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Lucky or Fortunate?

By October 28, 2014Advice, Business

IMG_0073I sit on my back deck, look out at my little piece of paradise, and think how fortunate I am. Very often visitors to our place will tell us how lucky we are to have it, but I can tell you luck had nothing to do with it. In my mind, there is a great deal of difference between good luck and good fortune.

Like most things, living where we do comes at a cost. Sacrifices have been made, costs incurred, alternatives closed off, because we chose to live where we do. It comes at a cost, but is a cost we are delighted to incur. Our good fortune also comes with two hours a day commute, about 700 kilometres a week, endless hours of maintaining the property (the garden just gets bigger), no town water, few regular social excursions (it’s too far, and who wants to do even more driving), paying for garbage collection, and no Takeaway! (fish and chips get cold and soggy by the time you get them home).

So when someone tells me I’m lucky, my usual reply is “Not lucky, fortunate, and you can be too, if you want to be”. My view is that luck is something that happens to you, and is not impacted by any action or decision on your part. Good fortune is something that you can actively pursue, and you should.

Lucky outcomes are completely outside of your control. You can let the world do what it will to you, and hope that the outcome is what you want. But what if it isn’t? Are you prepared to not take an active part in deciding the outcome, or is the roll of the dice enough? As “doers” and “control freaks”, my wife and I decided a couple of decades ago that a property such as this one is what we wanted. We evaluated the costs and disadvantages of moving from the city, (underestimated of course) worked out a plan to achieve our goal, and executed the plan. We were active participants in achieving our own good fortune.

In another piece (link here) I wrote of the danger of using lack of time as an excuse to not do something. Nowhere is this more important than in doing the things you need to do to ensure your good fortune. Nearly everything we do or have in life involves a choice, usually the sacrifice of one thing for a more desirable other thing. This is exactly how I feel about our little farm (or rather large garden). It is also how you could think about those financial things that you know you need to do to secure you future good fortune. You need to decide what it is that you wantdownload tomorrow, then make a decision as to what you are prepared to give up today so you can have it.

The alternative of course is to rely on luck, are you prepared to do that? If you are, best buy a lottery ticket. On your way back would you mind picking up some fish and chips, I miss them.

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