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Luck Is What Happens When Preparation Meets Opportunity

NeuroSkillz Admin

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“Luck Is What Happens When Preparation Meets Opportunity."

This is one of my favorite quotes. It's attributed to many people but mostly Roman philosopher Seneca gets the credit. Many famous successful people have used it too as it's rumored that Oprah is one of them.

Have you ever had someone tell you that you are "lucky" when they didn't even acknowledge how hard you worked to achieve it?


New member
I really love this quote! I personally do not believe in the notion of luck at all. I believe that those who are deemed "lucky" simply have worked hard for what they wanted and just chose to never give up. Along with that, they have been able to control their mindset and operate at a higher frequency so that things that seem like coincidences or "luck" are just a part of their daily lives. Luck in my opinion never has much to do with anything!


New member
My college professor used to use the quote, "80% of success is showing up," which to me always meant you have to do your part in order for everything else to align. Making your dreams come true does not just mean believing they can come true, it is about putting things into action. If I want a job I must build the skills necessary to get that job, start at the bottom to gain experience and get my foot in the door so that one day I can be "lucky" enough to land my dream job. Most people don't just get where they are because they picked up a lucky penny. Most successful people showed up to do the work. I know Oprah beat the odds growing up with very little and while she may have had help at some points in her life, she paved her own path.


New member
To piggy-back off what you've all been saying, I can't help but be reminded of the old adage: "You make your own luck."

I don't necessarily agree that "luck" is a result of hard work alone, but I do believe that "you make your own luck" through a confluence of factors. People who manifest perseverance, kindness, ambition, a positive mindset, empathy, and - yes - a good work ethic are naturally setting themselves up for more "lucky" opportunities. So, to the OP's original point: Definitely a great quote, but I think that fortune depends on more than just preparation.

Also - to answer OP's question: I find I actually tend to chalk up my own past successes to luck (despite knowing how hard I worked).


New member
This is a great quote and one that tends to bring out a lot of different perspectives. You can get to know a person's life view a little bit just by their reaction to this quote. I do believe in luck. As my mom always said, so many things in life are about timing. Sometimes you are just in the right place at the right time, or you know the right person. That's not hard work on your part but rather luck, or something akin to it. However, if you're not prepared to make the most of those opportunites then the chance could easily pass you by. That's where the hard work comes into play!

For example, I worked in the mental health field for over 7 years but wanted to make a change to teaching and work in the same school district as my children. There were no openings and other obstacles stood in my way. I went ahead and prepared anyhow. I researched what I needed to do to get a teaching license. While on maternity leave, I studied and took the test that got me my teaching license. I prepared! Shortly after returning back to my job, I applied to my children's school system as an aid, the only open position out there. You don't need a teaching license for that position and I would have been unable to afford the pay cut, but thought perhaps I could get my foot in the door. I was called in to interview and they hired me for a teaching position that wasn't even posted! The school system has an alternative placement site where kids are court-ordered to live if they've been in trouble with the law, and my background in mental health was a perfect fit. If I hadn't prepared, I would not have been able to take advantage of that opportunity. Some may say it's a higher power rather than luck, but none the less I was ready for it!

This does not negate the hard work I put in of course. As someone who's jokingly referred to herself as unlucky throughout life, I certainly felt lucky with the timing and how everything worked out! I've never experienced someone dismissing my hard work as luck, so I can't speak as to how that would feel. Have others experienced that? I'd be interested to know your response. I have had people dismiss me or assume me less intelligent because I'm a woman and I wonder if it might feel similar, but I suppose that's a topic for another time.