Today’s guest post on luck is by Jack Tuttle, author of “It’s a Secret so Pass It On: A Toolbox for Life.”
Everyone Is Lucky, by Jack Tuttle
The subject of luck comes up frequently as St. Patrick’s Day approaches. I definitely believe in luck, but I don’t believe in the “Luck of the Irish.” To paraphrase a popular saying, “Luck is in the eyes of the beholder.”
Both my wife and I are part Irish, but we treat St. Patrick’s Day no differently than any other. The story behind it has evolved into more fiction than fact, but it has allowed many Irish people to improve their self-confidence while helping them gain positive traction with others. For some, St. Patrick’s Day has become an excuse for alcohol overindulgence. If inebriated people are lucky that day, it might be that they got home safely after a night of partying.
Most people I’ve met in my life believe in good luck or bad luck, but rarely both equally. Those who find good things coming to them frequently prize their “magical luck,” but they blame others for the bad things that happen to them. Or, they believe in bad luck but assume a supreme being is responding to their personal prayers whenever needed. We don’t like the idea of accepting both good and bad luck because it implies we lack control over our lives. Our egos have difficulty accepting that notion.
How do we measure luck? What criteria do we use when events transpire differently than our wishes or assumptions? Are all painful experiences bad, or are they necessary preludes for important positive events that happen secondarily to them? Are the events that transpire after successes going to remain positive, or might they prevent us from experiencing more important events in our future? It is up to our personal perspective and judgment to decide those things, based on our individual needs and most cherished dreams.
No two people have the same exact perspective. Our experiences and ability to absorb, understand and remember their importance determine our views. No one else can see our path like we do. It is as if we each live in a separate universe, which is what many of us believe we want. We are all connected, but our egos tend to see more differences than similarities.
Is any single event in our lives an instance of good luck, bad luck or normalcy? We can say winning a lottery jackpot is good luck. But in life, we can’t completely separate one instant from another; they are all part of our life path. Perhaps we later misuse our winnings or expect our good fortune to continue until we have lost the jackpot plus our savings. Perhaps a jealous competitor resents our success and does something destructive toward us. Maybe we purchase something that later backfires on us.
Of course, we could use our winnings to build a better life for ourselves. Perhaps we use it to help those in need. Perhaps our good fortune helps our inheritors survive this difficult world. The possibilities are endless.
As I look back on it, both the up and down events in my life have led to my biggest life goals. No, not everything has happened the way I envisioned it…far from it. But both the events I considered “bad” and those I assumed were “good” were merely steps along a lengthy journey, and all of them were important. Please permit me site a couple examples.
I was a graduate veterinarian with private practice experience when I was hired as an instructor and later assistant professor in a veterinary college, but I was fired six years later under completely false pretenses by a supervisor who had planned my demise prior to hiring me. I trusted the university to give me a fair hearing, but last-minute political shenanigans prevented that. I became bitter toward my university and profession. I could have found work in a clinic somewhere, but family circumstances prevented a long distance move.
I definitely felt this was an enormous case of bad luck, and I suffered greatly for a long period of time. However, I also learned a great deal about myself and what I really wanted in life. Over time, I felt transformed and ready to find and follow my “first best destiny,” whatever that was. As events would later prove, this “bad luck” was the absolute best thing that could have happened to me. I suffered because I felt I was wronged, but I am now grateful everything happened exactly the way it did.
I had divorced my first wife prior to these events, so I was also lonely for a partner to share my life. Of course, I would have made a terrible partner for any woman if I had married her at this time. It was absolutely necessary to discover I could live alone and be happy before I was ready to mate again. It took seven years before I found a woman who would become my true partner.
I had made a list of attributes I thought were necessary in a potential spouse before I remarried. I had one son, but he lived with his mother. I remained committed to providing his needs and being there for him as often as the divorce decree and his mother permitted. But I hoped to have another child with whom I could watch grow daily.
I felt I couldn’t marry until I established an as yet unknown career. I never wanted to have my own business. I didn’t want a woman from one particular religion but did want someone who believed in Universal Truth rather than dogma. I was willing to parent a step-child, but I was a single child from a single child mother, so the interplay of multiple children in a household was unfamiliar to me. In a case of “cosmic humor,” events transpired nearly opposite of my expectations. But they led to the absolute best part of my life.
Despite still not having a specific source of income, I found myself marrying a woman with three children who was incapable of having more and was a member of the religion I sought to avoid. I met her through a newspaper personal ad I felt compelled to write, and while she seemed friendly and interested, she didn’t know what I meant by “Universal Truth” and “dogma.” A year later, she was inspired to begin a metaphysical bookstore, which ended up being the career vehicle I had been looking for all my life, one that would allow me to use my talents and knowledge to their fullest. The bookstore has survived for 29 years.
So two major events that seemed like bad luck when they occurred ended up being good luck after all. In fact, I can honestly say my entire life has been one extended episode of good luck because it has ended up as well as I could ever hope to experience despite numerous setbacks.
We all have ups and downs; extreme instances we judge to be good or bad luck are normal. But I believe they are all part of our life path and are no more or less important than mundane events. I believe we are all lucky, if we’d see our lives as a continuing process rather than a series of isolated incidents. – Jack Tuttle
You can read more of Jack’s stories on his blog: http://dreamtime3.wix.com/jacktuttlebook
All books by BQB and WriteLife Publishing are avail on Amazon and B&N or can be ordered by your favorite local bookstore.