Perhaps our supercilious disgust with existence is a cover for a secret disgust with ourselves; we have botched and bungled our lives, and we cast the blame upon the environment or the world, which have no tongues to utter a defense. The mature man accepts the natural limitations of life; he does not expect Providence to be prejudiced in his favor; he does not ask for loaded dice to play the game of life. He knows, with Carlyle, that there is no sense in vilifying the sun because it will not light our cigars. And perhaps, if we are clever enough to help it, the sun will even do that; and this vast neutral cosmos may turn out to be a pleasant place enough if we bring a little sunshine of our own to help it out. In truth, the world is neither with us or against us; it is but raw material in our hands, and can be heaven or hell according to what we are.
—Will Durant (1885–1981) American Historian, Philosopher, Memoirist, Socialist
I base my calculations on the expectation that luck will be against me
—Napoleon I (1769–1821) Emperor of France
Everything in life is luck.
—Donald Trump (b.1946) American Businessperson, Head of State
Fortune brings in some boats that are not steered.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616) British Playwright
Fortune favors the bold.
—Terence (c.195–159 BCE) Roman Comic Dramatist
Chance favors those in motion.
—James H. Austin American Buddhist Neuroscientist, Scientist, Author, Academic
We create our fate every day … most of the ills we suffer from are directly traceable to our own behavior.
—Henry Miller (1891–1980) American Novelist
Superiority to fate is difficult to gain; ’tis not conferred of any, but possible to earn.
—Emily Dickinson (1830–86) American Poet
A stout heart breaks bad luck.
—Miguel de Cervantes (1547–1616) Spanish Novelist
Of course I believe in luck. How otherwise to explain the success of some people you detest?
—Jean Cocteau (1889–1963) French Poet, Playwright, Film Director
Good luck is the willing handmaid of a upright and energetic character, and conscientious observance of duty.
—James Russell Lowell (1819–91) American Poet, Critic
May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light. May good luck pursue you each morning and night.
There are no chances so unlucky from which clever people are not able to reap some advantage, and none so lucky that the foolish are not able to turn them to their own disadvantage.
—Francois de La Rochefoucauld (1613–80) French Writer
Good luck needs no explanation.
—Shirley Temple (1928–2014) American Actress, Diplomat
People often remark that I’m pretty lucky. Luck is only important in so far as getting the chance to sell yourself at the right moment. After that, you’ve got to have talent and know how to use it.
—Frank Sinatra (1915–1998) American Singer
Luck is the idol of the idle.
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
—Thomas Edison (1847–1931) American Inventor, Scientist, Entrepreneur
No man ever wetted clay and then left it, as if there would be bricks by chance and fortune.
—Plutarch (c.46–c.120 CE) Greek Biographer, Philosopher
What luck for the rulers that men do not think.
—Adolf Hitler (1889–1945) Nazi Leader, Chancellor of Germany
Throw a lucky man into the sea, and he will come up with a fish in his mouth.
Some folk want their luck buttered.
—Thomas Hardy (1840–1928) English Novelist, Poet
Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.
—John Quincy Adams (1767–1848) Sixth President of the USA
Good luck beats early rising.
In short, luck’s always to blame.
—Jean de La Fontaine (1621–95) French Poet, Short Story Writer
Luck serves … as rationalization for every people that is not master of its own destiny.
—Hannah Arendt (1906–75) German-American Philosopher, Political Theorist
For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.
The man who is intent on making the most of his opportunities is too busy to bother about luck.
—B. C. Forbes (1880–1954) Scottish-born American Journalist, Publisher
A person is unlucky who falls on his back and breaks his nose.
Pitch a lucky man, into the Nile, says the Arabian proverb, and he will come up with a fish in his mouth.
—Nathaniel Parker Willis (1806–67) American Poet, Playwright, Essayist
Luck generally comes to those who look after it; and my notion is that it taps, once in a lifetime, at everybody’s door, but if industry does not open it luck goes away.
—Charles Spurgeon (1834–92) English Baptist Preacher
I was born lucky, and I have lived lucky. What I had was used. What I still have is being used. Lucky.
—Katharine Hepburn (1907–2003) American Actor, TV Personality
Since luck’s a nine days’s wonder, wait their end.
—Euripides (480–406 BCE) Ancient Greek Dramatist
The winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.
—Edward Gibbon (1737–94) English Historian, Politician
I was thinking of my patients, and how the worst moment for them was when they discovered they were masters of their own fate. It was not a matter of bad or good luck. When they could no longer blame fate, they were in despair.
—Anais Nin (1903–77) French-American Essayist
Depend on the rabbit’s foot if you will, but it didn’t work for the rabbit.
It is a madness to make fortune the mistress of events, because in herself she is nothing, but is ruled by prudence.
—John Dryden (1631–1700) English Poet, Literary Critic, Playwright
‘Tis better to be fortunate than wise.
—John Webster (1580–1634) English Dramatist, Poet
Luck is a very good word if you put a P before it.
The harder I work, the luckier I get.
—Samuel Goldwyn (1879–1974) Polish-born American Film Producer, Businessperson
Chance can be thought of as the cards you are dealt in life. Choice is how you play them.
—Edward O. Thorp
Being deeply learned and skilled, being well trained and using well spoken words—this is good luck.
What is luck? It is not only chance, it is also creating the opportunity, recognizing it when it is there, and taking it when it comes.
Chance does nothing that has not been prepared beforehand.
—Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–59) French Historian, Political Scientist
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
Lady Luck generally woos those who earnestly, enthusiastically, unremittingly woo her.
—B. C. Forbes (1880–1954) Scottish-born American Journalist, Publisher
I would rather have a lucky general than a smart general in any battle. They win battles and they make me lucky.
—Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890–1969) American Head of State, Military Leader
I owe nothing to Women’s Lib.
—Margaret Thatcher (1925–2013) British Head of State
Luck is everything. … My good luck in life was to be a really frightened person. I’m fortunate to be a coward, to have a low threshold of fear, because a hero couldn’t make a good suspense film.
—Alfred Hitchcock (1899–1980) British-born American Film Director, Film Producer
It never occurs to fools that merit and good fortune are closely united.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet