In many ways I’ve been unlucky these past few months.

I fell at a gas station and injured my hip (now it’s fine); my checking account got hacked (it’s been fixed); on a busy street my car’s transmission stopped working and the transmission had to be replaced (costing $7000 – don’t buy a Ford Escape). 

…And Good Luck

Of course, lucky things have happened too:  my friends provided great support; my house is warm and comfy; I got a good trade-in for my lousy Ford Escape; I enjoy my work, etc.

So, when I heard billionaire Japanese investor, Masayoshi Son (seen in the photo), talking about luck on a recent interview on YouTube, I perked up.  This is a man who has made hundreds of millions of dollars and lost hundreds of millions.

Luck and Success

New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin asked Masayoshi Son, “How important is luck to your success?”

The billionaire replied, “In life you get unlucky things and lucky things.  It comes almost equally; it’s a mix of events every year – like a roller coaster.” He added, “I work hard to capture the lucky things and then work hard to solve the unlucky things.  The end result is my responsibility.”

Mistakes

When asked about mistakes, Masayoshi Son said, “Some people don’t admit mistakes; they make excuses.  I accept and admit mistakes.  I accept a bad decision and learn quickly from it, so I don’t repeat the mistake.”  He spoke about losing billions of dollars and then having wins that gave him a positive outcome.

Lessons from Bad Luck

I’ve been asking myself, “What have I learned from my “bad luck?”  I’ll pay more attention to slippery oil slicks on the ground at gas stations; I’ll handle my checks more carefully – and avoid mailing checks when possible; I’ll ask more questions before agreeing to major auto repairs….and I won’t buy a Ford car again.  In general, when I have “bad luck,” I’ll ask myself what mistakes I made that contributed to the problem. 

Uncontrollables

Of course, some bad luck is out of my control.  When that’s the case, I need to recognize it.  But there’s always something to be learned in any lucky or unlucky situation.

Walking in the hills of Tiburon, CA

Yes, it’s Fall….and I fell.  I slipped at the gas station and fell face down in a puddle of oil as I stepped out of my car.  It was a messy site. 

Even though I escaped with only an ugly deep cut and sore muscles, I felt fragile. It’s interesting how one day you feel invincible and the next you recognize how vulnerable you are – in more ways than one. 

After the fall I had trouble sleeping plus digestion problems.  It was like placing that last block on top of a pile of blocks and toppling the whole tower.  In California, on top of the virus and the election, we have fires, smoke, wind, economic fears, plus more.  Sometimes it’s too much.  You know what I mean.

So, I needed to regain balance.  I looked at my to do list and started paring it down.  There’s not enough time to work, do physical therapy exercises, practice the guitar, paint, garden, hike, bicycle, read, do housework and be social. 

I let go of few things.  It’s funny though.  As my calendar opened up, it got filled with new activities, including recording video for the Master Gardeners YouTube website.

Surprise!  Learning to shoot and edit video took my mind off my problems.  I felt a sense of accomplishment.  For me, the way out of sadness was learning something new.  Try it.  Let me know what happens.