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Good luck or bad luck? Who knows?

My theme in today's class was centered on dealing with life events. Those things that happen to us that are beyond our control but greatly affect our day and our feelings. Things can be going along smoothly and then all of a sudden something happens that changes your course. Sometimes for good, sometimes not so good.

On a personal note, I had a few events take place over the previous few days that were very disrupting. My daughter had gotten into a car accident. She is fine - not a hair on her head was harmed. It truly was a miracle. She was the passenger in the car driven by her boyfriend who was impaired and attempting to drive her safely home. She was not impaired but chose to get in the car with him. There are so many things about this scenario that are troubling. They both could have died that night over some very bad decisions. He was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and will have to deal with those consequences.

This scenario was more than enough for us to have to worry about. That said, there are always many other things to fret over if you look for them. My career in real estate is full of emotional highs and lows. More lows than highs and I have been bombarded with all sorts of new emotions to navigate. There is a lot of self-doubt that goes on. A lot of questioning yourself about what you could have done better, why somebody didn't choose you to help them, how are you going to survive financially and many other worries. And yet this career was my choice. Despite all of the difficulties, this is something I want to do. Helping others in this realm can be very rewarding and is so much better than working in a corporate environment. Pluses and minuses. Good and bad.

Reflecting on these events and changes in my life I was reminded of a great story. It is an old tale of a farmer that has events happen that everyone else wants to label as good or bad luck. The old wise farmer is not so sure if the events represent good or bad luck. Here is the story:

An elderly, hard-working Chinese farmer and his son, had a single horse. They used the horse to plow the field, to sow the seeds, grow the crop, and transport it to the market. The horse was essential for the farmer to earn his livelihood.

One morning, the horse broke the fence and ran away into the woods. When the neighbors found out that the only horse the farmer had, had run away, they came to solace him. They said – “Your only horse has run away just before the planting season. How will you till the land? How will you sow the seeds? This is unfortunate. This is bad luck.”

The farmer replied – “Good luck bad luck. Who knows?” The wise farmer was unwilling to label thisA few days later the farmer’s horse returned from the woods along with two other wild horses. When the neighbors found out the news, they said – ” Now you have three horses! You can till the land much faster with three horses. Maybe you can buy more land and sow more crop and make more money. Or you can sell the other two horses. Either way, you will be a rich man! This is good luck! “


Again the wise farmer was unwilling to label this incident good luck or bad luck.incident good luck or bad luck.

Next morning, the farmer’s son started training the wild horses to that they would help till the land. While attempting to mount one of the wild horses, he fell down and broke his leg. Just before the sowing season, the son would not be able to help the farmer with his broken leg. The neighbors came once again and commented – ” This is really unfortunate. This is bad luck.”

The wise farmer repeated – “Good luck, bad luck. Who knows?”

The wise farmer still was unwilling to label this incident good luck or bad luck.

A few days later, the king’s men started to visit each village in the kingdom. A war had started between their kingdom and a neighboring enemy state. The king’s men were enlisting the eldest son from each family to join the army so that they could defeat the enemy state. When they came to the farmer’s house they saw the son with the broken leg. He would not be of much use in the army and hence they didn’t take him. He was the only eldest son in the entire village who was not forcibly taken by the king’s men to fight the war. The neighbors, some of them with teary eyes, came once again to the farmer and commented – “Your son breaking his leg was really fortunate. He is the only one who was not taken. What a stroke of good luck.“

The farmer calmly replied – “Good luck, bad luck. Who knows?”

It is natural for us to want to label events as good or bad. But they are just events that have happened outside of our control. Adding meaning to them and emotional significance is usually counter productive. We have to be able to accept that things happen and look at them simply as events that have happened outside of our control. And then move forward.

In my case, I know that there is nothing I could have done to prevent the accident. It was a horrible event and one that she will remember for her entire life. I think this experience will set her on a new path - a better path - and help her to make better decisions. The event could have been a whole lot worse. All I can do is be thankful that it turned out the way it did.

As for real estate - there will always be things happening in this career that will be challenging emotionally. All I can do is focus on what is in my control and do my best. Roll with the punches and keep moving forward.

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