Skip to content

Types of Luck and its mechanism

Read in Indonesia?
Anas Alqoyyum
Anas Alqoyyum at
5 min read
Not that luck
Source: Black Clover (go watch it, its a great shonen anime)

I was fascinated by Blue Lock chapter 87, where Jinpachi Ego explains the mechanism of luck in the football world. In fact, I was that fascinated that I want to extrapolate Ego’s explanation of luck to how the world works.

Let’s consider two examples

First, imagine that someone suddenly knocks on your door. When you open, a well-dressed man bringing a suitcase greets you with a smile. “Congratulations, all the money in this suitcase is yours now” he said. You might find yourself having a mixed feeling of happy, confused, and dumbfounded, while asking “why did you give it to me?” Then he explains that he is a very rich person and he does not know what to do with his money, so he just gives it away to a random house, and your house just happen to be the house that he chose.

Now consider the second case. Suppose that you are offered a job from LinkedIn. You have been updating your professional page for some time and it “just happen” that someone coincidentally found your profile while looking for a possible candidate. After some talking, you accept the offer.

In both cases, were that simply pure luck? It “just happened” that you got chosen by the rich guy or the talent scouter. Numerous others could have been sitting in your place, but you simply got chosen. The goddess of fortune – if such things even exist in the first place – smiled upon you. There is no more to it.

Except there is a profound difference between the first and second case, and we don’t understand enough about “luck” that it is unduly reduced to “pure coincidence”.

What is the difference between the first and second cases then?

The difference is that you are “waiting idly” in the first case and “actively waiting” for luck in the second case. In other words, luck is simply “given” in the first case while it is “invited” in the second case.

We might be familiar with the first case, but find it strange with the second case. After all, how is luck invited? Was it just pure coincidence? To understand the mechanism of luck, let’s return to the manga Blue Lock. In chapter 87, Ego is explaining about the mechanism of luck in the football world. Imagine that you are a striker waiting to be passed in the penalty box. There is a chance that you are in a good position to score a goal but simply not being passed. It is also possible to be not in a scoring position and yet still being passed. Therefore, you need both a good position and ball supply in order to maximize your scoring chance.

Blue Lock chapter 87

Now, think of the ball supply as “luck” and that your act of finding a position as “actively waiting”. Even if your position is bad, you might still be passed. But then what? You will not be in a position to score anyway and the “luck” you have been given will be wasted upon. However, it is not the case if you are “actively waiting” in the right place. You place yourself in a position so that when “luck” finally descends, you will be able to utilize it fully and score a goal.

In other words, by Ego’s words,

Luck is not something to be found just anywhere. Rather, it is something that descends only upon those standing where it will drop.

But was it still a coincidence that we got chosen in the end? Was it still a coincidence that we “happen” to be in the right position and that the ball “happen” to come your way? Of course, even if you are placing yourself in the right position, “luck” might still not descend upon you and the outcome might have gone the other way. Given how uncontrollable “luck” was, it just shows how fierce the world works.

Now how do we gain those "luck"?

However, one thing for sure is those who “wait idly” will invariably waste their chances. Just waiting passively and yet still getting thrown “luck” in front of your face is not the norm in this world, but an exception. Even when it appears before our eyes, with our “sit back and watch” mindset, we might still waste it in the end.

Now coming back to the second case, it is not just a “pure coincidence” that we got offered a job. Maybe it is something that we do with our LinkedIn profile that draws attention to a scouter. Maybe it is a good testimony from former co-workers that we earned from our good performance. We are not “waiting idly” for “luck” to be given, but “waiting actively” trying to invite our own “luck”. And when “luck” finally descends, we are prepared to seize the opportunity.

And of course, if we believe that everything in this world happens for a reason, there is no such a thing as “pure coincidence” in the first place. We are always “actively waiting” for something. But depending on what we do in the “actively waiting” part, different kinds of “luck” might descend on us.