How Are You Fortunate?

It can be important, for a variety of reasons, to recognize the ways in which you are fortunate.

There are different ways fortune might smile upon you. A smart decision you made in the past might have delivered a good outcome. The assistance of a friend or family member might have made things easier for you. You might have even received a lucky break now and again. Or some combination of those.

It can be good for your mental health to acknowledge ways in which you are fortunate. Doing so can even take the edge off an unlucky or unfortunate turn of events.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘How do you show thanks?’ We discuss another question as well, ‘What book has had the biggest impact on you?’


There are other ways that recognizing your fortune can help. You can become more attuned to people who are not as fortunate — or are fortunate in different ways. If you can identify them, you might even be able to determine ways that you can reproduce that fortune, and improve your life even further.

How are you fortunate? Is your fortune the result of conscious decisions, or due to blind luck?

Related questions: How has luck shaped your life? What are you grateful for? How do you show thanks? How can we appreciate life more?

2 thoughts on “How Are You Fortunate?”

  1. There are many ways I am fortunate: having my incredible spouse, job, and friends, to name just a few. But today, I’d like to focus on my fortune of having a comfortable and beautiful home.

    As regular readers of this blog may recall, my career (my vocation) has been centered on finding and keeping people stably-housed in quality and affordable housing. In my 26-year long career in social justice work, I have devoted fifteen to ending homelessness and six more to increasing tenant rights and protections — some measures to keep people in their housing or giving them time to find new places to live when their current situation is untenable. Over 15,000 people in my state of Minnesota go homeless on any given night, and many times more live in housing they cannot afford, meaning other needs go neglected to keep a roof over their head.

    And so, almost every day, I recognize that I have the privilege and fortune of having a home that I love and in which I can grow. I often state that my home is where I know where the utensils go. This recognition may sound flippant, but it is by no means meant to be. I have the fortune of having a home, a home where everything has its place. My home provides me security; I’ve lived here for 20+ years, never feeling like I was in danger of losing it. Again, in my state, thousands don’t have a home. And thousands more are so insecure in the places they live; permanency must feel like an unattainable desire.

    While quite small by new construction standards, my home is so much more than I’ve already stated. Over the years, my spouse and I made adjustments or could afford to bring in professionals to do everything from renovating our kitchen to exactly what we dreamt it could be to landscaping our yard with improvements we had only a limited idea of how great it could become. My home has an heirloom garden I tend each year, a study with hundreds of books I’ve read and plenty I still need to crack open, and a dining room — a small part of which has become an office for the COVID-times through which we have lived.

    Yes, I am fortunate to have a house — a home. I wish for and work to provide thousands of others with the same fortune I feel grateful for every day.

  2. I feel fortunate to have many of life’s blessings. I am secure and comfortable in my home, am able to pay my bills on time, have plenty of good food, some money in the bank, a never ending supply of books, the love of some special people, and the ability to use my mind in an endless variety of ways.

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