“Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.” Lucius Annaeus Seneca
I have always considered myself a lucky man and have previously tried not to think about this too deeply. I have subconsciously worn my luck as a cloak of invulnerability all my life. My inexperience of ill fortune left me free of worries of any kind, and at liberty to try any new experience believing that things will turn out fine in the end. So far they have.
I am lucky to have had a happy childhood. My father was an intellectual and although he put a huge amount of pressure on me to achieve academically, over which we clashed spectacularly, he also taught me to pursue my passions and to be curious about the world and the people who live on it. My parents also instilled in me a love of music, art and the written word. Today the only luxuries I buy myself are books and records. These loves have kept me sane, happy, and have made me think.
I am lucky, not to say blessed, with my friends, who bring me love, support, trust, inspiration and much laughter, which I hope is fully reciprocated. They appeared from many walks of life and backgrounds but they share the traits of creativity and common decency. I have learned from my friends as much as from any book I have read.
I have been lucky in my working life. I’ve had many interesting, rewarding and enriching jobs. I have worked with many stars of the stage and screen, radio and music. Through my work I also met my closest friends and my amazing wife. In the 1990s I met writing partners who lifted my creativity to dizzying heights. The music and gatherings we organised led me to connect with an abundance of inspirational free spirits. It was almost too beautiful.
I was not unlucky when I became an addict. It had nothing to do with luck. Both times I have been in the depths of addiction I isolated myself from the people that I love, which only increased the emptiness and loneliness I already felt. Both times I also stopped reading and lost my pleasure in music and creativity. I locked myself in a prison of my own creation and threw away the key. I drank to stop myself thinking and it worked. I closed myself to the outside world. I was unreachable.
I am lucky to be sober, lucky to have found the groups at Inclusion. In recovery we are taught to be grateful for our blessings. A useful tool is to keep a ‘gratitude diary’, in which you write three things you are grateful for every day. It sounds trite but counting your blessings is an invaluable process. It also shows you how lucky you are. My personal list of blessings towers over my inventory of ill fortune.
Terrible things can happen in people’s lives, things over which we have no control, but it is possible to expand the areas over which you do have control. I believe my luck is due to adhering to my theory of magnetism. You can make yourself lucky by doing things, by doing them the right way, by approaching life, love and new experience with an open mind, heart and soul.