I don’t believe in luck. The worst thing a man can do is to believe in luck. It shortcuts work, fastens his attention on false hope, makes him complacent, slack-minded, and liable to curse everything but himself when luck does not last. Luck is for losers, as George Eliot knew well:
She had begun to believe in her luck, others had begun to believe in it: she had visions of being followed by a cortège who would worship her as a goddess of luck and watch her play as a directing augury. Such things had been known of male gamblers; why should not a woman have a like supremacy? (George Eliot, Daniel Deronda).Gwendolen, the subject of this passage, proceeded to lose everything by the next chapter. And if you care to show me a male gambler who is a talisman of good fortune, I will show you a highly skilled practitioner of this or that game, or a cheat. One can have occasional good fortune – nothing ventured, nothing gained – but nobody is lucky per se; lucky to the core. My luck today was merely relief. And had I lost my wallet, or anything in it, it would have been through my own complacency. Trifles, you say; yet the rule holds good. There is no substitute for hard work. As Jefferson is thought to have said: ‘I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it’. If you are in the right place at the right time, it is invariably because you, and the world you live in, have set a million things in motion to put you there and then. And if you have a rotten streak, then you can find real causes, out of which you may derive real solutions.