severely depressed. Twice. I’ve felt
suicidal. I’ve been divorced. And I’m a lucky man.
started this blog my head wasn’t in the best place (I’m not detecting a great
deal of surprise at this revelation…). I
knew that there were things that I had to deal with and writing this blog has been important in helping me to do that. But during
this difficult period I have never lost sight of the fact that throughout my
life I have been incredibly lucky. And I
believe that faith that good things can and do come from hard times has helped
to place a safety net across the hole that leads to the dark void into which I
have slid before.
There are a
number of significant instances in my life that I can point to that remind me
of the luck that I have been blessed with. Events that remind me of how difficult times have
led directly to better times ahead. Events
that show me just how unpredictable and wonderful this life can be.
My first serious girlfriend broke up with me. I met my future wife two weeks later
My marriage ended. I met a wonderful woman within hours of
joining an online dating site one month later; I have since learned that this
isn’t the usual way that online dating goes. I don’t know how I would have dealt with the
fall-out from my marriage break-up if I hadn’t met her
I was faced with redundancy with my previous
employer and as part of the process had to re-interview for the roles that
would remain. I didn’t feel happy with
how the interview went so that night I looked for a job within boxing, a
lifelong passion, and saw a position advertised. The job description and person specification
pretty much described me and my prior work experience - I couldn’t have written
it better myself. I got the job
When suffering with my second bout of depression
the financial impact of a prolonged period off work was very tough. My wife at the time took on added financial
burdens and our savings were used to keep a roof over our family’s heads. Soon after returning to work I came into
money unexpectedly that replaced the lost savings.
Last year I was faced with redundancy. I found this out as I was in the process of
buying a home for me and my children. I
love boxing and didn’t want to have to leave but couldn’t risk being out of
work and applied for a good job with another sports organisation. I interviewed well. I didn’t get the job. Within weeks additional funding was secured
to enable me to keep my job in boxing. I
can’t tell you how pleased I was to have been unsuccessful in that interview.
My brother sent me a message a month or so ago:
It’s easy to be cynical but my life to date has shown the truth of
this statement, at least to me it has.
But as well as offering the opportunity to trust that tough times will
pass - and more than that, that they can lay the foundations for a better future
than we could have imagined – such good fortune can also lead us to wonder when
the luck will run out? What will happen
when events don’t conspire in our favour? What if things don’t fall into place? What if, what if….?
Worrying won’t help us. A saying
attributed to Buddha prescribes an antidote to this restless and discomfiting
state of mind:
"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly."
This can be easier said than done but it is difficult to argue with its
inherent truth. And in living in the
present moment wisely and earnestly - taking positive action to address our
challenges, and listening to our inner voice and following our higher instincts
– we can cross the stormy seas and reach a calmer shore.
When I returned to work after my second depression I did so out of
financial necessity. I wasn’t well. I wasn’t ready. But that morning I picked up the book I had
been reading, ‘God In My Corner’ by the boxer George Foreman.
“Maybe you’re attempting a comeback in your life. It won’t be easy at first, but don’t give up
at the first sign of difficulty, struggle or opposition. Perhaps it’s time to change your
strategy. Who knows what success might
be yours simply by making a few changes.
Perhaps it’s some habit or minor lifestyle change that could totally
alter your future and lead you to a whole new level of success and
Those words hit me like Big George’s right hand; they were just what I
needed and just when I needed them. And
you know what? Big George was
It’s funny how life can be sometimes, how events can conspire to lead
us safely away from our struggles.
It’s about time I learn this lesson. Really learn it. I’m getting there - bit by bit, setback by
setback - my trust in myself, my trust in life, grows. And as a friend said to me when my marriage
Soundtrack: Lucky Man - The Verve
Labels: blessed, George Foreman, luck, lucky, lucky man