Why We Need to Stop Questioning When Life Goes Right
I would never consider myself a lucky person.
Quite the opposite, to be honest.
Growing up it always seemed like I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Like when I was running just a little too close behind my brother and my finger got slammed in our basement door. Or when I was used as an example by the Newark PD to convince the rest of the UD campus not to drink underage (did it work guys?). Or when my life was changed directly before my eyes on more than one occasion, completely out of my control.
I don’t believe that life happens from luck, but I do believe people get lucky.
I believe that life happens from exploring your passions and interests and letting yourself be vulnerable, creative, and engaged. It happens from making a continuous choice to grow. I believe the universe puts things in our paths and it’s up to us to decide what to do with them.
But I do believe that we all get lucky at some point—and it’s time we stop apologizing for these moments.
Maybe it’s your dream job reaching out to you.
Maybe it’s your miracle baby holding your finger for the first time.
Maybe it’s the trip of a lifetime that just fell into your lap when you least expected it.
Whatever your experience with fortune may be, each one shares the same indescribable characteristics that can only be summed up into one word: lucky.
These moments deserve to be celebrated while we’re in them, because they are what will carry us through the less-than-lucky times.
Asking the Wrong Questions
Humans have this strange habit of questioning our luck.
Do I deserve this? Is something bad going to happen now? Am I wrong for enjoying this moment?
It’s a lot easier for us to accept the unfortunate times because they’re usually beyond our control. We can put the blame on the Universe or the bartender down the street or the government or anyone else but, at the end of the day, it's usually just bad luck. And it happens to all of us.
But shouldn’t it be the same for the fortunate times?
Shouldn’t we just accept it as “luck”, enjoy it, and continue living life, embracing the eb & flow of fortune?
Instead of questioning the good times, we need to turn our inquiries to their opposites and change the questions.
Is there any good to be found in this situation? What is this moment trying to teach me?
Reframing Thought Patterns
When I started to reframe my life and ask questions like these at my lowest, I’ve found illuminating answers in the strangest of places.
For example, I felt lucky when I met Billy.
I felt fortunate that someone as passionate, strong, and experienced as him would want to spend so much time with me. It makes sense now, because I’ve learned we share so many similar qualities. But from the start, I felt lucky he saw something deeper in me than most had seen before.
I didn’t feel lucky on July 4, 2021 when our business burnt down before our eyes.
But when the smoke cleared and the crowd fizzled out, I felt lucky I had him to hold on to as our lives changed against our will and wishes.
Now, I am more than lucky that our building (& business) is on it’s way back and we are rising from the ashes, together.
I felt lucky I was still close to my best friends from high school over 10 years later.
I felt fortunate to be able to open my home, heart, and mind to them with each turn our lives took.
I didn’t feel lucky when they decided to show their true colors at a time I needed them most.
But when I was finally able to give myself the closure I was desperate for, I've come to find just how lucky I am that I was given the chance to accept them for who they are and adjust my life accordingly.
Now, I am more than lucky for the abundance of authenticity and support that surrounds me.
And when it comes to losing my father, it was a lot harder to find the “lucky” part of that. And I still struggle today, 12 years later, but I just keep reminding myself how lucky I am for those 13 years I had with him and for the army of people he left to love me. I'm lucky he lived a life that is still being celebrated today by so many. I'm lucky for the parts of him that live on through me, like his excitement for life and his "nothing can stop me" attitude.
There's Beauty in Balance
What makes life so beautiful is that balance of lucky and unlucky. Fortunate and unfortunate. Good and bad.
No one is perpetually unfortunate, even if you think you are. Trust me (and ask my mom), I’ve been there…crying about how unlucky I am and that the Universe hates me and wah wah wah.
I've come to realize that doing this allows the unfortunate to consume you, thus fogging your vision and blocking you from finding the silver lining that’s always there.
If you force yourself to clear away the cloud of misfortune, you’ll come to see there’s luck to be found in the strangest of places.
Like the Grateful Dead (& Buffett) say: 🎶Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right 🎶
You have to force yourself to look at it like this:
You’re lucky for the people around you as you face your difficult days.
You’re lucky for the opportunity to improve yourself every day.
You’re lucky for the motivation to look deeper into life.
You’re lucky for the breath you’re taking right now.
And isn’t that all something to celebrate?
Right Place, Right Time
Billy came home from getting his haircut in April and said: “We’re going to Croatia.”
I said, “What?”
We had talked about a lot of trips—we had taken a lot of trips— but we never really mentioned Croatia. I had already been (😉) and it wasn’t highest on my list to go back (very, very silly of me!)
As millions of questions raced through my mind and directly out of my mouth, Billy said something that I’ll remember forever:
“There’s some things in life you just don’t question.”
That’s funny, because I question EVERYTHING. Why am I like this? Why do you do that? Who put that there? When will this happen? What are you thinking about?
But something about the way Billy said this made me reflect…Why do we question when things go right?
Sure, it’s easy to feel lucky as you’re sailing around Croatia on a yacht, getting ready to visit your best friend in London on the way home. But these moments, whatever they may look like for you, are the reward of growth. These are the moments you DESERVE, because everyone deserves for something to go right every now and then. These are the moments you’ve worked for, dreamed of, and manifested.
Carrying these moments of happiness, joy and fulfillment with you at all times is what's going to help you grow through the moments you feel anything but. Remembering that you once got lucky, and will again, reminds you that every storm runs out of rain and every bad day comes to an end. There are better times just on the horizon, and there's always something good to be found in each day--even the worst ones.
So let yourself enjoy the lucky moments instead of questioning them. Let yourself be present, because you won’t feel this lucky forever. Savor those moments where life just makes sense, and stop asking so many questions 😊
I understand this is a strange time to talk about “luck” in the current social and political climate. There has been so much loss and hurt recently and, while I am unable to change any legislature or cure cancer, I am able to use my voice and my words to make the world around me a better, kinder, brighter place.
I think the most important thing we can do right now is just be good--to ourselves and to one another. Just do our best to be our best and leave warmth behind us, not a cold shoulder.
If we've learned anything recently it's that we don't have much time on this Earth...it's important we use it.