A Metaphor to Understand Luck

I read recently a few articles on luck. Many questions bounced in my head such as:

  • Is luck an event or a process?
  • Is luck an emerging property?
  • Does luck come to people who deserve it?
  • What are the characteristic traits of lucky people?
  • What metaphor would help in answering the above questions?

Let us take an example. A man buys a lottery ticket with a huge prize for the winner. A million others buy tickets. The lucky man wins the prize. Is this luck? Is there a luck streak effect? Now, suppose he buys one thousand more tickets what is the likelihood he would win the prize again? My answer is most likely not. Luck is an event that we have no guarantee would strike the man’s door again.

Let us go to luck in scientific research. X-ray, penicillin, and the butterfly effects were all discoveries of luck. The researchers did not plan for them. Their luck just emerged. What made luck emerge? Did it emerge out of their research processes?

The Luck Metaphor

A common metaphor for luck is the luck magnet. If a person has certain traits then his magnet luck shall be strong enough to attract lucky events. I believe this metaphor lacks the quality to understand the luck process, its dynamism or reveal the traits that bring luck. I expanded on this metaphor to include the electromagnet generation process of electromagnets to better our understanding of the luck process.

Electromagnets generate an electromagnetic field that attracts luck. The stronger this field is, the more it attracts. Does luck produce its electromagnetic field? What determines the strength of this field?

The Strength of the electromagnetic luck

The four main factors that affect the strength of an electromagnet are the loop count, the current, the wire size, and the presence of an iron core.

An electromagnet is made out of a coil of wire wrapped around a metal core — usually iron — and connected to a battery. As the electrical current moves around the loops of the coil, it generates a magnetic field like that of a small bar magnet. It has a north pole on one side of the loop and a south pole on the other. Because the coil is made out of one continuous wire, the magnetic fields of each loop “stack up,” creating something like a large bar magnet. One way to increase or decrease the strength of the magnetic field is to change the number of loops in the coil. The more loops you add, the stronger the field will become. The more loops you remove, the weaker the field will become”.

Adaption of the electromagnet metaphor to luck

You are the core. As the metal inside the coil magnifies the field created by it. You may enhance your magnetic field by being a good core. Your character has a lot to do with the production of the electromagnet field of your luck. You can magnify the field of your luck by being a determined person with the right mindset.

The loops are your repeated trials to learn from your continuous efforts. The loops increase with your persistence and sustained trial and error without losing heart. These loops shall stack up and make your field stronger.

As a bee attracts a flower to its magnetic field, so you may attract the “bee of luck” to your magnetic field. Luck will then pollinate your efforts.

People with the right character do not deviate from their goal or slide away from them. If this happens then the wrong positioning will weaken your field of luck rather than strengthening it.

The greater the current in the coil, the stronger the magnetic field will grow. Your ideas are energy that flows in the coils of your efforts. Be energetic so your ideas shall be and shall flow easier in the coils of your efforts. Your ideas need to flow in wide loops to meet less resistance. By coupling your ideas with your persistence, you generate the flow and make it run with less friction. Do not consume the energy of your ideas by making them run into the narrow wires of negative thinking.

Remember that the metal core loses its coherent structure if it has cracks. This results in weakening its electromagnetic field. You are equivalent to this core. If you develop cracks of despair, giving up, or thinking negatively then you hurt your own chances to attract luck to your field. Trust yourself, stack up your self-confidence and keep marching to your goal. This way you shall not crack up and enhance your luck to emerge and get into your field.

Luck may be an event, but far more, it is an attraction.


Ali Anani
Ali Anani
My name is Ali Anani. I hold a Ph.D. from the University of East Anglia (UK, 1972) Since the early nineties I switched my interests to publish posts and presentations and e-books on different social media platforms.

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  1. Succeeding with the law of attraction is possible. According to this principle, the firm will to achieve success should lead to the fulfillment of desire. The law of attraction, however, presupposes compliance with some rules or in any case some steps to follow.
    Having your ultimate goal clear within yourself. It is not enough to want to be successful, but it is necessary to focus on the exact desired goal. Thinking about the final result will also help us evoke thoughts, images and feelings that will allow us to create a kind of positive energy to attract money.
    Reverse negative thinking and limiting beliefs immediately by focusing on the opposite.
    Have perseverance and patience. These are two indispensable qualities, because the results are not immediate and the will must not diminish over time.
    Being highly motivated, truly believing in what you want, not wanting on a whim but because you are firmly convinced that you want to achieve that goal.
    If we practice these things … maybe we will be able to “attract” the desired success.

    • Thank you Aldo.

      You are so right. Turbid goals make vision turbid, confusing and distracting, To fulfil the requirements of what you mentioned so correctly “.Have perseverance and patience” then we must have a goal that overwhelm us. If not. we lose interest and lose our way.

      Like the focused magnet so are the magnets of our goals.


    Your comment brings so many ideas and memories.

    First, “Dr. (Prof?) Anani”- you remind me of the university professor who was sacked. He got very angry wand his peers comforted him that he was not the first or last person to be terminated from job. He told them “I am not angry because of this”.
    So, what are you angry for?
    I am angry because in the termination letter they addressed me Dr. rather than Prof. Dr.
    My friend- I was a full prof more that 30 years ago and yet I am very happy to call me Ali. Titles are for official uses only.

    The second thought is pertinent to the opposite of luck. Two thoughts I have:
    first you reminded me of my post few years ago in which I asked for the opposite of love. Surprisingly, the post received more than 200 comments and a variety of different answers. Hate was one among at least thirty more.

    The second thought is Nassim Taleb who introduced the word antifragility as the opposite to fragility. He argued against the common opposite, resilience.
    In the same token, the common understanding is that unlucky is the opposite of lucky. Maybe we need to “invent” a new opposite. as you suggested. As resilience falls between fragility and antifragility, so we may say antilucky is the opposite of lucky. Th equestion then what falls between the two extremes?



  3. Dr. (Prof?) Anani: Another great post, thank you. I’ve often wondered what we might define as the opposite of luck? What word should we use? Reading this post, I can understand how that force manifests. The more negative thoughts we have, the stronger our..? What should we say? Bad karma? Bad Ju-Ju? There must be a word for the antithesis of lucky.

    Thank you.


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