The two kinds of luck

Tacking upwind

Luck may appear to be something that just happens to us, but we can often make our own luck when it depends on opportunities seen or made and taken. For instance, I feel very lucky to have wonderful friends, but also, I have these friends because I carefully selected them over time. Those, who have proved worthy of deeper friendship, are my closer friends–and very few. Others are online friends, banter friends, fellow sailors, former colleagues and more. With quite a few I have strong connections; we help each other and are there when needed. My friends have been a key source of support as I have gone through many experiences, and I believe I have been the same for them.

Recently, a fellow sailor asserted that I am lucky to sail as much as I do, to have the unique sailing experiences I enjoy. I replied that this had little to do with luck, and mostly with intention and courage. Since sailing is my passion, it is a key component of my life, and I put effort into making it happen. I save up for it, make connections about it, stick my neck out and ask for it. Because of this, I sail more than most of my sailing friends who are not professional mariners. When I follow my bliss, the fun and magic happen, and I find myself in interesting and varied sailing adventures with wonderful people.

My luck has not been so good when it comes to things that are controlled by external forces, and I have faced some serious challenges. The trick to making it through those periods is to hold fast to hope, any hope, no matter how stupid, and to latch on to little pleasures and joys and moments–to grasp them tightly, for as long as possible. Often, plans for a sailing adventure were the promise I held onto, the dream that kept me going.

Every day brings its challenges and pleasures. I endeavor to meet them all with optimism and a smile, then sleep on the trust that, with determination and courage, things will work out well in the end, and usually, they do.

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