The Truth About Luck



“It is a great piece of skill to know how to guide your luck even while waiting for it.”

– Baltasar Gracian

Luck has always been on my side.

I was extraordinarily lucky to be born in the United States into a middle class family in a small town in Eastern Oregon. I was lucky enough to be supported by a caring family and never have to worry about food or water. 

When I was a child I was lucky enough to have a father and mother that worked hard. They both worked full time and ran a horse farm that required all of their time and energy after they finished with their regular jobs. Sometimes I felt that that I wasn’t as important as all of their other responsibilities, but now I understand that mom and dad were doing their best to make a better life and follow their dreams. Years later, I was lucky enough to understand that this was my first lesson about working hard for what you believe in.

I was also lucky that my mother worked mostly secretarial jobs and probably wasn’t paid much more than minimum wage. Mom didn’t get paid what she was really worth and I am lucky because I decided to never let that happen to me.

I was lucky because dad worked a job that required him to leave for work at all times of the day or night. Dad did what it took to pay the bills and because of this, I realized that I wanted a better life where I was not at the call of an employer that could drag me from bed and keep me up all night.

And boy was I lucky to have attended average schools that had minimal expectations for me. This inspired me to want more and instilled in me the drive to do better, to go to college, to make the Dean’s Honor List, to get a well paying job with ‘normal’ hours, so that I’d never feel average like that again.

It’s as though I’ve had a good luck charm around my neck for the past forty years.

I’ve also been lucky enough to experience financial hardships and mistakes. I’m lucky enough to have made financial decisions out of fear and greed that cost me nearly everything. For without having made these decisions, I would not have gained the wisdom to approach life differently today.

I am lucky that I had to start over with my career, relationship and finances a few years ago. Without losing all of these things, I would have never gained an appreciation for what I now have.

I was lucky that my first marriage didn’t last. Without going through the pain of separation and divorce, I would have never met the most amazing woman in the world and married her.

I have been lucky enough to work at several great companies over my career. And I am lucky that three of them laid me off. By placing my income and career possibilities into someone else’s hands, I have learned the value in becoming self-sufficient and starting my own business.

I have been lucky enough to realize how important it is to only do the things you love. Otherwise, you’re running on a treadmill. And the treadmill will stop when you least expect it, cracking happiness into pieces.

I am lucky that I experienced personal financial challenges, unemployment and divorce all in the same year.

That kind of luck leaves a burning desire that NOTHING could ever top.

My luck continues. Six months ago, I was lucky enough to start blogging and begin surrounding myself with people that had created amazing businesses doing work they cared about. Today, I have a growing audience of people that care about what I have to say.

I am also very lucky that I had a coach challenge me to begin charging people for what I have to offer. Today, I coach a group of amazing people that value my experience and knowledge. And because of this, I have a growing income that will ease the transition out of my corporate job in August.

What about your luck? Have you lucked out and been fortunate to have gone through similar struggles? Have you been given the inspiration to work harder than ever, to explore new opportunities to take control of your future, and drive towards following your dreams and feeling ALIVE?

Are you one of the fortunate ones that was not born with a silver spoon so that you could learn the importance of adding value to the world in exchange for a fair return? Have you been lucky enough to fail again and again?

Never forget that failure isn’t bad. Failure isn’t final. In fact, failure is part of the process. Don’t let the fear of failure stop you from achieving the success you deserve. If you’re struggling, keep going. Keep taking at least one small action step each day.

From my perspective, failure is good luck. Without having failed multiple times, I would not have the amazing wife, business, friends and life that I have today.

A great thing to remember is that everybody in your situation has the same choice: you can regret your situation or you can appreciate it and dedicate yourself to changing it. Accept responsibility for your future. Refuse to complain, criticize, or condemn. If you want people to help you achieve your goals, then trust your intuition and seek out mentorship. Stop doubting it. Stop denying it. Have faith.

I can only hope you’ve been as lucky as I have over the years. So take that luck and leverage it. Keep moving towards the life that you really want. And remember, it only gets easier and better from here.

– Michael

P.S. Share an example of your luck and how it has shaped your life.

2 thoughts on “The Truth About Luck

  1. Julia G.

    What a nice post Michael. It’s true that we can all look around and recognize the luck we have that would be obvious to others and be grateful for that in times of challenge. And we do that one better when we find the luck/blessings of the challenges we face periodically in life, the luck that is not readily apparent to the casual observer.

    This year I have been lucky to experience the greatest financial challenges I have ever experienced. It got me off of that treadmill you speak of and allowed me the opportunity to reframe my idea of what is important in life. I am also lucky to have incredibly kind and generous friends, and I am lucky to have learned the value of making myself vulnerable and experiencing the beauty of accepting help from those who would offer it with love and generosity.

    And now, I am lucky to experience the exhilaration and gratitude that comes from rebuilding our financial house day by day.

    Thank you for the reminder of how lucky I am.

  2. Michael Knouse Post author

    Julia – Thank you for sharing your comments!

    Its easy to be grateful in times of relative ease but it’s a whole other story when life starts throwing curve balls your way. I find that these undesirable life situations can be where our greatest awakening happens. New, and maybe even untapped, levels of courage and resourcefulness are found and we gain invaluable wisdom from it.

    Congratulations on embracing the fear and uncertainty and using it to reframe what’s most important to you. You are indeed lucky and wonderful and perfect. And I am lucky to know you and be able to call you a friend.

    – Michael


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