Luck is When Preparation Meets Opportunity: Seneca’s Useful Life Principle

Do you feel like your life is just a series of random events?

Like there’s no real meaning to anything that happens to you?

If so… you’re not alone.

Many people feel this way, but the truth is every single moment in our lives has some kind of purpose. It might be small, but it’s still important and meaningful.

If we can learn how to see and take advantage of these moments, we’ll have more control over our future. The Roman philosopher Seneca knew this, making him one of the most influential stoic philosophers.

Seneca lived from 4 BC until AD 65, and his ideas and views on luck (which were inspired by a friend’s opinion) are still relevant today.

He believed luck isn’t something that happens randomly.

Instead, it’s something you create for yourself through hard work and determination. Luck happens when preparation meets opportunity!


What Exactly is Luck?

The definition of luck is: success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions.

But what does this definition mean?

When we examine the definition more closely, we see luck is about chance, and it doesn’t take our actions into account. But I and many others disagree with this.

I believe luck is when preparation meets opportunity.

In other words, it is something we create for ourselves through hard work and determination. It happens when preparation and action link up, and they meet opportunity!

Why Taking Action is Important?

When it comes to luck, the actions you take matter.

Action is the one thing you have complete control over, which leads to luck. If you don’t take action, all you’ll have are missed opportunities, making all the preparation in the world useless. 

So remember, when opportunities appear, act. Action is the actual key to being lucky because without taking action, you’ll never get lucky.

Nothing is going to happen for you automatically, regardless of how much talent you have. 

Just take a look at some of the most successful people in history.

They’re not individuals who got lucky once and became millionaires or billionaires. They took advantage of opportunities and were prepared for whatever came their way. 

If we look at luck in this way, it’s not really about a chance at all.

It’s more about our attitude and how prepared we are to take advantage of opportunities.

Luck is When Opportunity Meets Preparation

To become lucky, things have to go your way.

You have to prepare for when opportunity knocks on your door. That’s what this phrase is all about. There is no luck if you’re unprepared when your opportunity finally arrives.

If you’re prepared, you’ll take advantage of it.

But if you’re unprepared for what’s coming your way, there’s nothing you can do. Your opportunity will pass you by.

So create your own luck and be ready when your opportunity comes. Do what you know must be done because you never know when you’ll get another shot.

You don’t control your opportunities, but you can control how ready you are when they come by being prepared.

Preparation is How You Create Your Own Luck

When it comes to creating your luck, preparation is what counts.

The more prepared you are for opportunities to come your way, the luckier you’ll be.

This means developing your skills, taking advantage of chance opportunities, and making good decisions based on your intuition. It also means having positive expectations and a resilient attitude.

When you have these things in place, you’ll be able to turn any’ bad’ luck into good luck.

[snippet]Luck happens when opportunity meets preparation. So, if you want to be lucky, start by being prepared! Preparation in anticipation of something happening or coming your way is THE most significant part of being lucky.[/snippet]

When you’re prepared and ready for something to happen, you know what to do when it eventually does.

Lucky vs. Unlucky Individuals

While there is some luck in all of our lives, some have more luck than others.

But, what separates lucky individuals from unlucky individuals?

A Few Things Separating Lucky People From Unlucky People:

  1. Lucky individuals are positive thinkers. They look for and find the positive in every moment, regardless of how bad it may seem. This doesn’t mean they don’t feel sadness, anger, or other emotions. They just don’t dwell on these feelings very long. Instead, they focus on the good that can come from their current situation. While taking steps to improve their lives where possible.
  2. Compared to unlucky people, lucky individuals are great at visualizing many different outcomes. They then take the necessary steps to prepare for those potential outcomes. This type of luck isn’t a coincidence either; it results from hard work and preparation. When opportunity meets practice, luck is born.
  3. Lucky people listen to their intuition and follow their gut instinct. They don’t overthink things, and they’re not afraid to make decisions. They know that if something feels right, it probably is. So, learn to trust your intuition.
  4. They create and notice life-changing opportunities others might not see. Catching good opportunities faster than others is a skill lucky people have. They’re always on the lookout for something that can improve their lives, and they take advantage of these opportunities when they arise.

The Roman Philosopher Seneca on Luck and Preparation

Seneca was a Roman philosopher who lived during the height of the Roman Empire.

He’s best known for his philosophical essays, which are written clearly and concisely.

In one of his essays, On Providence,” Seneca discusses the role of luck in life and how to prepare for the unexpected.

He states, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

Seneca’s point with this quote is luck isn’t something you can control; it’s the outcome of a plan marrying an opportunity. If you’re prepared for opportunities, then you’ll be luckier than someone who’s not prepared.

This is because opportunities will pass the unprepared person by. But the prepared person will be trained, ready, and able to take advantage of them.

This is a great way to think about luck, life, and relationships in general. They’re not things you can control.

But, you can influence them.

Seneca Quotes

If you’re prepared for opportunities, you’ll be luckier than someone who’s not. If you prepare for the unexpected, you’ll be better equipped to deal with whatever comes your way.

This is Seneca’s life principle, and it’s one we can all learn from.

So, start by being positive, visualize different outcomes, trust your intuition, and be prepared for the moment. The luck will follow.

