I don’t have any tattoos and I have no plans of ever getting one, but if I were in the market for something to tattoo on my body, this Latin phrase would be a solid contender: Audentes fortuna iuvat. It translates into something along the lines of: Fortune favors the bold. And it’s one of my favorite proverbs.
The supposed meaning behind the phrase is that Fortuna, the Goddess of fortune and luck, was believed to be more likely to help those that took risks, took action, and were generally bold. And what I like about this is that it doesn’t make luck some abstract thing that people either have or don’t. It firmly transforms luck into something that you yourself can create. That is, if you want it.
Earlier this month, venture capitalist Fred Wilson wrote a post on his blog called Get Lucky, where he talks about the research that psychologist Richard Wiseman did on so-called lucky and unlucky people. Wiseman concluded the following:
My research revealed that lucky people generate good fortune via four basic principles. They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.
Obviously, the common thread between these two ideas is that luck is something that you yourself can control. Lucky is a state of mind. Whether you believe in greater powers or not, people at least as far back as the Roman times identified the benefits of taking action, risk, and of boldness. It creates opportunity. And it creates luck.
I try and do as much of that as I can.