The Business of Being Lucky

August 05, 2010

Four Leafed Clover in Uvarovite Drusy (Photo:Kiff Backhouse)

Luck or Choice?

Recently, a friend visiting from the UK commented on how lucky I was to be living in France and to enjoy my work. Actually, I do feel pretty lucky. When I look at my life, I love what I see. However, another friend instantly countered the idea of my situation being simply a matter of luck. He pointed out that I was living this life as a result of the choices I’d made.

You know what? He’d made a point. Yes, yes, I know that it’s a turn of phrase, but it’s also an important idea. Whereas luck is associated with things happening by chance, I’m living this life because I chose to – and took action.

Choosing to Change

Twelve years ago my life was entirely different. With a good job and a nice house, I was – in the eyes of society – successful.

Then I had an “Is this it?” moment. You ever had one of those?

Right now, I’m sat in the garden of our ancient home in the Languedoc region of France. Our Labrador is at my feet, our Terrier is transfixed by the lizards that come out at this hour and the air is filled with the unrelenting “noise” of the cicadas. My glass of cold white wine has left a watery circle on the slate table top we brought with us when we moved here from the UK. I’ve had an absorbing day in my jewellery workshop making one of my unique compass creations.  I am content.

Inspiration to Choose

Perhaps today’s compass jewellery creation will inspire someone somewhere to choose their direction and be as “lucky” as I am. I hope so.

Isn’t it great that we can choose our direction and that it’s not all down to luck?


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  1. Anonymous

  2. veronica

    RT @rockwaterstudio The Business of Being Lucky – my exact reaction when people say I'm "lucky". Not luck, work!

  3. Julie Walraven | Resume Services

    Hi Gee, a wise friend for sure. Life is rarely luck. It is a combined force of hard work, talent, research, and as you say action. I have made choices throughout my career. Some of which are great, some I wish I had sought more advice (or been hit on the head) 🙂 but each step is a learning process.

    Teddy, our German Shepherd, is sleeping on the floor of my office, his duties are ended for the moment. Tough being the receptionist.

    • Gee Backhouse

      Hi Julie, great to read your comments! Life is so much BIGGER if you put your mind to it – which you clearly have.
      Connie, our Terrier, has been sunbathing today. For some reason she thought it was a day off from guarding us!

  4. Jim Connolly

    Execellent post Gee!

    Personally, I find that the harder I work, the luckier I get.

    • Gee Backhouse

      Thanks for commenting Jim! Never a truer word. I guess we’ll keep at it!

  5. Christine Livingston

    Hi Gee,

    I had one of these “is this it?” moments some years ago too. I was doing a massive consulting leadership role, that all of my friends and colleagues thought was awesome. But it was taking 18 hours of my time daily, 7 days a week and I was routinely away from home and living out of a suitcase. Bizarrely my question came after a huge accolade for some work I’d had to do all nighters to pull off. The praise felt empty, and I had to ask myself whether this was what I really, really wanted. I decided it wasn’t and got brave about admitting what I really did want. Then began the process of reinvention. 6 months later I quit the corporation to set up my own business. That was eleven years ago and I’ve never looked back!

    As you said in your tweet to me yesterday, I do have great worklife balance. But luck has nothing to do with this. I’ve set my mind to achieving it, and redirected my energies in the process. Still, because I’ve done it for myself, it now gives me a fabulous resource to lean on when I’m coaching other people to achieve similar results.

    Thanks for such a lovely post, and such a beautiful picture. So inspiring!

    • Gee Backhouse

      Hello Christine,
      Thank you so much for your comments. A great, real life example of the difference between what everyone else thinks is awesome, and what you really want. That you’ve also become even more resourceful through your own energy and attitude is inspiration for us all!
      Glad you liked the picture – it’s soon to be set into one of my gold compass jewellery creations!

  6.  JaneCWoods

    What do you think? Is @rockwaterstudio lucky – or talented and bold! I subscribe to the latter view.