13, Oct, 2012

Feeling Lucky?

dsc04683Luck. We hope for it, count on it, blame it when things don’t go as planned. Isn’t it tempting to console ourselves that a rival’s success is due to luck, not talent and hard work? It’s just as tempting to dismiss any of our own accomplishments as luck, especially when the payoff comes long after all the effort, planning and angst. Attributing all successes to luck is certainly self-defeating, and that’d be, well, unlucky…because it’s daily effort, optimism, consistency and tenacious adherence to the journey that make the luck. That’s why the payoff, or lucky break, always seems to come out of nowhere, creating an “overnight success.”

I’m willing to accept the idea that a lot of success is chance, coincidence, and I celebrate that. Peace and serenity are big priorities in my personal life, and I need to maintain them in my consciousness. Chaos and anarchy are also important ingredients in my life. Creatively, I always get the best results when I break rules, ignore my fears and charge ahead relentlessly, fueled by passion, altruism, or rebellion and sarcasm.

When I’m writing, I shrug off my fears and inhibitions so that I can cut to the core of what I’m feeling or experiencing. I call that creative defiance. My fears and inhibitions assaulted me repeatedly as I wrote my memoir, Never Give in to Fear: Laughing All the Way Up from Rock Bottom, I wanted to describe some of my most forbidding and terrifying experiences, as well as those that are just plain hilarious. The book chronicles the worst years of my life. Ironically, those worst years have been some of the most interesting, and the story is entertaining and inspiring because I emerged from the train wreck of my life with my soul intact, thanks to a solid program of recovery and persistent applications of positive thinking and visualization.

Man, am I glad I defied my fears as I wrote, because the result is a raw and unflinching description of life in the netherworld of American society, a slice of life as a full-on, hardcore drug addict who wrestled with addiction, trauma and inner conflict. And the story is inspirational because it’s written with humor and introspection. Anyone who reads my story will recognize his or her own story mirrored there. And Never Give in to Fear is a kickass comeback story. Everyone alive today is living a comeback story. Each day, people confront fears, learn from mistakes, manage regrets, and move on. If you’re alive, you’re on the comeback trail.

I had a lot of trouble coming up with a title for the book, and from time to time I question my choice. But the fact that I am author of a book called, Never Give in to Fear serves as a reminder not to pussy out and cave in to my worst anxieties and apprehensions and I move ahead with my life. Fortune favors the bold, so why hang back? We make our luck by refusing to give in to the naysayers, the haters and the fear merchants who, having given up on their own dreams, seek to discourage others.

So, do you feel lucky? If you have any thoughts on the efficacy of persistence, optimism and creative defiance in creating luck, please share your thoughts and experience with me. And if you’re a naysayer, by all means weigh in. Maybe the act of arguing your negative stance will energize you and your dreams will get the better of you. Action has a way of fueling passion. I never know who’s reading these posts, but I write ‘em anyway! It’s all part of creative defiance, and fearlessness in action. And after all I’ve lived through, I still feel lucky. I hope you do, too. We just might be the luckiest people in the world, as long as we stay the course.

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