“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
Have you experienced the illusory nature of so-called “good luck” and “bad luck”?
There is a Chinese story of a farmer who used an old horse to till his fields. One day, the horse escaped into the hills and when the farmer’s neighbors sympathized with the old man over his bad luck, the farmer replied, “Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?”
A week later, the horse returned with a herd of horses from the hills and this time the neighbors congratulated the farmer on his good luck. His reply was, “Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?”
Then, when the farmer’s son was attempting to tame one of the wild horses, he fell off its back and broke his leg. Everyone thought this very bad luck. Not the farmer, whose only reaction was, “Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?”
Some weeks later, the army marched into the village and conscripted every able-bodied youth they found there. When they saw the farmer’s son with his broken leg, they let him off. Now was that good luck or bad luck?
I have experienced the meaning of this story. Many of my lowest lows turned out, with the passage of time, to have been important and necessary steps on the path to some of my highest highs.
Fired into Entrepreneurship
In January 2004, I was fired because my employer and I had strong differences in how we thought the company should move forward. Ten months later, I launched my first significant entrepreneurial venture as the Founder and President of a technology company.
The following ten years were full of highs and lows, good luck and bad luck, some of my best professional times, and some of my worst. At the end of the story, my horses came home. We sold the company, which provided me the time and resources to launch Happy Living.
Feeling Our Way
At Happy Living, our mission is crystal clear: to improve the health and wellbeing of the world, one person at a time. However, exactly how we will get that done is a little murky.
We research and experiment with concepts, products, and resources that promote our health and happiness… so we can share what we learn with you!
We are having excellent success with our blog posts. Our library is expanding (this is #139), our community is growing, and our readers tell us they like what they are getting. GOOD LUCK.
We are not having success selling our retreats.
First, we tried an Epic Adventure. We planned an exclusive, adults-only, luxury getaway for individuals looking to experience a mix of joy, learning, and relaxation — all with their toes in the Cozumel sand. We couldn’t sell enough tickets to make it work. BAD LUCK.
Rather than cancel our Arizona plans entirely, our co-host Karen Conover suggested we hold a free event at her Tae Kwan Do studio. GOOD LUCK.
We changed the format into a workshop focused on turning inspiration into action – the topic of the book I am writing right now! If you are in Northern Arizona on Saturday, August 22nd and would like to join us for this inspiring and free event, click here for more information.
I believe all aspects of life, the highs and lows, are necessary on the way towards our unique destiny. Even though I may not understand a difficult burden in my path, or why a business idea fails, I trust a greater power is guiding the way.
I try my best to allow each experience to unfold naturally, without judgment or the need to control, and then learn from it.
We intend to keep researching and experimenting with concepts, products, and resources that promote health and happiness… and we’ll be listening carefully to you, our Happy Living family, as we feel our way towards our mission.
Image via Death to the Stock Photo | Thank you for reading & supporting Happy Living!