Do YOU believe in luck? What does luck mean for YOU? 

Everyone has their own definition of luck. A lucky shirt, a chance encounter, winning the lottery, getting a discount, and so much more. Everything that works in favour of you automatically becomes your luck with no context behind it whatsoever. Luck is a vast subject with not one perfect definition, it is open to perception. 

I have my own theory about luck. 

I think that there are two types of lucks; birth luck and work luck and everyone by default has both of them. 


What is Birth Luck?

birth luck

For me, simply being born and alive and existing makes you lucky. Think about it, what are the chances that YOU were the chosen one among millions and millions of sperm. You are alive. You are here. That is Birth luck. 

I think of birth luck as a big spectrum. You are either on the ‘good’ side or the ‘not so good’ side. But you are still there, you are lucky, it is only the quantum of this birth luck that varies. 

Imagine this. The day you were born you realize that you are a part of the Ambani family. The quantum of your birth luck automatically moves to 100000X. You were literally born with a golden spoon hanging out of your mouth and a world of opportunities knocking at your door. 

At the same time, if perhaps you were born to a villager in a third world, drought-struck country, you still have birth luck. It is just that the quantum of it is less. You don’t have the same golden spoon in your mouth or opportunities at your door. But you are still here. Being alive and being not so gifted is still so much better than not existing at all. 

Birth luck is something that you literally cannot control. You have no other option but to accept it and move on.

What are the advantages of Birth luck? 

1. Easy access to money and contacts. 

By default, if you were born in Amitabh Bachan’s or Jeff Bezos’ family or any other well to do family for that matter, you have super easy access to the two most needed resources in life; contacts and money! 

When you are Abhishekh Bachan, Rahul Gandhi or Aryan Khan, you easily get the headstart you need to propel yourself in your desired career. This is something that the others struggle with, a lot!

I think this is the reason why star kids in Bollywood are more than often subjected to the topics of nepotism. Most of the time they do not have to build a network from scratch. It has already been done by their parents and now they just need to leverage it. 

2. Easy milestones

With good birth luck, you don’t really spend a lot of time or effort on the things that are literally milestones for the others. For eg, most of us have worked hard for years to get our hands on our first ever car. And the feeling that followed it was insurmountable. However, do you really think, people born into successful families have to spend the same amount of time reaching these milestones? Are these even milestones for them?

3. Everything is immediate. 

I am saying this on the behalf of every middle class Indian of today. We have to plan for months when it comes to a luxury vacation, a destination wedding, buying a property, etc etc. It’s like every luxury in life needs to be earned through sweat and hard work.

This isn’t the same for people with comparatively a higher quantum of birth luck. Most of the time, they don’t have a waiting period. They want a house? It’s Done. They want to plan a luxury vacation? It’s Done. 

Most of the things in the life of an individual with amazing birth luck are immediate. Fresh and hot and served! 

Disadvantages of Birth Luck. 

Now coming to the other side of the story. The grass always seems greener on the other side. No matter the benefits, there are certain disadvantages also that follow high birth luck. 

1. No fair acknowledgement of your efforts

Born into a rich and successful family, even if you were a genius, you would still be simply called lucky!

The best example, unfortunately, has to be Abhishek Bachan. He is a skilled actor and has delivered some really good performances. But unfortunately for him, he has always been known as Amitabh Bachan’s son. He never could really outgrow his father’s shadow.  

Your acknowledgements, when you are born into a wealthy family, get seriously overlooked. You will have to do something truly earth-shattering for you to build your own identity. For example, Hrithik Roshan, Amir Khan, Or even Salman Khan. All three of them were born to fathers who were quite successful in the film industry. They did get their break quite easily, no doubts about that, but it was their sheer talent and hard work that gave them the ability to become more than their fathers’ sons. This is where work luck kicks in, and we will be talking about this later in the blog.

2. You are always under public scrutiny 

I am not trying to judge anyone here, but for so many years, we have seen examples of children of rich and famous people getting negative publicity because of certain vices of theirs. Be it the company they keep, the quick and easy availability of anything they need, or simply the lack of understanding of the worth of everything, there are many examples of kids from rich and famous families being in the limelight for all the wrong reasons. 

Take, for example, the very recent incident of Aryan Khan, the son of Shahrukh Khan, one of the most successful actors in Bollywood.   

Now, we don’t know how innocent or how guilty Aryan Khan was in this entire ordeal. We are no one to pass judgements, but one thing is for sure, he did spend an entire month behind bars. If this was an ordinary person, this would have been no big news. But just because this happened to the son of a very renowned and popular face, people will always remember Aryan Khan’s imprisonment.

