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Cindie Chavez – ©2019
Saint Patrick’s Day is March 17 and this weekend there will be numerous parades to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland. Many of the shamrocks covered parade floats will boast of “the luck of the Irish”, demonstrated by images of leprechauns dancing around a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Every year as I watch the parade I start thinking about the concept of luck, and the idea of being lucky.
Years ago, I decided to be lucky. My decision was based on the idea that everything we experience is connected to our perception of who we are – our self-identity. I’d heard people assert “that’s just my luck” when something went wrong, and it seemed to me that it was a much better notion to “be lucky” instead. I cemented this identity by randomly declaring “I am lucky!” whenever the thought would enter my mind.
Shortly after I made this decision, I came across a necklace in a department store, a slender gold chain embellished with a small round charm that simply said, “I’m lucky.” And, it was on sale. So of course, seeing this synchronicity as a validation of this new facet of my new identity, I purchased it at once – and counted it as a stroke of good luck.
I was wearing the necklace one day as I was standing in line at a restaurant. A man standing near me read the message on my necklace declared “Why yes! You are lucky!”, whipped out his wallet, handed me a twenty-dollar bill, and went on his way. The friend standing with me gasped in delight at my good fortune.
I was also wearing the necklace when I met my husband.
I had a good bit of fun wearing that necklace and it would have been easy to decide that the necklace was my “lucky charm”, but the real charm was adopting the identity of “I am lucky” – essentially because it bears out the idea that we can make our own luck.
One of my favorite quotes is from James Cameron – “Hope is not a strategy. Luck is not a factor. Fear is not an option.” – but mainly because I identify with the concept that hope is not a strategy.
As for the rest of the quote – fear happens, and even though we certainly don’t want to be overcome with it or let it hinder our progress, sometimes it can save our life.
And as for luck, well sometimes it seems like it is a factor – and perhaps we can choose to cultivate it.
A story is told about an old farmer living in medieval China who only owned one ailing horse to help him with all of his work. One day his only horse ran away. His neighbors said to him, “What bad luck!” And the farmer replied, “Good luck, bad luck, who knows?”
Several days later his sickly horse returned, bringing a dozen strong, healthy, wild horses with him. The farmer’s neighbors exclaimed, “What wonderful luck!” And again, the farmer answered, “Good luck, bad luck, who knows?”
The following week the farmer’s only son was riding one of the wild horses and fell off the horse and broke his leg. The neighbors voiced their opinion of the terrible accident, “What awful luck!” And once again, the farmer replied, “Good luck, bad luck, who knows?”
A few days later the province went to war, the King’s army coming into the village and conscripting every young able-bodied male. The farmer’s son, of course, was excused from duty due to his broken leg. The neighbor’s sons all went to war. The neighbors saw the farmer as having such good luck, but the farmer again answered, “Good luck, bad luck, who knows?”
This is one of my favorite stories, especially in times when I am tempted to view a circumstance as “bad luck”. Drawing a conclusion about any given thing only limits our perspective and shuts down our ability to see opportunity.
As for the concept of “luck”, many times a belief in luck belies a poverty mentality, a backwards excuse for not being successful and a way to easily dismiss the success of someone else.
The poet Jean Cocteau once said, “I believe in luck: how else can you explain the success of those you dislike?”
Economist Stephen Leacock expressed himself as a great believer in luck. He also found that the harder he worked the more luck he had.
Certainly, we’ve all experienced “luck” a time or two in our lives. A near miss, a lucky guess, a series of fortunate events that left us feeling thankful to a higher power, sensing that we really could not take credit for whatever it was that came about. And even this is our own perception of those events – our ability and willingness to “see” the luck.
In my experience, luck happens when we take more risks, show up more often, play full out, look at things from a different perspective, keep being curious, stop making conclusions, expect miracles, stay true to our authenticity, and take the initiative to be prepared when opportunity knocks.
And it doesn’t hurt to decide that you’re lucky in advance because sometimes we just have to make our own luck.
Here’s to getting lucky.
More by Cindie:
Cindie Chavez is known as “The Love & Magic Coach”. She is the creator of MOONTREAT™ – and she has some great free stuff for you at her website: www.cindiechavez.com
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