Why lucky underpants will stop you thriving

Four leaf clovers, lucky underpants, or that special charm bracelet that grandma gave you. Do you really believe they bring you luck? Really?

They don’t.

They bring you hope, not luck. And false hope which is the worst kind of hope.

Unfortunately, many people outsource much of their “power and control” to luck or fate. For these people, believing they have direct influence over events and experiences in their life feels difficult. It's much easier to say that luck or fate will handle things, rather than taking responsibility. 

But it’s only the same dose of “difficult” as learning anything new. It may be a challenge, and you may have to try a few times before you feel confident, but putting in some effort to directly influence an event in your life is not horrendously difficult. (Okay, it does depend on the actual event but generally speaking ...)

Luck, fate, magic, and other destiny-controlling higher powers aren’t real. Until I see the scientific-evidence that we can rely on luck, grandma’s bracelet is purely for decorative purposes. It won’t be helping me pass my university exam, make the perfect soufflé, or bump into Daniel Craig in the IGA aisle.

I’m sure you know someone, or you might be that someone, who met Mr/Ms Right and attributed the chance meeting to luck or fate. Over the years, you meet hundreds of people so the chance of meeting “someone special” is highly likely!

Fate, luck, or coincidence?

Yes, there may be some factor in the meeting of that special someone that suggests a coincidence but the same could be said for many interactions. We’re all connected in some way – you know, six degrees of separation and all that - so that chance meeting or seemingly random event is rarely that random.

As a colleague of mine said “meeting your partner in some apparently fortuitous way is no more ‘fate’ than driving a car for thousands of miles and eventually running over a rabbit. Because you have covered so many miles, sooner or later it is inevitable that the bumper of your car and a small furry animal will collide. But because a relationship seems like a major thing, something so important in someone’s life, it is easy to attribute this to something other-worldly - fate.”

What’s the big deal about saying "good luck"?

Why is believing in luck (or fate) so unhelpful? And why is it especially unhelpful for a person who wants to thrive in every aspect of their life? Here’s why. When someone believes in luck or fate or some other magical power, they are handing over responsibility for events and experiences in their life to someone or something else. They’ve giving up some of their power and control.

Even handing over a small sliver of power and control is reducing the effort you’re likely to put in. Getting over a health issue, finding Mr/Ms Right, finishing that race or event, or passing a test – giving luck or fate some of your power and control means you’re unlikely to believe the extra effort you could put in will make any difference. 

Take back control

Put your energy and time into your own “direct influence” rather than searching your drawers for your lucky underpants.

A key component of The Thrive Programme is about identifying unhelpful beliefs – such as fate, luck or superstition – that are holding us back in life. We learn how to overcome our limiting effects, which are surprisingly strong and powerful. For many, this is a mind-opening experience. It means that every success or achievement is entirely down to them. You are the architect of your own success and ongoing wellbeing. Imagine if we all held that view. A thriving world it would be!

Michelle Carlyle is a Licensed Thrive Programme Consultant. “Everyone has the capacity to thrive in every aspect of their lives.”

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