‘Good Luck’ is a bad thing to wish on someone…

don't wish good luck, wish bon courage

I no longer like to hear someone wish another ‘Good luck!’  I know that the wisher means well, but all I can hear is ‘This thing you are facing is out of your control, so I sure hope it works well for you!’

The well-meaning part is fine, but the insinuation that one has no control is not.

Years ago I began using the French expression ‘Bon courage’ instead. As the Parisian friend who first introduced me to it years ago put it, ‘bon courage’ literally translates as ‘good courage’ and carries the connotation: ‘I wish you the strength and courage to do what is needed for a good outcome.’

This is a much better intention to convey.

You might say, ‘But there are so many things that we just can’t control!’

True. But there is a lot we can control. And we can always control our attitudes. And the attitude with which we approach a problem makes all the difference.

I’ve learned that when you approach a challenge with the right attitude, you find that you can control a lot more than you think. The right attitude removes you from the role of a victim. This alone has the effect of opening your eyes to opportunities we are less likely to see when we are feeling that things are out of our control.

It’s a small difference, but it sure matters.

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