There is a story told of an old farmer living in medieval China who only owned one ailing horse, and then 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 has to be 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 also believed in luck, and expressed himself as a great believer in luck, and 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 often even this is our own perception of those events that “sees” the luck.
The truth is, 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.
Sometimes we just have to make our own luck.
Here’s to getting lucky 😉
Love & Magic,