Is that Lucky? Maybe, Maybe not . . .

There is an old Chinese proverb that talks about luck and maybe what happens is lucky or maybe not, we’ll see.

It goes like this . . .

A farmer and his son had a beloved stallion who helped them earn a living.

One day, the horse ran away and their neighbour cried out, “Your horse ran away, what terrible luck!”
The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”

A few days later, the horse returned home, and brought with him some wild mares.

The neighbour exclaimed, “Your horse has returned, and brought several horses home with him. What great luck!”
The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”

Later that week, the farmer’s son was breaking in one of the mares and rared up and threw him to the ground, breaking his leg.
The neighbour cried, “Your son broke his leg, what terrible luck!”
The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”

A few weeks later, soldiers from the national army marched through town, recruiting all the able-bodied boys for the army. And because the farmers son had a broken leg, they did not take him.
The neighbour shouted, “Your boy is spared, what tremendous luck!”
To which the farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”

The moral of this story is that no event, in and of itself, can truly be judged as good or bad, lucky or unlucky, fortunate or unfortunate, and that only time will tell when the whole story plays out.

So next time something “unlucky” happens to you, stop, reflect and think about the lesson in that challenge and also, look for opportunities in the future that may come because of that experience or the path you have been on.

Feel the emotions associated with disappointment, sadness, loss and then look beyond those to see what is happening for you now.  If we wallow in the past, we miss opportunities in the now because we’re not open to seeing them.

Create a new mindset of looking at misfortune as an ‘event’, and as the saying goes “this too shall pass”, so feel the feels, but don’t get stuck.

An event is just that “one event” – it doesn’t determine who or what you are – life is a process, so enjoy the journey.  Take things in your stride and don’t get hung up on the little things.

Life is how you view it and having a different lens can create new meaning, even in troubling or difficult times.  Life is more comfortable if we see our cup has half full and look for the silver linings.

Instead, reflect on your challenges and remember the lessons you took from them have made you stronger and are helping you on your journey and in creating your story.  And on the surface this one event could be considered not so lucky, but look for the next event and see how it unfolds.

Embrace your scars and life lessons like the Japanese do.   Kintsugi is the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold.  They embrace flaws and imperfections, because with challenges you can create an even stronger, more beautiful piece of art.  They highlight this using gold to demonstrate the strength in the newly formed joins.

Embrace happy times and embrace challenges as well, because it is our challenges that make us stronger, allow us to learn and to move forward with more knowledge to avoid the same pitfalls in the future.

Next time you’re facing a challenge and you feel anger, sadness, bitterness, disappointment rising in you, ask yourself this “is my energy better spent on something else other than this?” and then do something to shift your state.

If someone is annoying you, move away, go for a walk.  Create habits where you can remove yourself emotionally from the trigger and allow yourself to reset.

Resist in passing judgement too quickly because that can lead you getting caught up in negative emotions, instead remember this old proverb and keep your eyes open for what’s happening next – it could just be that thing you’ve been searching for.

What is something you to do lift yourself up when you’re having a bad day?

About the author

Helen Luxford is a Leadership Coach, Hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner.  Helen’s passion is helping  stressed professionals turn overwhelm and uncertainty into calm and confidence in 6 weeks or less.

Helen is an experienced Executive and HR Leader.  Helen combines her corporate experience with her qualifications and skills in coaching, Neurolinguistic Programming and Hypnotherapy to provide tailored programs for her clients. 


Helen is the co-author of Amazon best-selling book, Heart Centred Leadership.


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