What we can learn from the “Luck of the Irish” - Building Business, Working Hard and Maintaining a Sense of Humor
Have you ever wondered what "Luck of the Irish" really means? It is a subject of much debate.
Some feel it means bad luck.
I had the opportunity to visit Ireland last year with two of my favorite women – my mom and my daughter. The more I learned about the History of Ireland and the Irish People, the more I realized that it isn’t easy being Irish. This also made me appreciate the Irish drive to survive and succeed – all while maintaining the sharpest wit I have ever had the joy to experience.
One Irish saying that I found to be bittersweet is that “Ireland's biggest export is its people”. This is because Ireland has a very tragic past. For centuries, Irish people have been forced to emigrate to free themselves from famine, religious and political persecution, and the seemingly endless onslaught of usurpers who held them captive. To make matters worse, many of the original Irish settlers in the US, the UK and Australia, were destined to never see their families again.
Another theory about the saying “Luck of the Irish” originated during the Gold Rush by Americans. They described the Irish emigrants as having found their 'Pot of Gold' in the Gold and Silver mines. In this case they were lucky to have been in the right place at the right time.
Lesson 1: Don’t Give Up when the Going Gets Tough
You could also say that the Irish are lucky because they are born survivors. The Irish are determined, hard-working, strong-willed, resilient and God-loving (or maybe God-fearing because I understand the priests who have taught generations of Irish were serious task-masters). Throughout time, they have been willing to do what it takes to make things better for themselves and their families.
Many an opportunity is lost because a man is out looking for four-leaf clovers. - Author Unknown
Lesson 2: Make Your Own Luck, Work Hard and Deliver Quality
The Irish know that you must make your own luck. Good, or bad, luck is outweighed by national pride and a willingness to work hard to achieve something amazing. Ireland is the birthplace of many great authors, poets and craftsmen. The literary all-stars of Ireland are famous not only for their timeless novels, but also because their life stories are so fascinating, sometimes horrifying, and often titillating. Ireland is famous for its hand-crafted crystal and fine clothing made of wool. A highlight of our Ireland trip was the Waterford factory. I gained a new respect for my crystal collection after observing the high standards their workforce achieved and maintained. The pride the people showed in the timeless objects they were creating was astounding.
Lesson 3: The Value of Humor, Love, Friendship and Beauty
A lesson today’s hard-working, busy Americans can learn from the Irish is the importance of balancing hard work with humor, love, friendship and beauty. Aside from their people, other popular Irish exports from Ireland include top notch beer and whiskey, arguably among the best brands in the world. I spent at least an hour at the Guinness Museum viewing their marketing exhibits. I suppose it is the Irish humor and pride in their country that enable them to sell so creatively.
We can all be a little Irish.
Regardless of the origin of the phase 'Luck of the Irish', I am inspired by the Irish. I’m definitely a wanna-be Irish lass. I have scoured my ancestry to find the Irish in my family tree. But despite my efforts, it seems that while there may have been an Irish black sheep among my English (England) or Native American ancestors, I don’t appear to have much true Irish blood flowing through my veins.
May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light. May good luck pursue you each morning and night. - Irish Blessing
Just because I’m not technically Irish doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy “living” Irish as often as possible. Ireland is a special, magical place. And I’m not just talking about the Giant’s Causeway or Cliffs of Moher. The Irish people are proud, hardworking, funny, extremely patriotic and loved by nations all over the world.
What other country’s special day is celebrated across the world in such a way? Is this because they are lucky?
Happy St. Patrick’s Day
Why the Goose?
Geese honk to communicate with the flock so they can preserve the "V" formation that enables them to conserve energy and fly for longer distances.
For more News From the Goose, please join our mailing list.
DEBORAH BRIERS, CPSM, MBA