Posted by: endithinks | April 23, 2008

On Bad Luck

I have a student who seems to have what may be called “Bad Luck.”  Last week this student was stabbed at work and this week this student is concerned about their marital status to a partner that they have not been in contact with for a few years. 

What is Bad Luck?  Is bad luck something that just falls on us from above?  Or is it a set of circumstances that we have some control over?  Of course you know what answer I’m going to say, the second one.

Circumstances are a series of choices and repercussions that string together in often clouded ways.  The choices we make today may set us on a path that is continually changing, but different from a path we may have taken with a different choice.  The choice of where to work for instance has major ramifications on not only our financial status but also our personal satisfaction and our self esteem.  A job that wears us out and kicks us when we are down will do more to damage our future selves than almost any other choice we make.

And the place we work is a choice.  It is all within our power where we work.  These hard economic times are harrowing and humbling, but they still do not define us.  Only we define us.  We choose how we deal with the issues that arise.  We also choose how we put ourselves in the middle of those issues.

I used to work in a place that was not good for me.  I stayed in that place for entirely too long because at the time I felt that that was the best I could do.  I was wrong of course.  the place ground my self esteem down and made me feel that it was what I could get.  Those types of traps are dangerous and hard to escape from without some sort of support or outside help.

My help came in the form of an opportunity to move and the guts for her to take the position.  But still the choice was mine.  I could have persuaded her not to take it.  i could have made it obvious that a move to a new place was going to be a mistake, or going to be an unhappy decision.  But I saw that this was the chance not only for her to show a dedication to the team, but also a way to force myself to face the fact that the job I had was killing me.

Bad luck is the path that we choose.  It is all a choice about our perspective and the attitutdes in which we bring to life.  There is a parable I tell to my class ( I know I know) about two men trapped in prison, shackled and barely alive.  They chose to look at the situation as a blessing, as an opportunity and they were happier for it.

The way that we perceive things around us define us.  The way we see opportunities or challenges are the way that we make or lose our own luck.  Luck is seizing opportunities.  Luck is seeing what lies beneath.  Luck is taking chances.  We all have luck on our side if we could only recognize it.



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