Each of us gets stuck in our lives at some time or another. Many placate themselves by naming it “bad luck”. Each of us have times when we seem to be on top of the world. We welcome “good luck” as a happenstance that plays out in a situational moment when the stars align or we are just at the right place at the right time. How much is of luck purely luck? How much of luck is the result of specific steps and decisions that someone is willing to forge into a path resulting in merit, but then the triumphs get clearly disconnected from the merit and become belittled, devalued or cheapened by renaming it “luck”?
Luck has an essence that blends so well with how it describes the circumstance. A common definition for luck reads “the things that happen to a person because of chance: the accidental way things happen without being planned”. Luck has the spectrum of actualities built into its definition based on what adjective or attitude comes before it. Is luck good or bad?
Honestly, I hate the word “luck”. I have a distaste for the idea and concept of “luck”. Many people clearly have blessed lives and have floated down the river of progression, development and growth that appear appropriate and on schedule. This is not to imply their lives are rosebuds and buttercups without adversity and challenges. Instead their lives display a basis of admiration, curiosity and acknowledgment of what it takes to walk in a life like that. These people will stand up to the challenge, are brave, honest and make decisions.
Decisions are made constantly whether they are recognized as a decision or not. We make them all the time from the humdrum to epic. Many decisions are unnoticed because they are commonly expressed in our daily routine such as… what’s for dinner; when will you get home; or how long will you be gone. Other decisions are significantly life-changing such as… moving; marriage; having children; pursuing an education; accepting a job advancement; or changing careers all together.
Decisions occur even when no one specifically makes a choice. Not making a decision is making a decision. It is an assumption of either nonparticipation or sidestepping what looms before us. It is the avoidance by not making a conspicuous choice. A voice not spoken is a stance nonetheless. Often this method of decision-making allows one to think they are circumnavigating rather than circumventing the crossroad that stands before them. Yet life will make a decision at these junctures. Staying on the path of familiarity and bypass change may lead to dissatisfaction with the choices life hands out.
I was de-sensitized early in life by this label of luck. I stumbled through life as a rock bounces down the sidewalk until it hits a corner and lies still then I was like a bird in flight. My parents were never quite sure about my decisions and the paths that I chose to take. They talked about my successes or my achievements as if no effort was asserted. They said “I was lucky”. These comments stuck and profoundly influenced me to believe that nothing I could do or accomplish was by my choice and actions. Instead I hid my individualized strengths by taking on a perception that my efforts were worthless and only in collaboration did my effort became valuable. But then you see, the effort was not mine.
Luckily I am naturally on the move, but there are periods when I felt like a moving centrifuge. I had to learn to change the telling of my story. This is a blessing because of my “been there done that history” does not allow luck to enter into it. Decision-making was an active part of my life. Though I felt stricken with this label “I was lucky” and it terrorized me with thoughts of why. It also was a silent profound influence that fueled my desire to be more than lucky. It was an influence in wanting to do right by others, collaborate so their accomplishments shined and it allowed me to improve my ability to encourage in their decision-making.
I believe luck is rare as in the luck of the draw. We make decisions or decisions are made. Decision-making is a privilege that allows us to have a say in our life story. Decisions are an invitation of participation in this one-time opportunity called life. Decisions provide a power that emerges when there is a crossroad to bear. Decision-making is a responsibility that is granted as a summons to look at the selection; seize the option of choice and shape our course toward what lies ahead. It is a bold measure to have a voice. Be bold. Be brave. Be honest and accept the responsible. Allow your decisions to be your voice in shaping your life.