Being Lucky

What’s luck?

After the recent floods here, people would ask how we went, and when I said that insurance would cover the damage, they would say “that’s lucky”.

When I said that the flood almost but not quite hit the floorboards of our high set house, they said “how lucky were you?”

No. No we are not. We did our research on flood heights, and although this one was unprecedented we had chosen an area slightly higher than the surroundings. We had flood insurance because the river is only 4 blocks away, and I double checked our insurance company to ensure we had cover specifically for riverine flooding. None of that was luck.

My luck is quite simply composed of a lot of hard work.

It’s not lucky to have savings to tide you over. It requires putting money aside in the good times.

It’s not luck that I had gumboots at a recent medieval event - I have been to that event before, know the terrain and how it reacts to rain AND I looked at the weather forecast! Then I went and specifically bought gumboots for that event.

It’s not lucky to run a successful business. It’s not lucky to have well behaved (within reason) children and pets.

What people talk about as “Luck” is all about taking control of what is actually in your control.

It requires thinking about ‘worst case scenario’ and saying ‘what if?’. It requires regular maintenance on vehicles and equipment. It requires buying insurance. It requires looking for opportunities and oddly enough, taking risks.

There are of course those chaotic events that no-one can predict. But the worst of a piece of bad luck can be mitigated by a little preparation, such as a storm shelter. Don’t buy lotto tickets, buy insurance.

And while we are on the topic of bad luck, I’m sure you know people who attribute to bad luck things which could have been prevented with an ounce of common sense and a lick of maintenance. There are people who are accident and bad luck prone, but when you look more closely at their behaviour, you will see a lot of things which could have been prevented, or at least minimised.

Many people in my suburb had the bad luck of having to be rescued from their houses by boat or helicopter. Why? at least some of those rescues were because people paid no attention, were complacent, and didn’t evacuate when the warnings went out.

To a great extent, you make your own luck.

Be prepared for shit to happen to you. Wear gumboots.


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