After catching up with friends and hearing about their lives I usually end the conversation by wishing them the best of luck. This is a polite gesture, but one that I have been trying to stop. Not because I don’t want the best for my friends, but because I am realizing that some people use the word “luck” at the wrong times.
Wishing people luck signifies you hope that no uncontrollable bad experience happens to them. But what if it does? Is that person now blaming their bad experience or failure on bad luck? Maybe they are, and maybe it’s justified. Uncontrollable and unforeseen events happen on a daily basis. But blaming a failure on bad luck can also be an easy excuse and a slippery slope. Are all the mishaps happening in your life because of bad luck? Or, could you have made better choices?
Could you have chosen to have a conversation with someone to tell them how you feel?
Could you have put in an extra hour of work instead of endlessly scrolling on facebook?
Could you have left the bar after one drink instead of staying out until 2:00am?
Are you putting yourself in the best position possible to succeed? If you aren’t, you should take more accountability for your actions. If you aren’t giving it your all or doing your very best to prepare for your moment, then you can’t blame luck when things don’t go right.
The word “luck” or “lucky” should only be used to describe spontaneous or uncontrollable events.
In addition, if you are working hard every day and you are succeeding or doing what you want to do at a high level, don’t let anyone say that “you got lucky”. Work begets work, and you are in your position for a reason. You either worked hard to get to where you are, or you need to do better.
I am choosing not to wish someone luck, because if it doesn’t work out in their favor, I don’t want them to blame or point the finger at luck. Instead, I tell them some of the following phrases to give them encouragement and confidence.
“I know you’ll do well”
“You’re going to kill it”
“You don’t need luck, you make your own”