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You Are Where You’re From: What Does Luck Have To Do With It?

by Contributing Author

We have all heard the phrase that you are what you eat, but what about the concept that you are where you’re from. As the world begins to resemble a global village more and more each day, people are visiting and meeting people from other countries more often than in any other time in human history. As a result, we are learning that despite the vast geographical differences, we are all one and the same when we get to the heart of it. We all want to be happy, to be healthy, to find something we love to do, and to spend time with our loved ones.

That being said, the cultural differences that shape us make for a wonderful array of different types of people, as well as a million alternative ways of doing and thinking about things. Each country has a unique history, which has helped form a national identity. For many, the aspect of travelling that they love most, and the prime reason they continue to do it throughout their lives, is that they get to experience the different traditions and customs that the world has to offer. While we have all witnessed first-hand how places shape people, it is often described as an embodied form of knowledge that lies outside of full scientific analysis.

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In this sense, it can be compared to luck, in that many people believe that there is no way of actually measuring it. However, if you log on to, you will be able to read about a study that attempted to measure the mean level of how privileged a nation is, and therefore gain an insight into how lucky its inhabitants are. The study examined twenty factors in four clusters in order to determine the level of privilege in a particular country. The selected countries for the study were the 36 member states of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The examined factors were split into the following four study fields: 1) opportunities, 2) freedom, 3) health, and 4) finance. So while luck has often been said to be immeasurable, this study decided to focus on objective factors that would directly impact the level of luck available to people based on nationality or location. The final rankings were determined based on a standardised system, which attributed a score between 0 and 100 to each of the individual influencing factors taken into account. These points would allow each of the four study fields to be ascribed a score from which an overall result could be reached.

Luck has been approached in a multitude of ways, however, this is one of the first studies to focus on purely objective factors. This is not to say that there isn’t something unique about luck that cant be measured, but it could perhaps hold the key to a holistic understanding of luck. Furthermore, by being aware of how each location avails people of different types of luck, perhaps with further research, individuals will be able to focus in on what they need to do based on their environment in order to give themselves the best possible chance of living a lucky life.


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