3. Lots of options = Lots of distractions. 

Thom Browne, an American fashion designer, once said something that really stuck with me. 

“When people have too many choices, they make bad.” 

I think this quote holds a lot of truth in it, especially for people with a higher quantum of Birth luck who almost daily get rained down by a multitude of choices and opportunities. 

And when there are a lot of choices, there are a lot of distractions, because you just don’t know what to choose. 

I was once watching a hilarious stand-up show of a comedian, and I still remember laughing at what he had said. He said that whenever a rickshaw driver’s son comes first, the media starts hovering around him and celebrating him. But a rickshaw driver’s son coming first isn’t really a big achievement, he has no distraction in his life. The only thing he has to do is study. So it’s but natural he will come first. However, if a rich kid, with a continuous Netflix subscription, a girlfriend, a bike and a credit card comes first, then that is truly a big achievement. 

Though he was cracking a joke, and I laughed my heart out at that time, I feel as if in hindsight this does make so much sense. Controlling yourself among distractions is the true definition of achievement. 

The series Billionaires, on Netflix, states that out of the top 100 billionaires in the world, the top 30% are self-made. They also had no distractions, they just had one focus in their life.

4. Envy of the people. 

When you are gifted by birth, especially in wealth, you are always going to be subjected to the jealous eye. 

People will most definitely envy you because according to them they are struggling and you are not. 

If you notice, be it in school, or workplace, or perhaps the best example should be of Bollywood, there is this invisible line that divides the haves from the have nots. The haves are always considered to be the insiders, the blessed. And the have nots are the ones lurking on the side. You will always be envied by the people considering themselves the have nots.

What is work luck? 

work luck

Now, coming to the second part of today’s subject; work luck. 

Contrary to birth luck, we have some control over work luck. WE have some control over the opportunities we get through work luck. 

According to me, 

Work Luck = Preparation + Perseverance. 

Therefore, if you prepare and persevere, it is very rare that you won’t get the work luck you deserve. The more you prepare and persevere the more work luck you get.

For example, there are people like Gautam Adani (founder of Adani Groups), MS Dhoni, Jeff Bezos, etc. who have built their empire right from scratch. 

The advantages of work luck: 

1. It is long-lasting. 

Once you get into the habit of preparation and perseverance it is sustainable. Whereas birth luck does not necessarily support you always and everywhere. Even if you have been born with tremendous birth luck, it is going to fall short somewhere or the other when you are trying to make your own identity. 

The occurrence of birth luck is restricted to a few times in your life, as in the quantum does not always be high. 

But work luck can sustain for longer. The frequency of the occurrence of work luck in your life is higher. 

Let me give you Amitabh Bachan’s story as an example. 

Amitabh Bachan did not come into the industry as a big shot even though his father was a well-known writer. He came from a financially modest family with close to no connections in Bollywood.  He had his own struggle in Bollywood but eventually ended as one of the most successful Bollywood stars.

However, he also had his share of Work luck playing against him. After the failure of his venture Amitabh Bachan Corporation Ltd (ABCL), Bachan found himself in debt of over 90 crores! He was closing in on complete bankruptcy. 

So much so, that in a 2013 interview, he recalled how creditors would line up in front of his house and abuse him. 

But, he bounced back. He rebuilt his entire empire from scratch. All because he had built for himself a strong foundation of Work luck through learning, perseverance and never giving up. 

“Without a doubt that was one of the darkest moments in my 44-year professional career. It made me sit and think, I looked at the options before me and evaluated different scenarios. The answer came – I know how to act. I got up and walked to Yashji (Chopra, filmmaker), who stayed behind my house. I prayed to him to give me work. That is when he gave me Mohabbatein,” – Amitabh Bachan. 

Amitabh Bachan’s story just goes on to exemplify how long-lasting, replicable and scalable work luck can be. 

2. It teaches you the science of how to create your own luck. 

When we learn and internalize something, it becomes a part of our muscle memory, and we never forget it after that. When we crack the code of creating our luck or in fact working towards bettering it, this knowledge also becomes a lesson that is too hard to forget. 

More than knowing what works, you learn what does not. And I think when we try something for the first time, more than half of our efforts and time is invested in trials and errors, once you know what does not work, you can easily skip this part and invest more of your time in the methods that did work for you.

Work luck, contradictory to birth luck is replicable and scalable. 

