lucky man

I’m feeling very lucky today. Seriously, it’s a good job Clint Eastwood isn’t about as he’d be in big trouble.

It’s another beautiful day in sunny rainy sunny cloudy England and the trees are now looking lovely and covered with bright green leaves. I don’t why but this morning is the first time I really noticed it this year.

More importantly Little TFS has started to go to bed around 8:30pm the last three nights so we’ve actually got a half an evening to relax and a decent nights sleep. A bit of a rest and the sun being out, it’s amazing how much of a difference this can make to your mental state of mind! 🙂


reasons to be grateful

I could probably stop there but I’ve never done a proper “gratitude journal” before so I would like to give it a shot and keep it as a record for any time I’m feeling a bit down in the dumps. This is supposed to be good way to keep your outlook on life positive, which makes sense as if you think about the positive things in your life more than the negative ones, well that basically is your outlook isn’t it? We are what we think to a large degree!

Here we go then. I’ll try to keep the mushy stuff to a minimum:

  • I have a lovely little daughter who, from reports from other recent parents, is on the whole a very well behaved baby 🙂
  • I have a beautiful wife who loves me dearly and supports me in all most of my whacky ideas.
  • I live in a sturdy house which keeps the rain off and provides more than enough room to keep all of our stuff.
  • I have a modest garden to chill out in, grow stuff and for baby T to play in when she’s older.
  • I live in such a prosperous and materially abundant society that you can acquire many nearly new items for next to nothing.
  • I have a great support network of family and friends.
  • I went to a great set of schools and got a good education.
  • I have on the whole great health and can enjoy being active with many sports and outdoor pastimes
  • I started this blog a few years ago and it’s paid me back in multiples on the hours I’ve spent on it. I’ve met some great people and increased my knowledge exponentially through starting this blog and it’s still providing me with unexpected and exciting opportunities today.
  • I have an employer that let me go part time when I requested it (well, after a bit of toing and froing) and therefore enjoy much more time to spend with above mentioned wife and daughter than the average working person 🙂
  • I am living in a ridiculously exciting time technology wise, and it is amazing to see what human ingenuity is coming up with each day to improve our lives.
  • I’m not living in a gutter, have made it through to the age of 34 with no major accidents, injuries or health scares, and have not been publicly shamed in a national newspaper for any reason 1

That last one was an attempt at negative visualisation. As well as focusing on being grateful on the positive things and avoiding thinking about anything negative, it is also a good idea IMHO to think about a few negative things that could have happened but have not done so. This in itself is surely a positive and another reason to be grateful!


lucky man

So, in the light of this interesting article in NY Mag about successful people not being able to admit that luck has played a part in their success (Thanks to the Monevator for pointing that one out in his consistently excellent weekly round up) I thought it was worth stating publicly:

Luck has been a massive factor in many of the awesome aspects about my life.

I just don’t get it when people cannot or will not admit that. It’s not like people are saying that their hard work and determination had nothing to do with their success, simply that luck in all likelihood must have played a part as well. In my mind it’s either that or they’re asserting that they are an omnipotent force that can control everything the universe…?!

This second scenario seems rather unlikely so I think it’s high time they admit that luck has indeed been a big factor in their path to success.

If you haven’t got time to read the article the gist of it is based on an interview of Robert Frank (who wrote a book about luck and success), a Fox business presenter Stuart Varney who gets all incredulous just because it is indirectly suggested that he may have been lucky to get where he is. The comments section as usual brings up some great points. In his rant he says:

“What about the RISK I took? Do you know what RISK is involved in coming to America with absolutely nothing?”

The obvious point here is that if the guy admits he took such large RISKS then he must have to admit that he has been somewhat fortunate for those risks to have panned out? Either that, or there was really no risk in the first place? He can’t have his cake and eat it!

Another commenter makes a very good point about the huge margin of error some people have whilst trying to get you to believe they’ve risked it all and come out a winner (Hello Donald Trump!??!):

{In the commenters mind Robert Frank tells a homeless guy} – “You were unlucky to be born in a country where people born with far larger margins for error stand in judgment of those who take the “easy way” out and sleep in the street.”


winner winner chicken dinner

There are clearly many issues here but I see the main one being that in the US and in the UK to a slightly lesser degree is the culture is to celebrate success so blindly. They love “winners” and that seems to be the only thing that matters, it doesn’t matter how they got there – again I’m thinking about Trump amongst many other cronies here. This guy is rich! Let’s not question for one moment what sort of privilege, luck or stupid risks they took to get there.

This sort of thinking breeds a culture of excessive risk taking and leads to things that set of financial crashes. Risk taking should be encouraged of course but not irresponsible risks that are often not borne by the people taking them.


the future?

I can see attitudes starting to change though and with things like the Panama Papers coming out shining a light on dodgy practices of the (usually already wildly)  successful and wealthy, more people are starting to question things deeply and ditch the successful = good / unsuccessful = bad knee jerk reaction.

Information wants to be free and the truth will out, and all that. It might take a fair few more years to get there but I like the general way things are moving and am once again feeling very lucky to be alive in these exciting times.


What do you think readers?! Do you believe in luck or hard work, or like most of us a bit of both?

Are you feeling lucky like me right now? What are you grateful for right now? Let me know!



Update/Further Reading: Be sure to check out this comic strip which really hammers home the point. Thanks to Andrew from LivingRichCheaply for posting the link in the comments below!


  1. Just to be clear, there is no reason why I would have been, that was just me being silly 😉