I have a secret talent. You know that game 2 Truths and a Lie? One of my truths is the same every time:
I can find 4-leaf clovers without trying.
Yes, I realize that some people go their whole lives without ever finding one, but for me it was always so easy! I would just go outside and look down, and somehow they would be there every time! I’ve found my fair share of 4-leaf, 5-leaf, and even a few 7-leaf clovers. I took so much pride in it that I would carry handfuls inside to show off to my family. My first email when I was 10 was “luckycharm”! When my brother was away for two years, I would send him letters with 4-leaf clovers inside. A few years later when I served a mission of my own, he sent me a beautiful necklace with a real 4-leaf clover inside. It became a symbol of sorts.
Because of this, I grew up thinking I was pretty lucky. I would tie 4-leaf clovers inside the laces of my track shoes before a race. I just knew the clovers in my desk would grant me the A on the test I was hoping for. I never had to wonder if I would have success because I just felt lucky.
Now luck is a curious thing. We say, “Good luck!” as a way of wishing people the best. We say, “That was bad luck” when something bad happens. But thanks to my clover hunting, I learned a few important things about 4-leaf clovers and luck.
1. 4-leaf clovers tend to come in patches.
Once I found one, I knew I was close to finding more! The closer a clover was to a 4-leaf clover, the more likely it was to also be a 4-leaf! The seeds would combine together to sprout many leaves.
As people, we spend a lot of time around other people! Thank goodness! A famous quote says that “we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with”, that’s something I think a lot about! Who do I spend the most time with? Are they good people? As a parent, you might ask who your kids are surrounded by and learning from. If we have good friends that do good things, we will be good people that do the same!
2. You get what you look for.
My siblings wondered how I could find so many! But they would get impatient after a few moments in the field, while I would spend hours on my hands and knees looking for clovers. (I’m such a dork haha!) And I found them because I looked for them! I would ignore all the pretty 3-leaf clovers, searching hard to find the ones I thought really mattered.
And in the process, I missed all the pretty 3-leaf clovers.
What do we miss in our lives because we are so focused on what we think matters? Do we miss the little moments with our family because we are so wrapped up in work? Do we think about the future so much that we forget to see the beauty in our lives right now?
3. We can’t all be 4-leaf clovers.
They look the same. They feel the same. They grow in the same place. Although we obsess over finding 4-leaf clovers, (some of us more than others…)
Sometimes we might look at other people and think, “Wow, they are definitely way better than me! Look at all their money, beauty, and talent!” But we are made of the same stuff. There are different patterns, and different heights, but they are all clovers. Black, white, men, women, rich, poor: We are different, but we are all important and needed. There can’t be a clover patch without a variety of clovers! We can’t all be 4-leaf clovers.
And that is okay. In fact, it’s better that way.
4. Luck isn’t real.
Yep. Sorry to break it to you. I really didn’t want to have to break it to you here, but it’s a safe place! But as superstitious as I was (and am), it didn’t matter if I had clovers on my shoes or in my desk, my performance came from my preparation. If I had worked hard, I did well. If I relied on luck to make it through, let’s just say I had “bad luck”.
Forget the clovers. Forget the luck. YOU make it happen. YOU have the power to do anything you set your mind to! We aren’t born into a happy family, we BUILD a happy family. We don’t magically get a big break, we EARN it. Everything that happens is because of our own actions and hard work!
4-leaf clovers are pretty, and special, but there are a lot more things that we learn from “ordinary”, beautiful 3-leaf clovers.