The Best Quotes on Luck of All Time



“You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.” ? Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men

This a collection of the best luck quotes at your fingertips.  This collection of luck quotes includes advice from Emmerson, Shakespeare, Tony Robbins, and more.

So tell me … are you feeling lucky?  You can build a “lucky mindset” that either works for you or against you.

Whether you think the world conspires with you or against you, you’re right.   You can use luck quotes to build your lucky mindset.

Your views on luck can dramatically influence your success.  For example, if you think that success is out your control, then there’s no point in trying too hard.

On the other hand, if you think you can influence success through the right actions and the right mindsets, you’ll work at improving your success.

What the Great Ones Teach Us On Luck

Edward de Bono teaches us that luck runs the spectrum from very good luck to very bad luck.  Sometimes it really is about being in the right place at the right time, or the wrong place at the wrong time.

Malcolm Gladwell teaches us that when it comes to personal performance, it’s not luck, it’s deliberate practice.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb teaches us not to mistake dumb luck for extreme skill.

Make Your Own Luck

Personally, I like the advice from a friend long ago.  He said, “Luck is when skill and opportunity come together.”  What I’ve found is that many things that look like luck at first blush, really are part of a system.

That said, of course, I know some things are unknowable.

In those cases, I focus on calculated risk.

Top 10 Quotes on Luck

Here are the top 10 best luck quotes:

  1. “Chance favors the prepared mind.“ – Louis Pasteur
  2. “Depend on the rabbit’s foot if you will, but remember it didn’t work for the rabbit.“ – R.E. Shay
  3. “Diligence is the mother of good luck.“ – Benjamin Franklin
  4. “If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can’t, you’re right.“ – Henry Ford
  5. “In short, Luck’s always to blame.“  – Jean De La Fontaine
  6. “Luck is the residue of design.“ – Branch Rickey
  7. “Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure.“ – Earl Wilson
  8. “The only sure thing about luck is that it will change.“ – Wilson Mizner
  9. “The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work.“ – Harry Golden
  10. “The winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.“ – Edward Gibbon

More Great Luck Quotes …

Here are more luck quotes:

“Ability is of little account without opportunity.“

– Napoleon Bonaparte

“Bad things happen to good people.“

– Anonymous

“Being deeply learned and skilled, being well trained and using well spoken words; This is good luck.“

– Anonymous

“Concentration attracts luck factor.”

— Amit Ray, Yoga and Vipassana: An Integrated Life Style

“Don’t luck into success.“

– Anonymous

“Everything in life is luck.“

– Donald Trump

“Fortune brings in some boats that are not steered.“

– William Shakespeare

“Good luck beats early rising.“

– Proverb

“Good luck is another name for tenacity of purpose.“

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Good luck is the willing handmaid of a upright and energetic character, and conscientious observance of duty.“

– James Russell Lowell

“Good things come to those who wait.“

– Anonymous

“I believe in luck: how else can you explain the success of those you dislike?“

– Jean Cocteau

“I wandered everywhere, through cities and countries wide. And everywhere I went, the world was on my side.”

Roman Payne, Rooftop Soliloquy

“If one does not know to which port is sailing, no wind is favorable.“

– Seneca

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.“

– Thomas Jefferson

“If you view all the things that happen to you, both good and bad, as opportunities, then you operate out of a higher level of consciousness.“

– Les Brown

“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.“

– Albert Einstein

“It’s hard to detect good luck – it looks so much like something you’ve earned.“

– Frank A. Clark

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.“

– John Lennon

“Luck affects everything; let your hook always be cast; in the stream where you least expect it, there will be a fish.“

– Ovid

“Luck has a peculiar habit of favoring those who don’t depend on it.“

– Anonymous

“Luck has a way of evaporating when you lean on it.”

? Brandon Mull, Keys to the Demon Prison

“Luck is believing you’re lucky.“

– Tennessee Williams

“Luck is tenacity of purpose.“

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Luck is the idol of the idle.”

– Proverb

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

– Seneca

“Luck is what you have left over after you give 100 percent.”

