Good luck, bad luck -- it's all how you perceive your lot in life...
The Hamilton Spectator (Mar 18, 2009)
You lost your job -- how lucky can you get?
Luck is more a matter of perspective than it is the roll of the dice.
If luck is a matter of random chance then mathematically every one of us is equally lucky. Whether you think you are lucky or not is irrelevant. The real question is how lucky do you feel. Because, how you feel, will determine your actions and outcome.
Consider the passengers of the plane that crash landed in the Hudson River - were they lucky? You can imagine that there were moments during that scary nightmare that they cursed their luck. Yet upon the perspective of reflection they considered themselves extremely lucky. If you are someone who is afraid of flying you might consider yourself lucky for not being on that plane.
If you or a loved one has faced a fatal illness you can probably remember times when you demanded to know why you were so unlucky. After the recovery you might be thinking about how lucky you were. If that person perished -- you might be thinking about how lucky you were to have known them.
If you have recently left your job involuntarily -- it's natural for you to not be feeling lucky. Perhaps a perspective shift will spotlight your luck.
Why are you lucky to lose your job today?
If you lost your job today -- you have a lot of company and help available. And it's socially acceptable to tell your out-of-work story. Lucky you.
I entered the workforce in 1979 just as a recession was brewing. I lost my first job in 1979 and my second in 1980. My first reaction was -- don't let anybody know, especially family, friends and neighbours -- all the people who might have helped me. From 1979 to 1983 I had eight different jobs, sometimes two at the same time. I was supporting a young family with two children. The third child arrived at the end of 1983.
You could say that I was unlucky. One company went into bankruptcy three months after I joined them -- not my fault. And some of those jobs were horrible -- long hours, tiny pay and jerk bosses. Mortgage rates were skyrocketing to 18 per cent. I felt lucky when we locked in at 14 per cent.
I was lucky that I was willing to be adaptable, to tolerate the jabs to my pride and do whatever I needed to do to support my family. I was lucky that the bills were paid and we never went hungry. I was lucky that I believed that persistence would pay off. I was lucky that I decided to be bold. One job came after six months of follow-up, another after a year of follow-up. One job was the result of a creative resume that my predecessor had kept in his drawer. Just luck I guess.
Of course, looking back at my bad luck, I think how lucky I was. That taught me the lessons to build my own business and write my bestselling book on personal marketing.
Recently, the news quoted an individual who lost his job after 28 years. He was complaining. Meanwhile I was thinking how lucky he was -- for 28 years all he had to do was show up and do the same job every day.
How lucky can you get?
We are lucky people -- if you choose to be.
© George Torok who lives in Burlington.
He is a motivational speaker, bestselling author and radio show host.