Last week I told an acquaintance that my family and I went to Hawaii for the Meatball’s 10th birthday. After the requisite squeal, I heard my most despised 3 words:
“YOU’RE SO LUCKY!”
Well, I didn’t win the lotto, I didn’t receive an inheritance from a long lost relative nor did I dig up a treasure chest full of gold in my backyard. So I don’t really see how luck came into play. I was able to have that holiday because I’ve put time and effort into my business and once in a while, I can cash in on the fruits of my labour.
It really saddened me that rather than celebrating something I worked hard for, those 3 words made me feel like it was not because of any effort on my part that I was able to go on holiday.
It also pissed me off.
I found it more than a little insulting and a little thoughtless of the person that said it. I worked my ass off to be able to afford that holiday. Not only that, I will continue to pay for some of the indulgences and luxuries long after we come back with long days, late nights and weekends working.
Unfortunately, I hear this phrase all too often when I tell people some of the more fun things having a business allows me to do. For instance, I’ve been told I was lucky (again!) for being at home on Tuesdays. Sure, I get to take the Meatball to school and pick him up but I still work in between. It would be nice to sit back, put my feet up and knock back a glass of wine (or two) but them bills need paying.
After some introspection, I realised that it’s also a form of laziness – if success is borne from luck and is completely random, it implies that hard work has nothing to do with it. It then excuses the person saying those words from achieving the same success if they apply themselves.
So, the next time you’re about to tell someone how lucky they are as a form of compliment, perhaps take some time to think about it. Maybe say “great job” or “well done, you deserve it” instead.