Luck and Good Fortune or Hard Work?

I often turn to Dave and say, offhandedly, that we’re so lucky. It could be when we’re on a day out and the children are running around, happy, smiling and laughing. It could be when we’re watching TV in the evening and we can hear the children snoring on the baby monitors. Or it could be when we’re driving somewhere and the children are singing in the back of the car.

In those moments, and so many others, I’ll be hit with the emotion of our lives. Everything will come rushing at me and it is always so overpowering – the sense of love for my husband and children, the feeling of homeliness and belonging at having our house and the sense of security that our jobs and work ethic provides.

In those moments it all comes together and I feel so lucky to have it all. Not everything – I don’t have it all by any means. But I have everything that I have and I feel so, so lucky to be where I am, in the life that I am living with these beautiful people by my side.

But in those moments Dave will often turn to me and say that we’re not lucky, luck has nothing to do with it – we’ve worked hard to get to where we are in life. For a moment it takes me away from that bubble of luckiness and brings me back to reality. Yes, I know he’s right, we have worked hard over the last few years.

We decided early in our relationship that renting was pointless so we bought a house we could hardly afford and spent years paying off debts and making a dent in the mortgage. We did as well as we could in our careers and got in the best position financially to be able to move to our second house and we made sure it was a house we could stay in indefinitely. Our forever home.

We made sure we moved house before we had children, knowing that it’s so much harder to get a mortgage once we’d had children and then we worked as hard as we could to be as close to debt free as possible before LP was born, allowing me to have as much time off as possible as maternity leave.

We have had plans for the future since the start of our relationship and the whole way through we have been laying foundations to help us make easier choices and to make the future as bright as possible. We wanted to buy a house, get married and then have children and we made sacrifices to enable us to do those things – we didn’t have that many holidays and had literally years without them. We didn’t go out very much once we became home owners and really focused on saving money instead of spending it.

So when Dave says it’s not luck that has got us to this point in our lives I agree with him. We have made a plan, made decisions and worked hard, always hoping we would end up where we are now – with two children, a home we can live in forever and an annual holiday abroad to look forward to.

But I still feel lucky, even if luck has nothing to do with it. Maybe fortunate is a better word? I feel so incredibly fortunate that we found each other – on the internet – nearly twelve years ago. I feel lucky to have been able to sell our old house just after the credit crunch, just about breaking even, and to have found our forever home at just the right time.

I feel lucky to have had two beautiful, healthy children with easy pregnancies and straightforward births at home and I feel lucky every single day that I am with them. Seeing them grow and learn is such a privilege and one that I feel so, so lucky to have.

So those times when the children make me so happy that I feel on the verge of tears and those times when I feel so blissfully content whilst sitting on the sofa surrounded by their toys, snuggling under a blanket and watching a movie with them – I don’t think that we have worked so hard and are now appreciating the fruit of our labour. Instead I think about how lucky we are.

I really believe that hard work and determination can only get you so far in life – the rest of the journey is made hoping you’ll get to where you want to be, by believing you can get there and then having the luck to see you through. You can’t get anywhere without luck – but you can’t get anywhere without hard work either.

Luck and Good Fortune or Hard Work?


  • Donna Wishart

    Donna Wishart is married to Dave and they have two children, Athena (12) and Troy (11). They live in Surrey with their two cats, Fred and George. Once a Bank Manager, Donna has been writing about everything from family finance to days out, travel and her favourite recipes since 2012. Donna is happiest either exploring somewhere new, with her camera in her hand and family by her side or snuggled up with a cat on her lap, reading a book and enjoying a nice cup of tea. She firmly believes that tea and cake can fix most things.

Similar Posts


  1. I totally agree, I know how hard you have worked to get to where you are today. I also agree that luck / fate / chance or whatever you want to call it has a role to play for us all. That said, the line between good and bad luck isn’t totally cut and dried. Someone who has everything handed to them on a plate may be regarded as lucky. But it is a stroke of misfortune that they’ll never know the joy of getting what you want as a result of your own hard work.x

  2. I love this post and cannot agree more.

    We definitely need to do a lot more self-patting-on-the-back as 9/10 the reason we are where we are is because of our hard bloomin’ work.

    Of course you’re allowed to feel “lucky”, but don’t assume that you’re good fortune is down to luck.

    Thanks for this.

  3. We were talking about this exact same thing at work the other day – and I totally agree, it’s all about a combination of the two. I’ve had lots of people tell me that we’re lucky to have been able to buy a lovely house in London that we’ll be able to stay in forever and that’s true, we managed to sneak in with a cheeky offer just before Christmas one year and that in a sense was luck since no-one else was looking. BUT it’s also hard work that’s meant we’ve worked and saved to stay in London since that was our priority. I think you guys have done brilliantly and I’m so glad you’re happy and content Xx

  4. I used to have this conversation with my dear nan as she always used to say how lucky our kids are that they live in a nice house and have lots of toys. But my step dad always used to say its not luck, as both myself and husband have worked hard over the years. Husband still does, me not so much lol. We were like you Donna, we met, got engaged, got married, I sold my flat I had and we bought our home. The same home we are still in 15 years later. Was it luck that we bought our house at the right time ? Who knows, but I guess life is about hard work and maybe a little luck from time to time x

  5. Beautiful post. I’m a firm believer in being thankful for what we have, in fact I’ve just bought a little notebook called 3 things with the aim to write down 3 thinks I’m thankful for each day.
    It’s hard work, but so rewarding when you see what you’ve achieved.
    Well done for sticking with the plans and your goals.

  6. For me, success comes as a result of ability, hard work and good luck. You can try as hard as you like at something you’re no good at but you’ll get nowhere. You can coast at something you’re exceptional at and do well enough. Sometimes you can be talented and hard-working but fail through sheer misfortune – the footballer who breaks his leg, for instance. And sometimes someone can just be lucky without ever ‘deserving it’ – a rollover lottery winner who wins with his firet ever ticket, perhaps.

    But if you control the things you can control – work hard at the things that matter to you – then luck often has a way of falling in to your lap. It was the golfer Gary Player who once wryly noted that, “The harder I practise, the luckier I get.” I totally buy into that. Hard work doesn’t guarantee good luck, but somehow it seems to attract it.

  7. Loved reading this Donna, as it’s something I too think about a lot. Fortunate is such a good word. So much comes of hard work, common sense and planing ahead…with a bit of luck in there too, I’m sure. The biggest piece of luck I feel in my life is that I was born to such good parents that taught me and made so many sacrifices for me. I am so grateful for them and I give them most of the credit for anything I have now xxx

  8. I think you’re quite right – hard work, and planning and making good decisions has so much to do with where we find ourselves in life. But I think sometimes fate or whatever you want to call it can give us a helping hand on the way to happiness – it was quite a collection of coincidences that Barry and I found ourselves at the same comedy gig in London six years ago…and we wouldn’t be where we are now if that hadn’t happened.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *