Feeling "Unlucky"?

Is it God? Karma? Both? Neither? There was a time in my life when a series of very unfortunate, and purely unlucky some would say, events happened to me within a very short period of time. It just so happened that this was a period in my life shortly after I had told my parents that I did not believe in the God that they believed in as taught by the Catholic Church.

Although they wouldn’t say it directly, my parents would suggest that these unfortunate events were signs. That these bad and unlucky things were happening to me because I wasn’t getting down on my knees and praying to an almighty being. I told them I didn’t buy it, but it was always lingering in the back of my mind… “Maybe these things are actually happening to me because I have abandoned Catholicism.” I was thinking, “Maybe this is bad karma for choosing to believe in something different.” I also thought, “Maybe this is just clearing the bad karma out of my life, and soon I will be rewarded with good karma.”

But then I took a further step back, and remembered learning in one of my probability classes that randomness is the equal chance of all outcomes that could possibly occur. This means that every now and then, the unlikely will, and does, happen. It also means that if you were to flip a quarter ten 10 times, there’s a chance that the flips will read H,H,H,H,T,H,T,T,H,H. That’s 70% heads, with a sequence of four heads in a row. But isn’t a quarter supposed to have a 50% chance of landing on heads or tails? We automatically associate this assumption with thinking that flipping a quarter 10 times would alternate, at least somewhat, evenly between heads and tails. But the reality is that this almost never happens. Most of us think, “It might be heads two or three times in a row, but definitely not four.” We have to remember, however, that flipping a coin is random. When you flip a coin, every new flip is completely random, independent of the previous flip. If you flip a coin two times, it is just as equally likely to land H,T as H, H or T,T.

Making this connection, I started to think about the things that happen to us in our lives. If everything is random, this means that there is an equally likely chance of unfortunate event A, B, C, … or Z event happening to you, at any given moment, regardless of the last event that has occurred in your life. You also have an equally likely chance of fortunate event A, B, C, … or Z event happening to you. Of course, there are many things you can do to greatly increase, reduce, or somehow alter the likelihood of certain events happening in your life (attending college, getting a job, etc). However, for those things that seem so “unlucky” (e.g. getting a ticket, getting injured, losing something important) and that make you feel like you’re being punished by God/the universe or hit by bad karma, I think it helps if you think instead about the randomness of the universe.

Ultimately, this means that there will probably be periods in your life when things are going great, and also when things are going not-so-great. Just because something bad happened to you, doesn’t mean you should be expecting something good to happen next. Just because something good happened, doesn’t mean you should expect something bad to happen. This might not sound too comforting at first thought, but I think it is the most rational way to approach things, so that you don’t get too caught up in your emotions and let anything that might have happened to you in your life bring you down.

Keep working hard, do whatever you can to increase your chances of allowing good things to happen, and realize that bad things will happen along the way. They happen to everyone, just at different times. But good things happen too. Focus on the good things. The most important thing is to remain positive, and take on each new day as a new start. After all, when you flip a quarter 100 times, there is a much higher probability that the coin flips 50% heads and 50% tails than when it is only flipped 10 times. Maybe you’re freaking out when it’s only been 10 flips. Regardless, “bad luck,” or “bad things” happening in your life only make you a stronger person. Unless you let them take you down.

This was my latest post on a blog my friend and I started last summer (http://freshmenagain.wordpress.com/), inspired by this awesome site. We made the blog with a lot of enthusiasm but since the new school year started we kinda got caught up in our busy schedules and stopped posting. But, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately and today I just had a sudden urge to sit down and write this post. I think I will be writing more frequently again. Anyway, thought I’d share it with you all. Let me know what you think, and feel free to check out the rest of our posts if you feel so inclined.

Gratzie

April 6, 2013 at 9:23 pm

You must sign in or join to reply!

1
Profile photo of Onafets Onafets (@onafets) 1 year, 9 months ago ago

I know it’s a bit of a read, but does anyone have any concurring/differing opinions on this subject matter?

[Hidden]
Reply to this topic

More Posts Like This

22

What single change would have the MOST positive impact on the world?

Could be societal, political, economical, etc. In other words, if we could only change ONE thing about the world to better our lives, what should it be?

1

General Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric. (The trivium)

Is there anyone here who are interested in these topics as a means of self development? The reason i am asking is that it would be interesting to make a group of people to cooperate in order to excel at these subjects....

1

Band Names

So my friend is obsessed with trying to find a name for his band, they just finished doing all their recordings, but still can’t settle on a title. Here’s how he describes their sound: A lighter style...

1

Embrace Your Surroundings

So a couple months ago I read this beautiful and amazing book titled Ishmael. A very special friend suggested I read it, and it completely changed my outlook on Western culture and our modern civilization. I recommend...

14

Suggestions for a site-wide HE 30 day challenge?

Starting in February, we’re going to have monthly 30-day challenges! We had a very successful challenge years back when the discussions were first added to HE. It’s time to revive them! Which challenge should...

1

Yoga-Meditation music

Hello everyone, I need your help, The last month I find good music in HE. This is the link: http://www.highexistence.com/links/view/above-beyond-burning-man-2014/page/71/ I really love this song, but I’m horrible...

1

How to Suck at Life and Totally Waste Everyone's Time.

step 1:Argue with everyone Step2: Always argue Step3: Be an ass hole for fun Step4: Post videos and links to prove a point Step5: Do all of the above while on this website

3

Sleep paralysis , OBE, lucid dream

I just had my first sleep paralysis, obe, ld. it happened out of nowhere and on a sober mind. I wanted to achieve lucid dreaming for so long and it finally happened! Im super excited! Even tho the sleep paralysis wasnt...

1

Red Rover Red Rover is education over?

To begin I would like to forewarn you that this is not a rant about the current education system (which I believe most people here view as flawed), rather a niche topic not really discussed. People earn an education to...

4

Are you smart or dumb? What is intelligence?

What’s smart and what’s dumb? What’s the difference between them? Is your intelligence fixed or fluid? One guy does well in school, devotes his life to the academic system. Becomes a master in his field...

1

Not sure what to do next?

I am 21 years old and recently extremely depressed with my existence. I’m not sure where I am going, or why I have ended up where I am in life.. I’ve always had a close group of friends who mean the world to...

1

SHE = super high existence

Why is the abbreviation of this amazing website another hidden sign that we live in a patriarchal society. HE, clearly referring to the male gender. So, women can’t be conscious and think of a higher existence ? To...

8

Marijuana + Meditation = ?

A couple weeks ago I tried meditating after smoking some weed. We sat on these two blocks in the middle of an empty park staring at the sky and meditating. It was the most peaceful 20 minutes of my life. So anyone ever...

1

Spirituality becoming a commodity?

I have been really disappointed where the “festival scene” is going in Colorado. This weekend I took LSD and went to a “show” not knowing what to expect. The first thing I see is a baby on the...