Saturday, 11 October 2014

Crossed fingers

A lot of people are adamant they achieve things through their own efforts. Luck has nothing to do with it, they say. It's all hard work, determination and shrewdness.

I think they're kidding themselves. Yes, a bit of hard graft is needed. But so many things are down to luck. Being in the right place at the right time. Knowing the right people. Being first in the queue. Hearing something on the grapevine. There are plenty of people who work their asses off with nothing much to show for it.

I know how much luck I've had in my own life. So many things that could have gone horribly pear-shaped worked out surprisingly well. I benefited from the years of prosperity that were followed by recession and shrinking opportunities. Quite by chance I picked up skills that have come in useful ever since.

Other people have even greater luck. They inherit huge sums of money. They win the lottery. They're born to well-connected and multi-talented parents, or turn out to be prodigiously talented themselves. They happen to invent something that becomes a universal must-have.

Knowing as I do how much of my life has depended on good luck, I'm always a bit nervous about the future. Will this astonishing run of luck continue or will it abruptly hit the buffers? Will I suddenly find myself in dire straits, the rug pulled from underneath me? All I can do is cross my fingers, hope for the best and keep on truckin'.

So what will the future bring? Windfalls or pitfalls? Thrills or bills? Trick or treat?

18 comments:

CheerfulMonk said...

My philosophy is to be grateful and enjoy it while it lasts!

Helen Devries said...

Remember what Napoleon asked about his generals...'Is he lucky?' It counts.

I was lucky to get a place in chambers...my father knew the head of chambers from the war, otherwise there was no chance...but that was my father's luck in play, not mine.

I'm not a lucky person...but I am damnably persistent.

Secret Agent Woman said...

It troubles me that so many people are unwilling to admit that luck (often in the form of advantages brought about by things like parental wealth) play a huge part in how a life goes. It's an appealing fantasy to think we are on a level playing field.

susie said...

I definitely have had more bad luck than good. Friends used to point that out to me...

Nick said...

Jean: Me too. I'm not complaining!

Helen: Ah yes, the friends of friends advantage. Kickstarts many a successful career.

You're certainly persistent, judging by all those local issues you're pursuing to the bitter end (or hopefully a triumphant end).

Nick said...

Agent: Indeed, no such thing as a level playing field, much as we would like it. There are so many personal and family factors that queer the pitch, as it were.

Susie: That's a shame. I hope the future is kinder to you.

Ursula said...

Couldn't agree more. Anyone who denies that luck plays a part in life has never had back luck and - most certainly - does not deserve a pat on the back.

Other than that, Nick, on this fine Sunday: Good Luck,

U

Nick said...

Ursula: The Government is of course one of the chief offenders. They constantly refer to "hard-working families" as if luck is never involved.

Bijoux said...

Well, certainly we can't control our genetics or the families we are born into. However, there is a difference between people who try to do something to change their circumstances and people who sit around saying, "Woe is me."

My daughter can't help the fact that she was born with a disability, but she can certainly work on strategies to live her life to the fullest.

Nick said...

Bijoux: Oh, I'm not suggesting people should cry "Woe is me", but even if you try to change your circumstances, some people will have luck on their side and do brilliantly well, while others won't be so lucky and may get nowhere despite their best efforts.

You're right about making the most of life despite a disability. My sister has MND but she makes the most of whatever opportunities she still has.

Nick said...

Finding your love-mate is almost entirely a matter of luck. Hard work doesn't come into it at all. It's pure chance whether you happen to meet the right person or not. I only met Jenny because we both worked in the same bookshop. If either of us had decided to work somewhere else, our 33-year relationship would never even have started.

Keith said...

I've always been unlucky in love as they say, but lucky in being in the right place at the right time to acquire skills and knowledge that has helped me considerably in life.

Sol said...

Some people defo lead charmed lives.

Nick said...

Keith: Some people are unlucky in love their entire life - one failed relationship after another. That's sad.

Sol: They do. Like all those lucky women who get talent-spotted one day and end up as millionaire supermodels. Though it's hard work maintaining that perfect appearance day in and day out....

Ramana Rajgopaul said...

So what will the future bring? Windfalls or pitfalls? Thrills or bills? Trick or treat?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azxoVRTwlNg

Nick said...

These grown-ups, they always dodge the question, don't they? Whatever will be will be indeed. Pathetic.

I must have heard that song a thousand times while I was growing up....

Jenny Woolf said...

I always marvel that we are lucky enough to live in a developed country!

Nick said...

Jenny: Me too. I could have been born in a shanty-town slum and maybe not even have survived to adulthood.