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Thursday, March 10, 2011

How Come Some People Have All The Luck?

This post is part of the official blog tour for Kirsten Hubbard and her release of LIKE MANDARIN! One commenter from today's post will win a swag pack for LIKE MANDARIN, and all commenters will be entered to win a copy of LIKE MANDARIN! (Make sure to leave your email address or a way to contact you.)

The idea behind this guest blog tour was to talk about who we wanted to be like in high school, as Grace, in LIKE MANDARIN, wanted to be just like Mandarin. I got there in kind of a roundabout way, but here are my thoughts on the subject...

Have you ever known someone who just seems to have horseshoes up their a$$? Maybe they win every contest or they're just one of those people who seems to be good at EVERYTHING?

I remember a girl like that I went to high school with. Her name was Chelle (pronounced Shelly), and seriously, she had it all. I was a drama geek, and auditioned for every play my school put on, but Chelle was pretty much guaranteed to get the lead--without being a drama geek. Besides that, she was an honor roll student, had tons of friends, and sang with her amazing voice in a school quartet.

I  hated her.

Okay, I'm lying. I really didn't hate her, because on top of everything else, she was actually a really, really sweet person. URGHHHH!

One thing I've learned over the years, though, is that talent and good fortune don't happen by accident. I'm still working it all out, but there are some things I believe you can do to make yourself into one of these ultra-fortunate people.

1. Speak the positive. There are a lot of people in the world who seem to just accept the sucky things they've been given in life. They say things like "I guess this is the way my life will always be" or "Yup, it sucks to be me." Instead, speak life into your life. "Things will be better tomorrow." or "Things will seem brighter in the morning."

2. Persevere. If you look at any highly accomplished person in any area of life, you'll see they have had to persevere through difficult times to get where they are. Giving up is the easy way, and that's why so many people take that route. Be among the small percentage of people who persevere.

3. Be thankful. I think this is a key quality of successful people. Notice what you DO have and be thankful for it. Take your eyes off of what others have for a few minutes and really focus on your own good fortune. Thankfulness breeds thankfulness (or things to be thankful for) , but at the same time, jealousy breeds jealousy. Make sure you're on the springboard you want to be on!

4. Be good at everything. I know, that sounds like a crazy one, right? How can you really be good at everything? But if you notice the people who are singularly focused, you may notice they have a difficult time being thankful because all they notice is what they're NOT getting in that one area.Try to be good at several things and I think you'll find that things are usually going well in at least one area.

So, in short, I think the people who succeed in so many areas have such good fortune because they try in so many areas. I'm in the middle of reevaluating my goals, but I've decided to set more than just writing goals. I want to set goals in every area of my life: to be a better wife, mom, teacher, dancer, friend, person, and writer. Because I want to be just like Chelle. I want to be one of those people who seems to have all the luck!

Don't forget to leave a comment to enter to win all sorts of fun LIKE MANDARIN goodies!


  1. Denise,
    Great post. Thanks for sharing. When I set goals, I set a range; life isn't either failing or succeeding. Rather, there's a huge grey area where you have succeeded but not yet achieved everything you want. Or, there's a big difference between a D (not a failing grade) and an B. It has kept me happier because I'm not a 4.0 student in life, but it helps me see that I'm not a 1.0 student either.

  2. International???

    I believe in self-fulfilling prophecies. Say something long enough, and if you're doing the right stuff, it's bound to happen.

    Also, remember the grass is always greener. Maybe that person that seems uber-cool and good at so many things is looking at you and thinking, 'Wow! I wish I could focus on one thin like that!' or something.

  3. I laughed when you said Chelle was sweet b/c isn't that the worst? You so want to hate that perfect person, but it's impossible when he/she is so genuinely nice.

  4. Great post. It's true that we look at people and want what they have, but we don't always evaluate what we have ourselves. Or evaluate how we might be able to get to where we want to be. I'll be thinking about these things today :-)

  5. I remember a girl from high school who was great at everything. She was beautiful, had a voice like an angel, always got the lead in the school dramas, was an A student, a top athlete and an amazing personality.

    So many of us wanted to be her. She killed herself at 35 and I still think about her often and wonder what went wrong.

    It's best not to judge ourselves against a standard of others, and to always try to be the best individual we can be. Everyone hurts. Everyone struggles. What we see on the outside is only a small percentage of what's really going on in that person's life.

    I'm learning to work on both the inner and the outer parts of myself and have now lost 81 pounds! It's a whole new exciting world out there.

  6. I knew a girl like that in secondary school who was good at everything and she was lovely too. I think knowing her made me push myself to try harder at things.

