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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.
- Roald Amundsen, The South Pole (1912).
- No amount of careful planning can beat pure luck.
- “It was just good luck, last minute luck.”
“Your ‘luck’ was mostly sweat and intuition.”
- Gregory Benford, The Martian Race (1999), Chapter 17
- With reincarnation man is a dignified, immortal being, evolving towards a divinely glorious end; without it, he is a tossing straw on the stream of chance circumstances, irresponsible for his character, for his actions, for his destiny. With it, he may look forward with fearless hope, however low in the scale of evolution he may be today, for he is on the ladder to divinity, and the climbing to its summit is only a question of time; without it, he has no reasonable ground of assurance as to progress in the future, nor indeed any reasonable ground of assurance in a future at all... In dropping reincarnation from its beliefs, the modern world has deprived God of His justice and has bereft man of his security; he may be “lucky” or “unlucky” but the strength and dignity conferred by reliance on a changeless law are rent away from him, and he is left tossing helplessly on an un-navigable ocean of life. p. 242
- Annie Besant, The Ancient Wisdom (1897)
- With any luck. Stark smiled cynically. Not that he did not believe in luck. Rather, he had found it to be an uncertain ally.
- Leigh Brackett, The Ginger Star, (1974), Chapter 3
- As ill-luck would have it.
- Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (1605-15), Part I, Book I, Chapter II.
- I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have.
- Coleman Cox, in Listen to this (1922).
- Unsourced variant: The harder I work, the luckier I get.
- Sometimes mistakenly attributed to Thomas Jefferson, Stephen Leacock, or Samuel Goldwyn.
- We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Sahara. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively outnumbers the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here. We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?
- Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow. London: Allen Lane. 1998. ISBN 9780713992144.
- 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.
- Andy Diggle, in lines written for John Constantine, Hellblazer #232 Wheels of Chance, Systems of Control, Part 1 of 2.
- As they who make
Good luck a god count all unlucky men.
- George Eliot, The Spanish Gypsy (1868), Book I.
- 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.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Conduct of Life (1860); this has also been paraphrased as "Shallow men believe in luck, believe in circumstances. Real men believe in cause and effect".
- Some say I lucked up; I call it perfect timing.
- Jay Wayne Jenkins, "And Then What" (2005)
- Some of you will be successful, and such will need but little philosophy to take them home in cheerful spirits; others will be disappointed, and will be in a less happy mood. To such, let it be said, “Lay it not too much to heart.” Let them adopt the maxim, “Better luck next time”; and then, by renewed exertion, make that better luck for themselves.
- Abraham Lincoln, in 1859 at the Wisconsin State Agricultural Fair
- Happy art thou, as if every day thou hadst picked up a horseshoe.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie (1847), Part I, Stanza 2.
- In my experience, there's no such thing as luck.
- George Lucas, depicting an expression of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars (1977).
- Sometimes luck is with you and sometimes it's not with you. That's the way life is.
- Roger Willis Mitchell, Sr., Trooper Tales: Plus Other Bizarre, Odd and Funny Stories (2003), p. 35
- “I trust to luck to get me by. Luck and destiny.” His eyes were bright with reflected moonlight. “Sometimes they serve me well.”
- Pat Murphy, With Four Lean Hounds, in Marion Zimmer Bradley (ed.) Sword and Sorceress (1984), p. 169
- 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.
- The harder I practice, the luckier I get.
- Elisa Maza: You have to quit! He's using you!
- Derek Maza: It's my life! Butt out!
- Goliath: QUIET! Both of you! You don't know how lucky you are to have siblings to fight with! All of my rookery brothers are dead! And there is nothing - NOTHING more important than family.
- Gargoyles (TV series) Her Brother's Keeper written by Michael Reaves
- 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".
- As Bob Dylan forgot to say, "To live outside the law, you must be lucky."
- Spider Robinson, Callahan's Key (2000).
- I don't need luck, Sarge. I was born lucky!
- Robert Rodat, depicting "Pvt. Reiben" in Saving Private Ryan (1998).
- Luck can only get you so far.
- J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince; Hermione Granger referring to a luck potion Felix Felicis.
- Sed res docuit id verum esse, quod in carminibus Appius ait, fabrum esse suae quemque fortunae.
- By the luckiest stars.
- William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well (1600s), Act I, scene 3, line 252.
- When mine hours were nice and lucky.
- William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra (1600s), Act III, scene 13, line 179.
- And good luck go with thee.
- William Shakespeare, Henry V (c. 1599), Act IV, scene 3, line 11.
- As good luck would have it.
- William Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor (c. 1597; published 1602), Act III, scene 5, line 83.
- Good luck lies in odd numbers * * * They say there is divinity in odd numbers, either in nativity, chance, or death.
- William Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor (c. 1597; published 1602), Act V, scene 1, line 2.
- Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em.
- William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night (1601),Malvolio, Act II, scene v.
- 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 lucky man is honored ...
But earnest striving wins no praise at all.
- Theognis of Megara, Elegies, Lines 169-170, as translated by Dorothea Wender.
- 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)
- We are all vainer of our luck than of our merits.
- Nero Wolfe in The Rubber Band (1936) by Rex Stout.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- 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.
- Lewis J. Bates, Good Luck.
- 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.
- James T. Fields, The Lucky Horseshoe.
- Now for good lucke, cast an old shooe after mee.
- John Heywood, Proverbs, Part I, Chapter IX.
- Some people are so fond of ill-luck that they run half-way to meet it.
- Douglas Jerrold, Jerrold's Wit, Meeting Trouble Half-Way.
- Felix ille tamen corvo quoque rarior albo.
- A lucky man is rarer than a white crow.
- Juvenal, Satires (early 2nd century), VII. 202.
- "Then here goes another," says he, "to make sure,
For there's luck in odd numbers," says Rory O'More.
- Samuel Lover, Rory O'More.
- Good luck befriend thee, Son; for at thy birth
The fairy ladies danced upon the hearth.
- John Milton, At a Vacation Exercise in the College.
- And wheresoe'er thou move, good luck
Shall fling her old shoe after.
- Alfred Tennyson, Will Waterproof's Lyrical Monologue, Stanza 27.