– Langston Coleman

“Luck never gives; it only lends.“

– Proverb

“Luck never made a man wise.“

– Seneca

“Luck, bad if not good, will always be with us. But it has a way of favoring the intelligent and showing its back to the stupid.“

– John Dewey

“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

“Lucky at cards, unlucky in love.“

– Proverb

“Maybe I’m lucky to be going so slowly, because I may be going in the wrong direction.“

– Ashleigh Brilliant

“May good luck be your friend in whatever you do and may trouble be always a stranger to you.“

– Anonymous

“May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light. May good luck pursue you each morning and night.“

– Anonymous

Nature creates ability; luck provides it with opportunity.“

– François de la Rochefoucauld

“Nearly’ only counts in horseshoes and hand-grenades.”

— Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book

“Oh, I am fortune’s fool!”

— William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

“Opportunity is missed by most because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.“

– Thomas Edison

“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.”

— Dalai Lama XIV

“Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.“

– Demosthenes

“Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.“

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“So it’s probably eighty percent luck and twenty percent skill.“

– Chris LeDoux

“The day you decide to do it is your lucky day.“

– Proverb

The meeting of preparation with opportunity generates the offspring we call luck.“

– Tony Robbins

“The only sure thing about luck is that it will change.“

– Bret Harte

“The sun doesn’t just hang on one family’s tree”

— Anchee Min, Empress Orchid

“Unlucky at cards, lucky in love.“

– Proverb

“When I work fourteen hours a day, seven days a week, I get lucky.“

– Dr. Armand Hammer

What are your favorite quotes on luck?

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  1. I like the ‘luck is tenacity of purpose’ one.

    These days I feel like I am so lucky but really has come about because I was perservering on some path and when half an opportunity appeared I took the risk, squashed the fear and went for it.

    I guess you really do make your own luck 🙂

  2. Ooh, I love these quotes!! Luck is such an interesting topic and it’s cool to see all the different ways other people have thought about it.

  3. My favorite is “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”
    Lucky me, since i figured out i became much luckier 🙂

  4. You covered some of my faves… here are a couple of more:

    You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take –Wayne Gretzky

    And similar to Thomas Jefferson’s, but shorter and sweeter:

    The harder I work, the luckier I get. –Samuel Goldwyn

  5. I agree, you make your own luck – being persistent helps – if you weren’t lucky first time round you might be on the second or third try. Another thing that helps is knowing the odds. If things are a long shot then they probably won’t work out!

  6. My mum always said, “do not think about luck, just persist until your get the job done..”

    I do not think about luck, but am heavily schooled in Emerson and Thoreau – heavily

    now voluntary simplicity

    and I have had the great good fortune to know my values and live by them

    I like your quote lists….I am a person who finds a great quote and then puts it on my mirror on my refrigerator to greet it often
    Thank you

  7. The fortunes of JK Rowling ultimately fell to a publisher’s daughter who read the first chapter of the series and wanted to know what happened next in the story. The rest is history. But we have to wonder what would have happened if she had never read that chapter. The reality is that many potential bestsellers go overlooked and rejected, and we will never know.

    Was Rowling lucky or skilled?

  8. This would be my quote to add about luck:

    “The word coincidence does not describe luck or mistakes. It describes that which fits together perfectly.”

    -Wayne Dyer

  9. @Jarod

    Congrats on making it happen. I find some problems are like chipping away at the stone. Finally they give. The beauty is that when your success is on a roll, it snowballs.

    @ Positively Present

    I used to leave more things to luck and natural ability. *Luckiily*, I’m in a job where I see the benefits of skills everyday and it reminds me to grow my skills and make my luck.

    @ Alik

    You consistently seize opportunity, among the best I know. You keep getting up to bat and I think that’s your strength.

    @ Meryl

    I can’t believe I left out the Wayne Gretzky quote. That’s one of my faves, too. (the beauty of wisdom of the crowds in action)

    @ Annabel

    Great point on knowing the odds. Knowing the odds has save me a lot of wasted time. That said, sometimes not knowing the odds has worked in my favor, and I beat the odds (in retrospect, if I knew the odds, I might not have tried.)

    @ Patricia

    I really like the idea of great quotes greeting you often.

    @ Charlie

    It’s a great reminder that it’s what you know and who you know. I see the pattern all the time … so many unsung heroes and untapped caliber.