3. It never fails. 

Your work luck never fails. It might get delayed but never fails. When you have ingrained in you the skills of preparations and perseverance it is just a matter of time till you succeed. Unless and until you decide to quit, perseverance and preparation will always be a sure shot way to increase your work luck.

Do you know that famous quote from Paulo Coelho’s book, ‘The Alchemist’?

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

I kind of believe in the same thing. If you really want something, if you really put in your everything, if you really work your heart out for it, then there is no chance that you won’t get what you are chasing after.

4. It makes you a well-rounded person. 

When you start practising perseverance and preparation as a major life skill to increase your work luck it actually will change you as a person. Birth luck does not do that, it gives you very little room for change or growth. Whereas work luck makes you disciplined, organized, balanced and motivated. 

The disadvantages of Work Luck 

1. You need a lot of patience. 

Consistently work towards achieving your goals especially when the rewards are delayed.

You don’t know when you will get your big break, you don’t know which method would finally prove fruitful for you, you don’t know exactly when you will succeed. And this uncertainty is why work luck is still called ‘luck’. Though the timing of it is not really in your hands, working consistently towards it despite it taking more time than you expected increases your chances of work luck.

Let me tell you the story of Colonel Sanders, the owner of a leading fast-food chain, KFC. 

Colonel Sanders did not start working on KFC until he was 60 years old. I mean, this is the age where most of us plan to retire at. Colonel Sanders worked from age 60 to 73 to master his secret KFC recipe and make his fast-food chain an international venture. And while he was starting up with his first restaurant, Sanders says that there were instances where he had to sleep in his car and eat only once a day. 

From Colonel Sanders’ story, we get the very important lesson of patience. You don’t know when you are going to strike gold, but you do know that you need to keep digging your way through the mud for it! 

2. You need to develop a love for work : 

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs

The reason worked luck is called What it is, is because there is work involved in it. It includes a lot of Work to get the work luck working for you. 

I want to tell you a little about my weight loss journey here. 

Recently, I lost around 13 kgs because I had put on an unhealthy amount of weight and did not realize when or how. The realisation of my weight gain only hit after my pants stopped fitting me!

I made a pact with myself to be as healthy as I can and actually changed my entire lifestyle for this goal of mine. I wake up early in the morning to work out at the gym. I eat a well balanced, portion-controlled healthy diet, I even hired a personal dietician to help me with it. 

I continue to do so and keep myself healthy. But even after all of this, people still call me lucky because I managed to lose weight. 

I worked long and was consistent to make my worked luck work for mee.

But apart from all of that, the reason I truly managed to stick to my healthy lifestyle is because I fell in love with it. I love going to the gym and working out daily. I love eating moderate but healthy food. 

A few weeks ago, I saw this tweet from Elon Musk, and I have to tell you I relate so much to this. 

elon musk tweet about luck

3. It depends on your thoughts and the people you surround yourself with 

The people you surround yourself with have a major impact on your thoughts. And your thoughts dictate your actions. 

Famous American Entrepreneur, Philanthropist Jim Rohn once said 

‘You are always average of 5 people you surround yourself with.’

When you are working or going to try something new, your thoughts are shaped by the people you surround yourself with. People with the same values and mindset thrive and people with opposing values drift off.

Take the example of any successful entrepreneur, the people they surround themselves with are almost always successful, like-minded entrepreneurs themselves. 

Even in my own personal experience, I have seen that almost every new successful venture is started with a successful partnership

For example, Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Paul Allen was the co-founder of Microsoft along with Bill Gates. Bill Gates’ work luck worked for him because he had Paul Allen with him who helped him in establishing Microsoft.

Even Elon Musk for that matter started Zip with his brother. And later on, when he went on to establish Tesla and SpaceX, he actually did it with a solid team. 

I believe that unless and until you are able to find the right partner or the right team to work with success seems a far fetched idea. Success is not a one-man show, it is a team’s play. And that is why surrounding yourself and partnering with the right kind of people with the right kind of mindset is crucial when it comes to good work luck. 

3. Conclusion

Everyone on this planet has birth luck and work luck. Birth luck is out of our control. The only thing we are in charge of, that we can change, is our work luck. 

Let the birth luck play its role. Let’s focus on our work luck. With the right attitude and the right guidance, we can make our work luck work for us.

Work luck is our puppet. What we do with it, where we end up all depends on our actions and our thoughts. 

If you liked this article, share it with people who might find it interesting. If you have any questions, drop them in the comments section. I am always happy to help. 


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