Why it’s not a question of luck
Last Friday I celebrated my 40th birthday and had the absolute best time ever. I received numerous messages on social media telling me how lucky I was, and it was very tempting to say things like “I feel so lucky” or “I count my lucky stars every night” etc. However the more I thought about it the more I realised it’s not a question of luck.
This is where you may disagree with me, but let me explain.
You see whilst I believe there is an element of luck / fate / written in the stars about what happens to us in life, I equally believe that a HUGE part of what happens is our reaction to these events.
It all depends on how you react to the cards you are dealt.
Here are some examples from my own life, with the cards dealt to me and how I reacted each time.
My boyfriend of 3 years, who I’d bought a house with, told me he didn’t love me and left me for his colleague
After an initial mourning period – not eating, feeling worthless, wanting to dye my hair to look like said colleague, get him back etc – I thought “F*ck you! You don’t deserve me”.
I just kept thinking to myself “there is someone out there who is going to love me like crazy”, I didn’t focus on any traits of this person, I just repeated this idea in my head.
Once I’d got over my initial mourning I accepted every invite that came my way – dinners at friend’s houses, roller blading evenings, nights out, everything. I’m a sociable being and staying in on my own at home was hard when I was newly single.
Then one night, 3 months after the final break-up between my boyfriend and me, I went out for Saturday night drinks with my friend.
It just so happens that that night Hubs was also out, in Nice, in the same bar as us, for Saturday night drinks with his friends.
Luck put us in the same bar at the same time. But that is where luck stopped.
You see I could have ignored him – my friend did – I could have gone home that night none the wiser.
BUT I started chatting to him, and chatting, and chatting, all evening.
This led to him asking for my number and texting me after the weekend.
Which led to us meeting up for drinks during the week with a bunch of his friends (he was out in my neck of the woods).
Which led to me asking him out for a quick post-work drink the next day.
Which led to the longest post-work drink (until 1am) as we laid out flat how we felt about each other.
Luck did not feature anymore.
Hubs having the balls to end his existing relationship to be with someone he’d just met was not down to luck.
Gut instinct and courage allowed me to take the risk of starting a new relationship with someone – especially someone who was ending a previous relationship i.e. the same way my previous relationship had ended.
Luck put us in the same bar at the same time. Our actions shaped everything that happened next. Including moving in together after 3 months and getting engaged after 6 months.
Hubs’ and my business was hit by the recession and we had to close it
These are the cards that luck dealt us. We had set up a luxury travel agency, organising bespoke holidays to the French Riviera (where we were living). We had a young child (L was just 2 when we closed the business down) and we were both working in the business.
Whilst Hubs worked on closing the business down I set about finding a job. It wasn’t easy as there was a recession on in France (like most of the world) and France doesn’t take easily to failed entrepreneurs.
Every day I got up and job-hunted solidly for a whole working day.
Until I found a job working for a self-proclaimed witch. Not the best job I’ve ever had…
We bumbled on for a year and a half with each of us having horrible work experiences until we realised that France – and in particular the French Riviera – was not going to cut it for us work-wise.
This was the situation that luck had put us in, and it was up to us to decide how to act with the cards we’d been dealt.
So we decided to move to the UK, to London.
We packed up our life in France, sold 80% of our belongings and moved in with my parents whilst we job-hunted and house-hunted.
Luck dealt us a nasty blow, but our move to London brought us a whole new life, new jobs and new friends, which we absolutely loved.
We arrived in London with no jobs, no home and some savings
Not overly lucky then! So we set about job-hunting. We gave ourselves one week’s break after we arrived and then hit the ground running.
We spent 8 hours a day sending CVs, looking at job ads and writing application letters.
So was it luck that saw us get great jobs, with Hubs tripling his French salary and me doubling mine? Or was it dogged determination?
Did we move to Mauritius because we are lucky?
So many people have told me how lucky we are to be able to move here. But let’s break down where luck came into it…
Hubs has been trading on the stock market for himself and his family for around 16 years.
In 2012 he decided to set up a blog, in French, to share his experiences of trading for yourself, Bourse Ensemble, which means “stock market together”.
Whilst working hard at a 6 figure, demanding job he came home and wrote blog posts and shared his love for trading online. (He also carried on being a fab husband and father too.)
By the end of 2013 he had such a big following and such a big demand from others to know more about “how” he did it that he decided to set up an online training course, teaching others how to invest in the stock market for themselves and their personal finances.
But he couldn’t do that whilst working full-time in a high-power job.
We made the decision to tighten our belts (we didn’t want to touch any trading money), for Hubs to leave his job, and for us to live off my salary. Whilst it was a decent second salary it wouldn’t touch our financial needs as renters in London, so we would be using our savings – otherwise known as a deposit for a house – to live off.
When I told friends this was what we had decided to do (bearing in mind that Hubs was walking away from a 6 figure salary, not to mention some massive stock options) the reactions were pretty big:
“You’re crazy! How are you going to pay the rent?!”
“And you’re letting him do it?!”
“You need to tell him to grow up and to accept his responsibilities – he’s not a teenager anymore, he’s got two kids to think of!”
Despite all the above comments and more we went ahead with the plans.
It was hard financially but Hubs was happy and people loved his training course and found it hugely helpful.
Less than a year and a half after he left his job Hubs announced to me that we could now live anywhere where we had good internet. We no longer needed to live in London with its job possibilities as a back-up plan if he had to go back to work.
Luck led us to researching Mauritius, but the decision to move here and the ability to move here came from Hubs’ hard work and from us taking (calculated) risks.
Did I have the most amazing birthday because I’m lucky?
I’m lucky that Hubs was in that bar that day. Everything else has come down to decisions we’ve made and the people we are.
He organised an incredible birthday for me because that’s what we do for each other. We constantly make an effort in our relationship because we want the other person to be happy, and that in turn makes us happy.
There is no luck involved there.
In fact you might say I was unlucky as I was supposed to have a surprise boat trip on Saturday with a dozen of our friends on a boat privatised just for our use. Sadly the weather meant we have had to postpone it, which meant Saturday was spent playing musical sun loungers as we dodged the rain, before giving up and going to a museum.
It was disappointing but I still had some one-on-one time with my husband, and the boat trip will be done another day when the weather is better.
For me it’s not a question of luck. It’s about what you do with the cards that are dealt to you and your take on what life hands out. So I have banned lucky from my vocabulary now unless I’m talking about horse racing.
I am happy. I am grateful. Life is great. Luck has very little to do with it.
What do you think? Has luck played a role in your life or do you think you create your own luck? Do you feel lucky or unlucky in life? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
I’m going to run a free webinar soon and it will be for you if any of the following applies to you:
- you struggle to make decisions
- you’re afraid of change
- you don’t know which risks to take and which to avoid
- you have fears around all of this (fear of making the wrong decision, fear of change, fear of other people’s opinions of the decisions you make, fear of failure etc).
A little bit of background for those who don’t know me…
10 years ago I had just moved into my forever home, which we’d seen go from architect’s plans to our family home, I was pregnant with my first child, and in a good, well-paid job. In the last decade we have sold the forever home, moved country twice (including to one where we know no one and have never visited, in Africa), I have given up two good, well-paid jobs to set up on my own and known failure and success.
I get emails from you, my lovely readers, every day asking me how I / we made those decisions, and asking for advice. So I thought I’d share how I’ve done it, the thought processes I go through and more. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in please drop me a line with your time zone and what time/day would suit you: FranglaiseMummy@gmail.com