Although many people keep Buddha statues at home for good intentions, the statues themselves are not direct causes of luck or fortune. Why is it though?
Your Definition of Luck
The idea of luck or fortune varies from person to person. Commonly, many would relate luck to favorable events that improve their lives; sometimes, these events can occur unexpectedly.
From another standpoint, chance, luck, or randomness falls under the category of probabilities. In that sense, if you want to gather more luck, you will need to increase your probabilities.
To improve the chances, we take actions. And the decision to act or not happens in this second, the next second, and another second in your life. As you can see, it is like a tree branching out, or your very own decision tree.
Great thinkers and practitioners have found this principle to be true throughout their career and life-long journey. A firm believer in luck, Thomas Jefferson, said:
I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.
Actor Samuel Goldwyn had some similar thought:
The harder I work, the luckier I get.
In the same way, if you want to get luckier—be it in the workplace, in your relationships, or your financial matters—you need to create the opportunities for yourself.
Creating an opportunity for yourself may simply be sending an email that you are hesitating to click send, taking just one more photo to improve your photography skills, or trying again one more time at something that has not been going well for you.
Give yourself or loved ones a chance. That would be the first easy good luck you have done for yourself. But how may Buddha help?
How Buddha Can Help
In many cases, the root that holds many people back from trying to increase their chances is fear. Many of us are fearful of the unknown and the past.
What would happen if I did this? What if this and what if that? This happened before and I don’t want it to happen again.
Breaking out of the comfort zone can be really hard. Doing new things for the first few times will make us uncomfortable. When we understand, even just a part, of our true nature or the nature of things where we live, we can more comfortably push ourselves to carry on.
The Buddha’s teachings, along with many other great philosophies, offer good insights. Why don't we see some ways for:
Overcoming Our Own Fear
We are fearful because we don’t know what will happen next. We are fearful because some unfavorable past events have affected us in some ways.
To overcome fear, you can try practicing non-attachment. When strong emotions start to overwhelm your body, take some seconds to breathe in and out deeply.
How about this mantra:
In 300 years, where will I be?
In 300 years, what will I become?
Although there are many unknowns in this world, there are things that we know will happen. Distancing ourselves from the moment can help us detach from cloudy thoughts.
When our minds are clear, we can become more fearless. When we are less fearful, we can decide on the right course of action.
When that action takes place, its effects will manifest. Results are born, thus, the luck you are looking for is already on its way to you.
Equip ourselves with the knowns can somehow lessen the fear inside us. Five of them are:
|I am of the nature to grow old||as with everyone or any living things|
|I am of the nature to have ill health||no one is 100% invincible|
|I am of the nature to die||we cannot escape death|
|All that is dear to me are of the nature to change||randomness / dynamics|
|I inherit the results of my acts as my continuation||karma|
When you are no longer fearful (No Death, No Fear), then there's really nothing that can stop you from achieving what you want in this life. But do take a moment to think about:
Preparing for the Worst
While we have no idea when the next unfortunate event may strike, we have an idea that it might happen someday.
Minimizing your risks, in this case, can help secure you and your family much better.
This is no new concept as ancient thinkers like Chinese strategist Sun Tzu had talked about it in his great book The Art of War.
We do not rely on the likelihood of the enemy not coming, we rely on our own readiness to fight when he comes.
Just like many legendary investors like Benjamin Graham, Tony Robbins, or Jason Zweig say: The first rule is don’t lose money. What they mean is protection against potential losses.
In our everyday lives, you can find the same principle in oral lessons from mothers or grandmothers around the world: What if you lose it all one day? What would you do?
Likewise, we don’t have two kidneys for no reasons. This is redundancy at work. When one malfunctions, another one takes up the load. Black Swans (or rare events with tremendous impact) happen with no prior caution.
This is why many companies would make sure they have enough in emergency funds (“rainy days” funds) for months or years to sustain operation.
Preparing for the worst, most unfortunate event, you would be better off setting aside sufficient amount to allow you and your family to live comfortably through the storm. The same is true for relationships. You will be gathering bad karma if you treat people badly or disrespectfully during good times.
During rough times, while some may decide to turn their backs, at least a few will stay if they feel and see how you have treated them and their loved ones. When everyone turns away, you still have your own self. Being solid, you can rise up and shine again.
If you prepare for the worst, you have already gathered good luck for yourself down the road. And also remember:
Your Character, Your Luck, Your Success
Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, said:
Character is destiny
Simply, we can make sense of this saying by looking at a character like Tesla & SpaceX founder, Elon Musk.
Imagine if this man were stripped off all the assets, all the money, all the connections and thrown out on the streets, would he push himself and become a billionaire again?
With a spirit like that, a determination like that, and a strong will like that, he opens the opportunities for himself and the roads open before him.
Just like that, you can be wiped off of everything you have ever had, but if your spirit does not die, you will become successful as you wish once again.
The information, the knowledge you gain live on. You should not overlook unfortunate events because they may be, as many of us say, opportunities in disguise.
They are oftentimes things that teach us the most about ourselves, our lives, and the people around us. You are lucky when you go through an experience like that.
Seize that opportunity. Learn from it. Because everything is inter-connected. There would be not beautiful lotus flower if there were no stinky mud to nourish it.
There would be no happiness without suffering. No luck without unfortunate events. Because you are not fragile, you learn and rise from the ashes, like the phoenix, once again. This is the good luck for all the good beings in this world. If you have grasped the insight, you are already very lucky.
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