  7. Thanks for this post! Chelle sounds like a really interesting person (do you ever wonder what she's up to these days?). My philosophy has always been to remain optimistic, and yeah, sometimes that's REALLY hard, but it gets you through and you're better for it :D

  8. I totally get what you mean. Why must some people have all the luck, and us little people be stuck with none. :\
    But I would love a chance to read this book. :]

  9. Words to live by for sure! There's always going to be someone better at something than we are. I'm sure Chelle had similar feelings about someone else and wanted to be like them. It's in our nature. =)

    The key is to be the best WE can be and not worry that it doesn't measure up to someone else's best.

    I love what you said about being good at everything! LOL But it's so true. Having more than one focus will hopefully help us feel accomplished in at least one area. =D


  10. I agree with everything you said; really great post! :)


  11. I liked her last two points: Be thankful and be good at everything (I had not see this advice posted before, and it was refreshing). Thank you for the interview! Jeni (jeni at

  12. I, too, knew a girl who ALWAYS got those lead roles, despite everyone else trying their hardest (I swear she beat me for the part of Annie JUST because she happened to be a redhead). Sigh. But she wasn't sweet at all, so it was easy to hate her. Haha!

    I agree with what you're saying, though--people that are really successful tend to be super hard-workers. I'm going to try harder to be successful in many different areas, like you mentioned. Very inspiring, Denise! :)

  13. Great post. This is all really great advice. I especially like the advice to speak the positive.

  14. Really great post, Denise, and so true! Our goals need to extend outside of writing. This is why my thighs hurt like heck right now!

  15. I think it is hardest in high school. Everyone is trying to fit in and make a name for themselves. I remember trying out for so many activities but I never made any. Yeah, I was upset because there were girls that looked like they didn't even have to try that always made the teams, but I just think it was me being to shy to actually give it my all. We all live and learn.

    findjessyhere at gmail dot com

  16. Wise words to live by. I decided a couple of years ago to find other things to become good at while waiting for my writing dreams to come true (and working my behind off toward that goal). Now I've found another passion in addition to my writing that brings great joy. Glad you've found your "good" things too!

    alohajeanne @ yahoo dot com

  17. Ohhh yeah I definitely know those people. The "perfect" ones. I used to want to be like that when I was in Jr. High. But now I'm happy with how I am in highschool. I don't think I would want to trade my life with anyone else. :)


  18. The thing you never realize is that many of those who you think have it all together, feel just as insecure as the rest of us!

  19. Oh my gosh, those people drive me crazy. I always want to hate them but they're so nice you just CAN'T.

    Ugh! But now like Julia, I wouldn't trade my life. I like it, even though some days I say I hate it.

    Thank you! :D

    ashelynnsanford AT hotmail DOT com

  20. I had the same experience in high school. A girl one year older than me was the music department's "leading lady" who had leads in all the musicals. She beat me out for the role of Sandy in Grease (we did one of those battle to the death callbacks, absolutely draining!), but i couldn't even hate her for it because she was SO DARN SWEET! And over the summer she went to Africa to help the less fortunate. And she's in school to become a lawyer. Honestly, how can you compete with that?

  21. You raise lots of great points in this post, thanks. Any writer I know who's tasted a little success has worked darn hard for it and overcome many obstacles and setbacks, so I don't begrudge them any of their success.

  22. Wow, loved this, Denise! And especially..."Speak the positive." _Love_ and so, so true.

    stywrk AT

  23. What a wonderful post!

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  24. I think we all deal with things like this at one point or another during high school. Thanks for the great post. :)


  25. I know now how important being good at everything is.
    And I know how it irks when the girl who has everything is also nice! Of course, the reason they irked me back in high school was because I felt meant 'cause I didn't even have any reason to dislike her.
    This is a very honest pot. Thank you, Denise!

  26. Wonderful post, great advice.

    jpetroroy at gmail dot com

  27. Great post!

    I have known way too many people in my life who are just lucky. Unlike you and most of the other commenters, however, I've discovered that many of these people, however, are not nice people overall. So while it makes it that much harder to witness their luckiness, I'm (kind of) reassured knowing that they may be gorgeous, or won the lottery or whatever, but they're just not. nice. people.


  28. Great post, Denise. LOve the horseshoe part LOL.

    Yes, great words to live by:)

  29. Cool post. I knew a girl like that at school too. And obviously her string of good luck is still going on, as 10 years down the line, she's now won a reality TV show and is now an actress/radio presenter/TV hostess. But, now that I've discovered writing, I don't care that she was the most popular girl in school, the one who gets all the boys, the one with the incredible singing voice, etc. I'm quite happy being the late bloomer with lots of stories to share! :)

  30. Denise, I looooove this post! Sometimes I feel like a Pollyanna (showing my age) because I'm positive, but hey, that's a quality I'm proud of. I read somewhere that you won't be thankful for anything unless you're thankful for what you have RIGHT NOW. I firmly believe that's true. I'm thankful for my current blessings, and anything else is just gravy. Thank you!