| 1030 words

My smoke alarm is beeping as I write this. Every 10 or so seconds. An attention grabbing, unignorable beep. By design, impossible to tune out. Every once in a while, at periodic intervals impossible to predict, and entirely due to my own misguided efforts, my other smoke alarm decides to join in. Sometimes they even synchronize, and produce a double beep louder than any mere single alarm could muster. Prolly feels good asf if you're a smoke alarm.

The Romans used to believe that luck was an innate attribute that one could have. Like intelligence, or charisma. Either you were born with it, having been blessed by the gods with good fortune, or you weren't. This is one reason why some people feared facing Julius Caesar, who was considered to have quite incredible luck. Do you really want to bet against someone who just keeps winning?

Even though this is kind of a fantastical view of these things, I kind of like it. It's fun to imagine being innately lucky, and honestly it's probably a useful belief to have. Fortune favours the bold, after all, and believing you'll succeed probably has a non-negligible effect on whether you actually do. If you haven't tried thinking like a winner before perhaps you should try it; it just might work.

If luck were a real, innate property I'd probably consider myself pretty lucky. Things tend to work for me, for the most part, and I keep on making decisions assuming that things will turn out well. I've enjoyed the luxury of having little to challenge this belief for the most part. I manifest luck.

Lately, however, there has been a string of kind of annoying coincidences. Bad fortune, if you go so far as to call it that. Just a week before I'm going on a trip to see the eclipse, my computer breaks. Not in an easy to diagnose way either, and I consider myself decent with computers too. I tried one thing that I was pretty sure would fix it, spent a whole bunch of money on that because I was frustrated enough to jump to conclusions faster than I should have, waited 2 days for that replacement part in the mail, sure it would be fixed, and then finally spent an hour discovering that I was entirely wrong.

At least the second time, before I immediately jumped to another conclusion, my calmer instincts prevailed and I decided to take it to a repair shop for professionals to look at. It's there now, while I hope that they'll figure out what's wrong quickly so I'll be able to use it as soon as I'm back. It's a pretty inconvenient time for this to happen to me, since I'm in the midst of so many projects, but it is what it is.

Another weird thing, literally on the day before travelling, is I heard some weird beeps coming from somewhere in the house. At first I thought it was the neighbours, or maybe some construction, but it turned out my smoke alarm was chirping probably because it ran out of battery. I tried tinkering with it myself since I didn't have any batteries at home, but that only made it worse. I wasn't sure which alarm was making noise, but after my tinkering both of them were!

In the end I turned off the breaker and forcibly disconnected them. It wasn't a massive issue but it's still kind of a weird and unexpected thing to happen a day before I leave. Stuff like this, along with other small bits not working like in my smart home system, really made me wonder if something bigger was going on. Why would I suddenly have a string of bad luck. Am I cursed or something?

In the end, nothing really all that bad is happening but all this stuff sure is annoying in the moment. Beyond that though, I think that so much about how we percieve luck, whether good or bad, is based on our own subjective feelings. All this stuff felt bad only because I was busy and it was all happening at once. Meanwhile, so much stuff that I consider to be good luck only seems that way because I'm already in a positive state of mind.

I think there's interested causality there. I'm not necessarily happy and positive all the time because I have good luck. I might have so much good luck because I'm always happy and positive. I think there's a lot of impact that a good attitude can have on your life. People invited me to study groups because I never get discouraged, and I ended up making connections. People want to work with me for the same reason; because I always convince both them and myself that any problem is solvable.

I think I'm coming up with the explanation because I don't like the idea that luck could exist, an immutable amount of goodness or badness that gets applied to all your actions. It's much more compelling to think that whatever we consider to be luck to be changeable with effort. And even in the extremely unlikely scenario that immutable luck does exist, I have a feeling that the second explation would still be a lot more healthy and useful.

I don't know exactly what factors might contribute to a feeling of luck. I think a good attitude and positive mindset are part of it, but if I could give a comprehensive list then I would probably be teaching a class called "how to be lucky" right now. I do think that you can probably come to some sort of conclusion with introspection; figure out the common thread that ties together good stuff that happens in life. This, I think, is the secret behind manifesting. If you want something to happen, then try to act and live your life in the way you would if you got it. It's worked enough times for me.