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Victory awaits him who has everything in order — luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck. ~ Roald Amundsen

Luck is a chance happening, or that which happens beyond a person's control, and can be referred to as "good luck" or "bad luck".


Alphabetized by author
  • Victory awaits him who has everything in order — luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck.
  • No amount of careful planning can beat pure luck.
  • As ill-luck would have it.
  • I don't watch the ball. I watch them. Like I said — You make your own luck. Perception is reality. And it doesn't matter a tuppeny toss where the ball actually lands... Just as long as they see what I want them to see.
  • As they who make
    Good luck a god count all unlucky men.
  • Shallow men believe in luck, believe in circumstances: It was somebody's name, or he happened to be there at the time, or, it was so then, and another day it would have been otherwise. Strong men believe in cause and effect.
  • Happy art thou, as if every day thou hadst picked up a horseshoe.
  • No one I met at this time — doctors, nurses, practicantes, or fellow-patients — failed to assure me that a man who is hit through the neck and survives it is the luckiest creature alive. I could not help thinking that it would be even luckier not to be hit at all.
  • Luck is the residue of design.
    • Branch Rickey, as quoted in Psychology Applied to Work : An Introduction to Industrial and Organizational Psychology (1982) by Paul M. Muchinsky, p. 482; this has often become paraphrased as : "Luck is the residue of hard work and design".
  • Sed res docuit id verum esse, quod in carminibus Appius ait, fabrum esse suae quemque fortunae.
    • But experience has shown that to be true which Appius says in his verses, that every man is the architect of his own fortune.
      • Sallust, Epistulae ad Caesarem senem, I.i.2.
  • Good luck in most cases comes through the misfortune of others.
    • Sir John Young “Jackie” Stewart (b. 1939), Scottish racing driver, businessman. From his interview with Martyn Lewis, in Lewis’ book, Reflections on Success (1997), p. 938.
  • The only thing I ever learned was that some people are lucky and other people aren't and not even a graduate of the Harvard Business School can say why.
    • Kurt Vonnegut, as quoted in "The Sirens of Titan" by character Noel Constant.
  • It reminds us that a man driven to desire to possess a certain female is a highly purposive individual. We have already noted that evolution tends to mark time when individuals have no reason to evolve. The same applies to individuals; they may be talented and intelligent, and yet waste their lives because they somehow lack the motivation to make use of these faculties. The best piece of luck that can befall any individual is to have a strong sense of purpose.
    • Colin Wilson in From Atlantis to the Sphinx, p. 225 (1996)

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 484.
  • O, once in each man's life, at least,
    Good luck knocks at his door;
    And wit to seize the flitting guest
    Need never hunger more.
    But while the loitering idler waits
    Good luck beside his fire,
    The bold heart storms at fortune's gates,
    And conquers its desire.
  • A farmer travelling with his load
    Picked up a horseshoe on the road,
    And nailed it fast to his barn door,
    That luck might down upon him pour;
    That every blessing known in life
    Might crown his homestead and his wife,
    And never any kind of harm
    Descend upon his growing farm.
  • Now for good lucke, cast an old shooe after mee.
  • Some people are so fond of ill-luck that they run half-way to meet it.
  • Felix ille tamen corvo quoque rarior albo.
    • A lucky man is rarer than a white crow.
    • Juvenal, Satires, VII. 202.
  • "Then here goes another," says he, "to make sure,
    For there's luck in odd numbers," says Rory O'More.
  • Good luck befriend thee, Son; for at thy birth
    The fairy ladies danced upon the hearth.
  • And wheresoe'er thou move, good luck
    Shall fling her old shoe after.

See also[edit]

Luckiest People In The World

External links[edit]

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