16 Other Famous Seneca Quotes

As one of the better-known Stoics, here are some other timeless quotes written by Seneca:

  1. “To anticipate trouble benefits you. To expect it harms you.”
  2. “You don’t have an income because you think small or live small. You have a small income because you think and live small, shrinking your idea of what life could be to suit your means instead of altering your means to suit what life could be.”
  3. “It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it.”
  4. “No man is unhappy who lives according to his own will and nature.”
  5. “All wrongdoing arises from some defect of understanding.”
  6. “Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.”
  7. “Constant occupation prevents the mind from dwelling on unhappy thoughts.”
  8. “Ease produces indolence (laziness). Labor, on the other hand, begets (produces) vigor (life).”
  9. “Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word ‘happy’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.”
  10. “Few men have been so fortunate as to have a wise and good friend at court.”
  11. “From one mistake we learn wisdom.”
  12. “I am not interested in power for its own sake, but only in power that is used for the good of the people.”
  13. “If you don’t want to slip up tomorrow, speak the truth today.”
  14. “The best way to secure peace is to be prepared for war.”
  15. “There is no great genius without some touch of madness.”
  16. “We do not have long to live. What we do now matters most.”

Seneca was a very wise man with many insightful quotes.

These are some of my favorites.

They’re all valid and applicable to life. I hope you find wisdom in each of them to make luck work hard in your favor!

How to Make Luck Work in Your Favor

You can make luck work hard in your favor by taking risks.

You have to put yourself out there to get what you want because luck favors the bold.

As long as you take chances, the universe will take care of the rest.

You can also make luck work in your favor by being open to new experiences. If you’re permanently closed off to new things, you’ll miss out on opportunities.

Lucky people are open to trying new things and taking advantage of them. Learning new and relevant concepts and skills helps them move closer to their goals, so make sure you keep an open mind and are willing to try new things.

This will increase your chances of being present in the right place at the right time.

How Do You Prepare for Opportunities?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.

But, an excellent way to start preparing for opportunities is by identifying your talent, passions, and interests.

  1. What do you like to do?
  2. What makes you happy?
  3. What are you naturally good at?

Once you’ve identified these things, start brainstorming ways to make a living out of them.

If you can find a way to make a living and money doing what you love, you’ll be in luck. Just know, it won’t be easy.

It takes hard work and dedication to make what you’re passionate about your life’s work. But, the time, freedom, and satisfaction you’ll get from doing what you love are life-changing.

Now, let’s look at how you can prepare for luck and opportunities!

Preparation x Patience + Opportunity = Luck

To get lucky, you must…

  • Acknowledge luck plays a role in everything. Things won’t always go as planned. So, prepare for the unexpected. Keep your mind open, be ready, and stay patient.
  • Always have a plan. Grow and position yourself to profit from luck when it shows up in your life.
  • Accept your mistakes. Even the greatest preparation won’t guarantee your success. Many prepare, but still, they choke in front of their opportunity. Of course, this isn’t the end of the world. Learn from your mistake(s). Try again and improve yourself for your next opportunity.
  • Find the positive. Maybe you’ve been way luckier than others all along. You may have had fewer problems, a better start, and more support. Recognize this and be grateful.
  • Then accept that others might not know you did the work to succeed. They might think you were lucky. But, you know better, luck arrives when opportunity meets preparation.

Creating Your Own Luck: The Four Basic Principles

There are four basic principles to creating your own luck:

  1. Positivity
  2. Visualization
  3. Intuition
  4. Preparedness

Each of these principles is important in its own way.

Luck is Preparation Meeting Opportunity

But, together, they form a powerful force that can help you achieve anything you want in life.

So, keep these four principles in mind when you’re trying to create your own luck. They’ll help guide you to the success you’re looking for.

How to Apply These Principles in Your Life

Now that we’ve touched on the four basic principles, it’s time to put them into practice.

Start by being positive and optimistic. This will help attract good things into your life.

Then, visualize different outcomes for yourself. See yourself achieving your goals and succeeding at everything you do.

Third, trust your intuition. This is your gut feeling telling you what’s right and wrong.

Fourth, be prepared for anything. Have a plan B, C, and D ready to go if things don’t go as planned because luck and success favor the prepared mind.

If you apply all four of these principles in your life, your success is coming.

Success is When Preparation Meets Opportunity

When you’ve done everything you can do, it’s only a matter of time before success occurs.

It may not be what you expected or want, but it will be something. This is the philosophy of many successful people.

They believe success is 99% work and 1% inspiration. So, if you want to be successful, focus on the work and being the most prepared.

This will give you an edge over everyone else and increase your chance of success. Then trust the process.

Success Occurs Faster When You Trust  The Process

Success will occur much faster when you trust the process and focus on mastery, not your goal. 

This is because you’re constantly learning, growing, and improving.

You’re not just trying to achieve a goal; you’re also focused on becoming the best possible version of yourself. This is what leads to long-term success and happiness.

So, if you’re looking to achieve success in your life, screw the goal. Focus on the process and not the result, and in due time, you’ll hit your goal.

When you hit your goal, success will happen.

Plus, you’ll be a better person for it. This is because you learn from your mistakes and get better at what you do as time goes on. You’re also able to develop a deeper understanding of your craft, which will lead you to even greater success and money.

All you have to do is focus on the process and not the outcome. Success and time will fly by when you do. And remember…

Luck  is The Result of Doing What You Love

Luck is preparation meeting opportunity.

This means you have to be prepared when your moment arrives, whether it’s a job offer, business opportunity, or meeting someone special.

You never know when the opportunity you’ve been looking for will knock at your door, but when it does, be ready.

This is where having a passion and doing what you love comes in handy.


Because you’ll be so well-prepared and enthusiastic, an opportunity will have a hard time passing you by. Your excitement and passion will be contagious, and people will do what they can to help you achieve your goals.

In other words, luck is when preparation meets opportunity.

So be prepared, stay positive, trust your intuition and do what you love. Then put the four basic principles we touched on into practice, keep going and let luck take care of the rest.

Success will find its way to you.

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