Monday, 1 October 2012

You make your own luck? Really?

You make your own luck.

When I heard that saying as a teen, I was totally ticked off. It was so obviously bull****. In my experience, every time I went to a new school (only 13 of them), I wondered how those un-bullied kids “made” their own luck. It seemed obvious that as my parents made capricious (to me) decisions about where to move next, I was at the mercy of the system… the location, the school administration, the local bully. I was tiny, young among my grade peers, and… new. Fresh meat. Many bruises, one concussion, and all those wounded feelings (now currently protected by ballistic resistant armour) were the result. Little wonder that at 17 I was out and on my own, with a certain and tough exterior.

If you read the current literature on happiness or resilience or even on gratitude (which leads to happiness and resilience), it becomes clear even to this foggy brain that happiness has little (or nothing) to do with circumstances, and everything to do with attitude. We are often powerless to change the events; the only power we have is how we will respond. This is a sneaky power, and a little like trying to start a fire at a wet campsite: for the power to spring into full action it needs attention, careful feeding of fuel, a wisp of breath (but not too much) before it can spring into flame.

I choose to find happiness from here on in. I can’t change my circumstances, but oh heck, I can choose my response, and my choice is to find happiness in all situations. I know I’m gonna fail some days, that’s okay. While failure is an option, it’s not a sentence handed down by a judge. From here on in, I’m going to make my own luck. Hallelujah!

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