How to Prove There Is No Such Thing as Luck

Joel Eisenberg

Obi-Wan (well, actually Ben if I nitpick) was right.

You clicked on this article.

This says to me one of three things:

  1. Your curiosity overruled your common sense.
  2. You allowed for some trust in me, in the off-chance this stranger knows something more than you, perhaps some woo or pseudo-science that will ensure you wealth beyond your wildest dreams.
  3. You simply wanted to see another know it all writer with some self-improvement theories fall flat on his face.

And so you clicked.

As I expected.

Am I guilty of click-bait? Read the rest of the article for your answer, if so inclined, where you will also find a simple technique that will illustrate how giving your utmost will ensure unexpected rewards.

The real question, however, is this: In a bet, would you have won just now? I anticipated the click, after all.

Pointedly, there was no luck involved in this equation. What I did was the equivalent of forcing a card during a card trick.

Important Note: I never said a thing about “riches,” so this is no “get rich quick” post. I said “unexpected rewards.”

Reread the subtitle, above.

For those who elect to read on, we’ll go from here …


Remember the lecture Ben gave to Luke in “Return of the Jedi?”

“You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father,” Luke said.

And Ben answered, following a lengthy explanation …

Life is a matter of perspectives.

For example, is the glass half-full? Or is the glass half-empty.

Here are two exercises …

Perspective Exercise #1: We’ll focus on an older married couple. The man works all day; his wife makes the dinner. They have no kids. One evening, she goes all out. She’s sets to make him the most magnificent spread. She visits the store, buys the food and the fixings, and spends the next three hours preparing a spectacle. She sets the table, the wine is poured … and the husband comes home.

He is amazed at what he sees. He gets ready to eat, the wife is beaming, and he takes his first bite.

“Oh my God,” he says. “This is phenomenal. Unbelievable!”

“I’m glad you like it,” she says.

He cherishes every bite. “I think this is the best meal I’ve ever had,” he says.

What was the wife’s response?

I’m going to save the answer for the end of this page. Sit tight.

Perspective #2: We have two women, who look exactly alike. Actually, they are identical in every way. They have the same mother. They have the same father. They have the same last name, and yet … they are not twins.

How can that be?

I’m going to also save this answer for the end of this page.

The point of the two exercises? The fluidity of changing perspectives is a must to succeed in both life and industry.

Think about this: Human beings always want to receive, but what will they give in return?

Far too many out there don’t give at all, but they’re sure good at taking. Those who do give — like a friend of mine who currently goes grocery shopping for seniors, and other selfless heroes during this Covid-19 pandemic who ask for nothing in return — will receive rewards far more meaningful than material.

And, sometimes material rewards too.

But giving is not about that. Giving has no agenda.

So my perspective is to give first. And then give again. I don’t ask for anything; I just give.

Because when I need something these days, chances are I’ve already made my luck.

I’ve put a lot of goodwill out there.

Resultantly, I’ve been offered far more than my fair share.

How to Win the Luck Game

I posted an article a few months ago that was an immediate hit: "How to Sell Your TV Writing During Quarantine".

Linked in the article is an up-to-date listing of television network and streamer wants and needs. I work in the film and television business so I have such access.

I figured I would try to help my fellow writers. I did ask for an exchange of sorts when I shared the link to the article on my social media. I asked for readers to follow my efforts as an experiment to see how many would give back.

Most did.

Glass half-full for me.

Truth is, I value the information I share and could probably earn good money with what I give away for free on a regular basis. I value my efforts, and I am not against business.

But, for now, I give such value away in my quest to make my own luck.

Tomorrow, I may change my mind or strategy.

You know the expression, “The more you give, the more people want?” That’s the flip-side of the equation, and also completely true.

If you are a giver by nature, and believe you are being taken advantage of, then make a judgement call. I have pulled back at times; there’s nothing wrong with that. I will say this, though, to wrap up: A great many people who can influence your career, regardless of that specific career, will want to do business with the most selfless person they know.

Givers are generally well-liked, trusted, and placed at the front of the line when it comes to jobs and respect.

That’s karma.

It works both ways, karma does. If you treat someone like garbage, do you expect them to loan you money if you need it? Or retrieve your mail if you go away? Or any other favor?

I wouldn’t.

As to the answers to the above two perspective questions …

  1. The woman was upset and hugely offended. “What? None of my other meals were any good?”
  2. The two women were two of a set of triplets.

What was the point of those questions? To show that perspectives need to be flexible, and also need to take into account the viewpoints of others.

Never easy, for sure. But your odds of success are greatly improved if you are a giver.

To summarize— “The Law of Attraction,” “The Secret” and all the rest of the books and movies that exploit such common sense aside — if you want to make the most of your life, and your opportunities, then give.

Mine is not a fool-proof philosophy, with apologies to the entities just mentioned, but it certainly tips the scales.

In professional networking, especially, it helps. If it doesn’t entirely kill off the luck aspect of our mysterious universe, well, at least a bit more balance will be in the offing.

Change your perspective and give more. That’s all I got.

How then does that prove "there is no such thing as luck?”

It doesn’t. From a certain point of view.

Think about it.

Thank you for reading.

Photo Credits: "Star Wars" (1977); Copyright The Walt Disney Company

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I am an award-winning author, screenwriter for film and television, and producer. My mission on News Break is to share socially important perspectives on both culture and pop-culture. Member of PEN America, and the WGA.

Northridge, CA

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