How Lucky Can You Get?

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award winning performanceAs a professional speaker, I spend a lot of time in airports. In fact, I just returned from about two weeks on the road, and I noticed something interesting about people when they’re in airports. What I noticed was this:

A lot of people in an airport begin their sentences with the phrase, “With my luck…”

“With my luck…

  • …the flight will be delayed.”
  • …I’ll end up in a middle seat.”
  • …the guy in front of me will violently recline his seat the instant the plane takes off.” (And, by the way, please stop doing this, people!)
  • …there’ll be a crying infant sitting behind me (perhaps if I violently recline my seat…?).”
  • …the movie will star Rob Schneider.”

With my luck.

Well, let’s take a look at your luck:

  1. You’re reading this. That means you were born. The odds against that are, literally, 20 million to one. And that’s just during “the act” itself. Now factor in the odds of each of the two people involved in “the act” being born; surviving disease, accidents, and/or wars; meeting; falling in love; and all the other things that got them to “the act.” And now multiply these odds by every preceding generation since life began. The chances of you being here are infinitesimally small.
  2. You’re still alive. Like the generations before you that led to you being born, you’ve survived starvation (much of the world doesn’t), disease (ditto), accidents (ditto), and appearing on Fear Factor (although that won’t actually kill you, I think a little part of your soul must die if you’re on that show).
  3. You’re at an airport. That means you have both the money and the freedom to travel. True, you may not be going on a dream vacation to Tahiti; you might be on a business trip to Cleveland (apologies to Cleveland—you’re a wonderful city). But the fact remains that you have both the financial resources (or, if not yours, access to somebody elses) and the political freedom to get on an airplane and fly to a far away destination.
  4. You have a working brain. While you may have friends who will dispute this, the actual evidence shows that, 1) you managed to somehow get dressed and find your way to the airport; 2) you are capable of constructing rudimentary (and perhaps even complex) sentences in the English language; and, because you’re reading this, 3) you have some basic reading skills. You are, arguably, a functioning adult, capable of having thoughts, ideas, hopes and dreams. And, unlike much of the world, you actually have the possibility of achieving many, if not most, of those hopes and dreams.
  5. Somebody, somewhere, loves you. I don’t know this for certain, of course. But I’d wager that somewhere on this planet there is another human being who thinks about you, who cares about you, and who wants you to be happy. In other words, there’s somebody for whom you matter. Don’t shrug this off. It’s a big deal.

So the next time you start to whine about “your luck,” remember this: you hit the jackpot. Even if you’re in a middle seat with a crying baby behind you and an idiot with his seat in full recline in front of you.

You hit the jackpot. How lucky can you get?


About the Author:

29-time Emmy Award winner and Hall of Fame keynote speaker Bill Stainton, CSP is an expert on Innovation, Creativity, and Breakthrough Thinking. He helps leaders and their teams come up with innovative solutions — on demand — to their most challenging problems.
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