that stroke of luck

I am from a country in which a poor boy several years ago was christened Goodluck at his birth. Strange name right? Today, that boy serves as the president of our country. When he told us his story, he attributes part of his success today to that little stroke of luck. As a boy he had no shoes, as a man he rides a presidential jet. His name has truly been a prophecy for his life. Little wonder today we have had many more parents name their child Goodluck because they are also searching for that stroke of luck that would make all the difference in their life.

Of course, not all these children bearing that name today will be presidents tomorrow. Moreover, President Jonathan was not the only person to have been named Goodluck the year he was born. Where are the other Goodlucks today? You can’t really blame our people though; who doesn’t want to be the father of the president of the giant of Africa?

I’d be discussing luck today and I’ll take my observation from Hollywood stories to drive home a point. Let me start by painting the regular scenarios we find in movies.

The good-guy-bad-guy fight. This is usually reserved for the last part of the movie. Almost always, the bad guy is usually more than enough for the good guy. So he beats him up pretty bad such that the good guy is bleeding all over. Then at that instance that he is about to deal the good guy the last blow, the good guy manages to reach a gun that is left with just 1 bullet which was some time ago out of reach but now that he is about to die is now somehow near enough for his dramatic full arm stretch to reach. And so before the bad guy can finish him off, he gets the gun, shoots the bad guy dead and the good guy wins.

My next scenario is from the amazing spider man 2 movie released earlier this year; two planes were just about to collide into each other because electrode who is the bad guy here had tampered with the electricity in the city. The planes were flying blindly because they could not communicate with the control room at the airport and Just when they were about to collide, someone somewhere pushed a button just as someone else somewhere else connected some wires together and that led to the electricity being restored back in the city. If all that process had been delayed by a fraction of a second, the two planes would have ran into each other and spider-man would not have saved the day.

Or, you must have seen instances in action movies where several bad guys are shooting at just one good guy and then they all miss. The bullets would be seen to literarily touch everything else apart from the good guy and then with just 1 round of ammunition, the good guy kills all his enemies.

Then there is the common classic bad guy error in which he has the good guy cornered into a place and when he ought to just finish him off once and for all, he begins to tell a tale nobody is interested in #story4thegods. and while he is still explaining away his plans and un-gotten victory, the good guy gets some weapon somewhere and strikes him dead.

I could give countless of similar scenarios from Hollywood movies I’ve seen. The end is always similar. The good guy wins but then when you look at it closely, you can see that they always attribute his victory to some stroke of luck. I mean those bad guys might be wearing dark shades but they are certainly not all blind. If that is not luck, I wonder what it is.

Every action hero or movie star character has his or her own story of luck. Of how they were close to losing and then suddenly they won.

However, life funnily is very different from hollywood stories where there are always happy endings because not everyone always gets lucky. In real life, good guys die, planes crash, full sighted people don’t all miss their target at the same time, and bad guys don’t talk before shooting (they do it after the kill), people stay divorced, and some things you find kevin hart do won’t be seen as funny but rather stupid. Reason like I said before again is that not everyone gets lucky.

Luck I have come to see only finds those who needs it the least. There are plenty people who have been playing the lottery for years and have never stroked a jackpot even once. Even Hollywood tells such stories. People who hit luck in casinos were usually the un-expectant. It just happened when they weren’t counting on it.

So even though you can count on luck to save you if you were a character in an Hollywood movie, you can’t do so in real life. Mother luck is just so not dependable.

In real life, though not everyone gets lucky; but everyone gets an opportunity. A 1st century roman philosopher named Seneca remarked that luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparation. So what we should be on the lookout for is not luck itself but rather opportunity.

The way you look out for opportunities and make the most of them is to be prepared for them. George clason said that opportunity doesn’t waste time on the unprepared. Remember the story of the 10 virgins and the oil from the bible. The five that got picked were not just lucky. They were prepared for the opportunity of luck.

If you look more intently at even those scenarios I’ve even painted from the Hollywood stories, you’d still see some trace of interplay between opportunity and preparation. Someone did some hard work to get lucky. The truth is that a man who is not prepared for luck won’t even see it when an opportunity presents one to him.

In conclusion, let me just say for the record that I am also a kind of believer in luck. But like Thomas Jefferson observed, I also find that the harder i work, the more i have of it.

Soaga Afolabi Olusegun.

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One thought on “that stroke of luck

  1. Hollywood stories aren’t always the best. A more satisfying story is when the good guy goes on a journey of growth and finds resources within himself/herself that allow him to beat the bad guy. It’s more satisfying than luck, and much more like real life too.

    Like

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