‘Damn lucky’ is what I have been branded, pretty much all my life. And I wouldn’t much deny it either. But is that really such a simple analysis to make?
When I speak for myself, I’d say – yes, ‘coz I’ve lived this life, and chosen to believe the ‘good’ has far out numbered the ‘bad’.
When others say it though – it sounds, well, ignorant to begin with, and unimaginative and (unfortunately, sorry to say) wallowing in self-pity.
Let me take it from the top. I’ve had a comfortable and happy life. My biggest asset is my family. No matter what, I know they’ll stand by me.
Yes, I do see that’s a problem for many around me, and I really can’t thank existence enough for giving this ultimate blanket of security.
Professionally, I’ve always done exactly what I wanted to. I quit my big corporate job at a prestigious law firm because I wasn’t really feeling it. Yes, I was lucky, to be able to make that choice, without any guilt.
Couple years, many art classes, and considerable disapproving comments (of throwing away a career) later, I dreamt of starting my business. Few months into it, my partner dumped me, the business and refuse to settle accounts. But I was lucky to gather myself and move on, trust another person and follow the dream.
With no formal business or design background, I naturally fell flat on my face, several times while I ran my design based venture. But we still did a good job of taking the business national, with retail across stores in different cities of India and online. Leave hard work, passion and determination out of the equation, and you can attribute that completely to luck.
Then came another big decision – continue to stay in my city, near my family, do what I love doing the most, or leave all that behind and move to another country. ‘Oh, you’re making the choice for love, how lucky!’ Sure enough, I was, to be able to make a choice and I moved.
As ‘lucky’ as I do agree I have been, in always being able to look onward and upward, the choices haven’t been easy.
Quitting the job did mean throwing away a career, which came with its repercussions (mainly of being lost for couple of years, trying to find myself). At the time, I didn’t feel very lucky about what life was throwing at me.
Being dumped by a trusted business partner after I’d invested money into my dream, before it even took off, wouldn’t quite qualify as luck either 😉
Fighting many battles, including within myself, to start over and keep going, despite personal setbacks for the next few years, was tough, to say the least.
Finally, letting it all go, once again, to trust once again that the decision (both personal and professional) will pay off was also a gamble.
Sure enough, it paid off. It mostly has. But I’ve had misses and I still do.
Is luck subjective then? Lets see what ‘being lucky’ means to me:
– the ability to do the work you enjoy
– the ability to make a difference with your work
– the ability to live close to your family and have Sunday lunches together
– the ability to travel solo, to gather the biggest and best experiences of life.
If I were to analyze the above on ‘luck parameter’, currently I’d give myself:
Pretty unlucky (my parents and my brother live in a different country)
Sure I have securities like finance and a loving loving family, and I value that very much. But you may have the ability to explore your optimal life in terms of living exactly where you want and how you want. That, you can’t appreciate it is what makes you unlucky and my ability to see it (despite wavering beliefs at times) is perhaps what makes me lucky.
This reminds me of a note I wrote to myself, long ago, at a time when I was making some really tough existential choices. And I look back at it, each time I am faced with the ‘pressure of conforming’ (though I don’t consider myself a non-conformist, I have made several obvious/ordinary choices in life).
“all I ever really wanna be, is myself”
And I struggle with that, just as much as everyone does. The only difference between my struggle and someone else’s, is that I see others struggling as well.
Luck, in that sense, to me is a pretty frivolous concept. It’s the ability to see the silver lining that matters. And then, it’s upto you to attribute it to either perspective or simplify it as ‘luck’.
Brings me to another thought I had made a note of:
…I may not be wise, but I have a perspective…
…I have my flaws and I realise that…
…If I don’t love you, I don’t hate you either…
For this perspective, I thank Yoga, where I learn the importance of ‘balance’ and ‘being grounded’ in an asana. And I thank my Guruji, for making me realize the context of asanas in life.
Was I merely lucky to have stumbled on Iyengar yoga? No, I took myself to it and I work really hard each day to learn and grow.