Good Luck – Bad Luck

At church services the other day, we heard a story that made me think.  You see there was this farmer with a small farm.  He had only one son and one horse to help him work the farm.  One day, the horse ran away.  His neighbors stopped by and tried to console him saying, ‘What bad luck.  We are so sorry.’

However, the farmer said, ‘Good Luck – Bad Luck.  How do you know?’

One morning several days later, the farmer had just left his house when he sees galloping toward him his horse leading a small herd of wild horses right to the farm.  When his neighbors heard that the farmer’s horse returned and brought along some wild horses they told the farmer, ‘What good luck.  Now you’ll have enough horses to work the farm without having to work your one horse so hard.’

The farmer said, ‘Good Luck – Bad Luck.  How do you know?’

Several days later, the farmer’s son tried to ride one of the wild horses and fell and broke his leg so he could not help with the farm work for several weeks.  The neighbors stopped by to say, ‘Sorry to hear about your son breaking his leg.  With the harvest time coming soon, that is really bad luck.’

The farmer said, ‘Good Luck – Bad Luck.  How do you know?’

A week later the local militia came through the valley and conscripted all of the young men into fighting a war against a neighboring country.  However, when they got to the farmer’s house, they saw that the farmer’s son had a broken leg.  They told the farmer, ‘We cannot take your son into our militia with his broken leg.  He will have to stay with you.’

Good Luck – Bad Luck.  How do you know?

Ok, the point of this story was simply that life is a complex interwoven matrix of events in which one event influences the next event, sometimes in surprisingly unexpected ways.  Over the last several years while the economy tanked, I have had several friends lose their jobs.  On the surface, most people would say that losing your job would definitely qualify as bad luck.  And in all honesty, it has been for some of them as they struggle to find new employment.  However, a larger number have found other positions, some very quickly after losing their old job.  In most cases these jobs are more rewarding both financially and from a career point of view than their old jobs.

Does this mean that you should purposely go out and try to lose your current job.  No, not at all.  However, sometimes when one door closes a window of opportunity opens.

We just got back from graduation ceremonies for our daughter who received her PhD in Pharmacology.  The good news is that she has a job for the next year working as a resident at the local Orlando VA.  The bad news is that the Orlando VA is building a new hospital to replace the current clinic and as of today, they have announced that there will be another delay in opening the facility.  What will happen when her residency ends if the new facility is not open?  Will they still be able to keep her on?  Will she have to look somewhere else?  It is way too early to tell.

If you read the stories of successful entrepreneurs, you may have heard stories about how they failed repeatedly before finally succeeding.  Actors and performers often work at their craft for years making barely enough money to live on until suddenly the stars align and they become an overnight success.  Sure, there are entrepreneurs who never succeed and the actors or performers who never make it out of the local town shows.  At the same time, there are those who never seemed to have suffered a downturn in their life and were successful from day one.  The one factor that seems to make a difference between those who eventually succeed and those that fail is that those who really love what they do and keep at it no matter what are in a better position to take advantage of good luck the next time it comes around.  Even when a spell of bad luck seems to follow them around, they continue to look for that next opportunity.

What good luck have you had recently?  Did bad luck precede it or follow it?  If you have had bad luck recently, I know it is hard to get through those times.  However, no matter how bad things seem to get, opportunity may be just around the corner as long as you keep looking for it.  What types of opportunities are looking for you to turn your bad luck into good luck?

C’ya next time.

BTW: I’ll be speaking at SharePoint Saturday in Orlando on June 9th ( and at IT Pro Camp in Jacksonville on June 16th (  Stop by to say, “Hello.”


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