    @ JB King

    I like the mental model that coincidences are perfect fits.

  10. Hi JD

    I’ve been wondering about luck lately. I’ve always considered myself a lucky person, well, that is possibly the wrong word. I’ve always thought that things will end up positive. It’s just that lately they haven’t. It’s quite baffling for me. Being a believer in the fact that we setup or bring about our own situations I’ve been trying to figure out what I have been doing to cause all of this. I’m not really much wiser.

    This post has given me a bit of a booster.

    Thank you,


  11. Hi J.D.,
    Luck…ah yes, we can be lucky…it usually takes some concerted effort on our part, though! My favorite quote from above: “If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can’t, you’re right.“ – Henry Ford

    Our mind is a very powerful force in all of this!

  12. Well this is a hell of an article! So many interesting quotes assembled most carefully and with taste. Though my personal opinion is that luck can not be principally defined or given prescriptions for,
    because it is a genetic phenomena that is difficult to predict, if at all possible, but one can speculate about it when it occurs. When skills and opportunity come together as quoted, we may identify some sort of correlation, but not a cause – effect relation. But the mechanisms of it’s occurrence remain a principally unknown mystery,exactly as our genes and the sequences they carry. We can reason about such a phenomena, but not much more. Try to find resources where luck is defined and you will find out that they are scarce. A chance is something completely different although it correlates with luck. Anyway this article was a pleasure to study and reflect upon.

  13. Hi JD,

    I used to think luck was this random thing that only happened to people who were really fortunate. However, with time and experience, I have now come to see that luck is when opportunity meets preparation. I believe it is was Oprah who said that and I think she is right.

    Actually, they did a study on luck and they found that it truly boils down to preparation and opportunity. Every single day we are surrounded by all kinds of people. You just never know how someone that you ignore may actually have the power to change your life around or make your dreams come true.

  14. Hi J.D.,
    I always say, “We make our own luck!” You have many great quotes here, I kept some of them so I can read it later.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Giovanna Garcia
    Imperfect Action is better than No Action

  15. I continued to reflect upon luck and it struck me still difficult to universally define. Browsing through the many quotes which were generated by all it struck me that from an esoteric point of view it strangely correlates with happiness (n.)-“a delicate balance between what one is and what one has.” Well I told myself “This is not a bad starting point to reach some esoteric and deeply human insight.We are all our “Creator’s” human beings and have an encoded universal luck
    potential.Unfortunately some of us have their specific potential for luck, blocked for a number of objective and subjective reasons.But this does not mean that you should loose faith in your potential
    for luck and success and this fact if taken seriously may change your whole life. All you have to acknowledge and remember is that you possess a cosmic nature and potential by definition. But before you can fully operate and master your mighty thoughts,you have to find the internal strength to get rid of some obstructions,the greatest of which is the suspicion that you are not able to overcome this and that.One tends to forget the Main Cosmical Law that states that the human thought is real,which essentially means that anyone can potentially be a master and author of his fate and an actor of his social role.Few people however fully understand this magical ability of the human being and lack the persistence to influence their luck potential.Though it is simple and involves four basic steps:
    1)The sincere and persistent will to accomplish happiness and luck, that have to stick together;
    2) Constant positive thinking in order to be able to design things the way you want them to be;
    3)Imagine that what you pursue has already come true(this means to consciously exclude by all means negative thoughts in order to gain control other constructive positive energies and reduce them to the reality that you are aiming to achieve.);
    4)Mobilize your imagination to visualize that you are already a happy person,living among the ones you strongly love,that you are absolutely healthy, full of energy and decisiveness,and that you have already fulfilled this goal of yours.(Do this with the utmost details so that your fantasies become deep and clear.It will be difficult of course, at the very beginning of that exercise,to gain that piece of mind without worrying.However by being persistent and purposeful in the end you will achieve something that should be completely natural and legally correct,since you as a human being truly deserve it.
    It is my sincere hope that happiness and luck will become your natural state of affairs.
    Good luck in your enterprise!

