Recently, someone frustrated with their life blurted, “You’re so lucky!”
I almost responded with, “Those who work the hardest are the luckiest.”
Instead, I simply replied with, “Yes, but if you only knew my story, you might think differently.” I went on to mention, “You’ve heard the proverbial theory of gathering people around a table to share their problems. After looking around the table, everyone grabs back their own.”
She replied with, “I’m so envious of you. You’ve been in love, got married, had children, and enjoyed success in business. My mother has used you as an example of who I should be.”
That individual was consumed with the drama of their existence and was not interested in my Story. So, I’ll share it with you.
Believing Is Seeing
Yes, that’s a word play on the old expression, “Seeing is believing.” However, our eyes can deceive us — or maybe better stated, “We can believe in what isn’t there if deception or preconception is involved.”
Magic has taken deception to an art form. “Smoke and Mirrors” is a common phrase to describe the sleight of hand. Even in the realm of professionals, we have lawyers doing the same thing in a courtroom.
Societal propaganda has taken preconception to the realm of fantasy. According to the 24/7 bombardment, the rich and famous are the ideal. The agenda to be a celebrity has trampled on the concept of freedom to choose.
On the other hand, “Believing Is Seeing” encapsulates the worldview of making the best of every situation. Even though there may be no evidence of goodness, every opportunity has seeds necessary for our new learning.
Speaking of evidence, research has documented the skills of lucky people. Richard Wiseman, the Professor of Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, in the United Kingdom, discovered four main principles:
- maximizing chance opportunities
- listening to your intuition
- expecting good fortune
- turning bad luck to good
Strategies employed to increase – by 80% – the happiness and luck of ordinary people are:
- meditation to enhance intuition
- visualizing good fortune
- talking to at least one new person every week
As the good professor explains, “That’s why lucky people appear to have an uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time and enjoy more than their fair share of lucky breaks.”
I needed eyeglasses in the third grade to see the chalkboard at the front of the classroom and got them as a sophomore in high school. Texas was funny that way — they wanted me to see the highway when I was taking Driver’s Education.
The reason I can remember the third grade is that was the first time I brought home anything other than A’s on my report cards. I’m pretty sure those two B’s would only have been deserving of a reprimand from my mother. That C, however, was cause for a “Come to Jesus” session with her.
It was so bad, I — to this very day — vividly remember going into our small bathroom at Big Timber, kneeling down, and asking God for His help. I was going to need it — I couldn’t see the c
I remember praying for wisdom. Solomon was a hero of mine. I figured if it worked for him, it might work for me. Sure enough — all A’s from that point forward.
Seeds of Opportunity: I learned to listen and discovered the benefit of having a “friend” in a very High Place.
Moving All Over Creation
Those six years of grade school at Big Timber, Montana, were the longest period of time at any one school. Dad worked on ranches owned by Trust Fund Babies. As a result, after he had been used and abused, when he was no longer part of their grand plan, we were asked to leave.
Within a month of starting first grade at Lavina, we were on the move to a ranch at Big Timber. We were there for six years. Then, began an adventure in the foreign country of East Texas. It was a four-year stint of horizon broadening for this Yankee — because they were still fighting the Civil War
My junior year of high school provided the opportunity to be the new kid on three different playgrounds: Long View, TX; New Underwood, SD; and, Lavina, MT. Since I graduated from high school at Lavina, I can proudly proclaim that I started and finished school there.
Seeds of Opportunity: I learned to be the new kid on a playground in hostile territory and still have friends scattered coast-to-coast.
All of those years of good grades resulted in a full-ride, four-year, scholarship to any university in Montana. I turned that down to pursue my dream of being a cowboy.
Fifteen months later, I knew I didn’t have the same love of horses and cows as my dad. Although, those years of living the notion, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” came in handy. This poor kid had a new dream of going to college.
In the course of managing my fledgling business as a twenty-something entrepreneur, the counsel of an older client friend cut short my whining. He exclaimed, “Kim, your problem is not that you were born poor. Your problem is that you were born with ambition. Many are born poor and stay that way. You want something else.”
Seeds of Opportunity: I learned to never, ever look a gift horse in the mouth and to appreciate the investment to earn an education.
The CPA Exam
Having started work for a CPA
After two years and four attempts, the victory was mine. So, naturally, I believed those Partners of the CPA firm for whom I still worked that they would honor their promise to consider me as a partner. Wrong!
For four years, I had made them lots of money and opened a satellite office. So, in their mind and stated opinion, “Let’s keep the relationship as it is and you can keep on doing what you’ve always done.” Wrong!
My dream had been and was even more vividly clear — I was going to be my own Boss and serve the agricultural community in a better way than they ever imagined.
Seeds of Opportunity: I learned to be a good employee and even a better employer, while believing in the importance of Dreams.
Husband and Father
For twenty-four years, the Community viewed us as the perfect couple — and then eventually the perfect family. Having “found” a Higher Power in the third-grade, those vows “Til death do us part” meant something to me.
“Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?” whether love was ever a reciprocal emotion. I had conceived, believed, and achieved a Family unit. So as for my worldview — yes, love was offered to wife and children.
Added to the mix of responsibilities during this season of life was the role of “Good Son” providing a retirement for parents, who because of fate and hate (of savings) found themselves without the support of the Cult.
Seeds of Opportunity: I learned to give without expecting anything in return and developed empathy for those abused by narcissists.
Contrary to the Country song, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Hard work and “good luck” found me comfortable in a rut — which by the way, the definition is: a grave with the ends kicked out.
I’ve always believed we travel through life on the two legs of Family and Work.
After the divorce, one leg was crippled. So, I hopped… and hopped, for thirteen years, until my birthday, October 26, 2015. I was sixty years old and burned out — sick to death of Tax Returns and third-generation Juniors.
For 35+ years, I had helped Grandpa build his little empire, which he turned over to Dad (my generation) to maintain (work of a janitor), which then showed up on a silver platter for little third-generation Junior to waste.
Junior was born on third-base and will lie to convince you that he hit a home run. Arrogance and ignorance are a volatile mixture — when thrown in the face of education and experience.
Seeds of Opportunity: I learned what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and giving IT all away provides a path to true freedom.
One Lucky Guy
So, she’s absolutely right — I am one lucky guy. My journey is not much different than your own, or hers. The only possible difference is I have chosen to make the best of whatever the situation.
Although trained in probabilities as a CPA, my mind is open to the possibilities of good fortune — Seeds of Opportunity.