Some Guys Have All The Luck

March 13, 2012 — 7 Comments

Some guys have all the luck.

Aside from this being a song title for a very good Rod Stewart remake in the musically potent 80’s (1984 to be exact), the above is a well worn phrase that some people are just luckier than others.

You may have been told that many things have nothing to do with luck. You make your luck with hard work and preparation.

You may think when I speak of luck, I’ll write about good fortune in the relationship I have with my wife, or taking the enjoyable journey of watching my kids grow to be adults. In that respect, few people are as lucky as me.

Just about two weeks ago, I was turning 49 as I was coming home in a plane, touching down on ground that had been dusted with the real first snow of the winter. I had been traveling on business for four days, and couldn’t wait to see my wife and kids.

No, the luck I speak of is a little different. For 47 of my now 49 years, I had the great fortune of having not one, but two mentors to guide me through my life. My grandmother, Rose, (with me in the photo below) and my godmother, my aunt Nicolina, were those strong forces.

Although my aunt passed away last year, and my grandmother’s been gone since 2010, their influence will not be going away any time soon.

They always told me to “eat my vegetables“, “waste not want not“, and my favorite “sit down, have a cup of coffee“. But, influence was more than their words. Their influence was action, and the obvious priorities in life.

The great football coach Vince Lombardi had a quote, a mantra that has stuck with me for a long time. In relation to his players, he believed that:

“There are three things important to every man in this locker room. His God, his family, and the Green Bay Packers. In that order.”

I’m not a Packers fan, but I’ve long been a Lombardi fan. His view on the priority pecking order is spot on. Focus on your God, your family, and your life’s work will make for a more successful, stress free you.

My grandmother and godmother were the poster children for this way of thinking. They had a great zeal toward their faith, a world centered around family, and the work that supported that family.

My opinion? This is not just another pretty Lombardi quote (although there are many). It should be a way of life.

We live in an age that is a constant bombardment of communication. What that translates to is consistent distraction. It becomes easy to feel restless. Impatient. You can take your eyes off what’s most important.

I’m no different. I can be a victim of social media (and other) distractions as easily as the next person. An advantage that I do have to bring me back to earth is the example of the life lessons of two Sicilians that I grew up alongside.

Lombardi would think they got it right. Their time spent here was old school principle in its simplest form, pure in concept and execution. And I observed it from both of them for 47 years.

You know what they say. Some guys have all the luck.

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7 responses to Some Guys Have All The Luck

  1. 

    Great words of wisdom.

    One lesson that always stuck with me is, “Use it or lose it.”

    My friend’s Dad had a great saying about luck … “Luck is when skill and opportunity come together.”

  2. 

    Lombardi is definitely before my time but he is someone that has impressed me. That HBO special about him is fabulous.

    • 

      Hi Jack,
      I haven’t seen that HBO feature, but I’ll bet it’s excellent. The books written about him are top notch.

  3. 

    Another great article…Joe..
    You have a wonderful outlook on life!

  4. 

    Hi Joe,

    Some guys do have all the luck. I’ve been lucky enough to have some influential woman in my life as well. You might say they don’t make ‘em like they used to, but I might get in trouble … luckily my wife is not reading over my shoulder. Seriously, sounds like Rose and Aunt Nicolina were some pretty strong forces for sure, and this is a nice tribute to them.

    It’s funny, my grandmother didn’t say the EXACT same things, but the tone sure sounds familiar. Whenever I went to visit I had to clean my plate and she was big on just sitting down and talking. She was lucky I loved to play cards when I was a kid, for we did that more than anything. The old lady liked to deal :)

    Thanks for sharing, Sir!

    Oh … Dude! I’m not a Packers fan either, but everyone knows Mr. Lombardi was the best coach ever. :) Does anybody even come close? :)

    • 

      Craig,
      Let’s just say they don’t make a lot of ‘em like they used to. They were two of a kind, to be sure. :)

      I’m kind of young to really appreciate Lombardi, but getting to know his life through biographies was a great learning experience. It may sound cliché’, but he wasn’t just a football coach: he influenced his players in all aspects. He got the reputation as a molder of men. It’s fascinating to read about him and what his players thought of him.

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