So it’s almost St. Patrick’s Day. With all of the folklore of leprechauns and the four-leaf clover, the phrase “the luck of the Irish” gets thrown around a lot. But what does that phrase even mean? According to Edward T. O’Donnell, author of “1001 Things Everyone Should Know about Irish American History,” the phrase “luck of the Irish” is not Irish in origin.
“During the gold and silver rush years…a number of the most famous and successful miners were of Irish birth… Over time this association of the Irish with mining fortunes led to the expression of ‘luck of the Irish.’ Of course, it carried with it a certain tone of derision, as if to say, only by sheer luck, as opposed to brains, could these fools succeed.”
Luck is one of those terms often used to devalue people’s accomplishments, just like the origin of “luck of the Irish.” Being Irish myself, I would love to take back the notion that some people are “just lucky.” Luck has nothing to do with it!
1. "I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it." - Thomas Jefferson
2. "What helps luck is a habit of watching for opportunities, of having a patient but restless mind, of sacrificing one’s ease or vanity, or uniting a love of detail to foresight, and of passing through hard times bravely and cheerfully.” – Victor Cherbuliez
3. “The day you decide to do, it is your lucky day” – Japanese Proverb
4. “Luck is merely an Illusion, trusted by the ignorant and chased by the foolish.” – Timothy Zahn
5. “Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure.” – Earl Wilson
6. “Luck? I don’t know anything about luck. I’ve never banked on it and I’m afraid of people who do. Luck, to me, is something else: hard work – and realizing what is opportunity and what isn’t.”– Lucille ball
7. “Luck has nothing to do with it, because I have spent many, many hours, countless hours, on the court working for my one moment in time, not knowing when it would come.” – Serena Williams
8. “Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.” - Lucius Annaeus Seneca
9. “Luck is not something you can mention in the presence of self-made men.” – E.B. White
10. “Diligence is the mother of good luck.” – Benjamin Franklin
When it's all said and done, it's not an insult to wish someone good luck or call someone lucky. But think about all that went into that lucky moment- maybe it was more than just luck.
Kate Jacoutot is the Marketing Consultant for Spire Workforce Solutions. To learn more about Kate, visit her website.