  16. My favorites? Well, I had heard the Louis Pasteur before and keep it in mind. But the Ben Franklin is new to my ears and I like it a lot. The Thomas Edison one rings very true too. Putting on my songwriting overalls lately. 🙂

  17. @ Juliet

    The 3 things that I’ve noticed that change luck the most are:
    1. your mindset
    2. who you hang with
    3. your container (your work or environment)

    @ Lance

    One of my friends put it well in that while he doesn’t depend on luck, he doesn’t preclude it either.

    I think it’s all about setting yourself up for success, then taking advantage of the opportunities you get.

    @ Dr. Michael

    Thank you.

    It’s interesting that you correlated luck and happiness. It’s true. If we internalize our success, we grow our skills. If we externalize our success on luck, we give up control. I’ve seen more good luck shine on those that internalize their success (oh, the irony.)

    Interestingly, my day job is about taking the luck out of success. Our team’s tagline is “proven practices for predictable results.”

    @ Nadia

    It sounds like you’re also a believer in the power of skill. I’ve seen skill really change people’s fortunes. Time and time again.

    You reminded me that the RAS (reticular activating system) might play a key role in making luck happen.

    @ Giovanna

    So true. I found that when I waited at the dock for my luck ship to roll in, it never did. I find more luck by making things happen.

    @ Jannie

    Songwriting is a great example where you can’t just luck into it. Perspiration pays off.

    @ Fred

    Thank you. The way you put it reminded me of a skilled fighter. The unskilled never notices the openings. The skilled fighter notices the tells and the openings and calculates their best moves.

    From a gambling standpoint, I guess it would be playing your best hand with the cards you’re dealt.

  18. J..D, – I was able to become twice an amateur world champion in the game of chess.Around 1920 the was a Soviet study of chess masters that revealed 16 skills and strengths that a master possesses to a high degree:
    1) A good reserve of physical strength and good general health
    2)Strong nerves
    3) Self -control
    4)Ability to distribute attention over many factors
    5)Ability to perceive dynamic relationships
    6)A contemplative turn of mind
    7)A high level of intellectual development
    8)Ability to think objectively
    9)Ability to concentrate
    10)A powerful memory for chess and other matters
    11)Powers of synthetic thought and imagination
    12)Ability to ex ell in chess and other combination s
    13)A disciplined and purposeful will
    14)A highly active intellect, willing to take the initiative
    15)Extremely disciplined emotions and the ability quickly to recover,
    when taken by surprise and defeated
    16)High level of self confidence
    Here I will quote Garry Kasparov:
    “There is no one that can share your responsibility. It it is your responsibility you must carry it on and you must be responsible for your actions. At the end of the day we all are being challenged, sooner or later, by our destiny. And it’s up to us to make all the difference in this life. If not you, who else?”
    — Garry Kasparov
    However trying to be objective, I will quote myself:
    “Even if the chess master possesses all these qualities and is a genius practitioner.If he is not a parallel researcher in his own field , and has not entirely done research on his own,which he only knows at this very moment,as well as deeply understands.No matter that this may be achieved with the help of computer programs and hired analysts (consultants), he will always exceed the practical geniuses in a conflict and will certainly become a world champion.”
    These shared thoughts of mine don’t fully reinforce your statement – “Interestingly, my job is about taking the luck out of success.Our team’s tag line is ‘proven practices for predictable results ‘.” It just tries to clarify the”oh the irony.” of what you described, by trying to give a reasonable explanation.

  19. These are great… there are a lot of luck quotes here that I hadn’t seen before.

    I’ve always liked:

    Fortune favors the brave. —Virgil


    Fortune cannot favor those who do nothing. —Sophocles

  20. I believe extremely in the way we dwell and a style in which we act. so luck include in these words..
    Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon themsalves

  21. I believe extremely in the way we dwell and a style in which we act. so luck include in these words..
    Luck in life comes only when u make it.
    Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon themsalves

  22. I came to this article to try and see if a quote i came up with last night had been taken. Im sure it has as i have seen some relative and lets face it everythings been said right. When i searched google nothing came up, but i know that doesnt mean anything so if anyone can tell me if its been used before i would greatly appreciate it. “Luck comes in the moment, not in the plan” Thanks for the great quotes JD.

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