you were right. Kinda sick, huh? I know I do it. We all do it.
How can I alter this?
By paying more attention to the stuff that happens on the other side of the coin. I don’t recognize good things as often because they don’t have as much “need” behind them. But great, beneficial, statistically significant things happen to me all the time. I just need to develop the grace to notice!
There’s a category I’m keenly aware of and play with all the time. Don’t laugh. It’s parking spaces. I call it my deal with the “collective conscious.” And about 90% of the time, when I am looking for a parking space, I find one easily. No matter how dense the traffic is or how popular the parking lot, a car will be leaving the perfect spot as I am arriving.
Now I could just park and walk away. Or I could recognize that I am playing my part in the game of luck because (just as in my golf experience), I just knew that parking place would be there.
I’ve found that by recognizing the frequency with which I experience the grace of the universe, I can look at the times when things don’t go my way as just a statistical probability. And I can let that be OK.
And the more I recognize my occasions of good fortune and choose to be grateful for them, the “luckier” my existence becomes.
I experience good luck with important things and unimportant things. Parking spaces. Sunny mornings when I want to run. Rally experiences. The dog that greets me on my walk. Sunday evenings with my mom and my grandchildren at family dinners.
Do you tend to see yourself as statistically lucky or unlucky? Do you find yourself saying, “I just knew that [unlucky event] was going to happen,” thus proving yourself accurate? You can alter this…
I can alter this on the golf course too. There. I’ve said it. In public. No backing out now. Got the parking space right in front of the clubhouse and I know that ball is going in the hole!