Taking up matt's suggestion at Engineers without Fears: ways i have been lucky.
- I grew up in family of commercial so-so's
Like Matt I come from a family where money was sufficient but not plentiful and, although my father spent a lot of his time trying to strike the big one where, by some magic, he would clip the ticket of a passing train and collect the income without doing too much work, he never did.
I learned that luck plays a huge part in life and, as we are seeing right now, people who used to think they were successful people turn out only to have been luckier than most. Sometimes it turns around (see Boyle, Susan) but mostly it doesn't.
I learned also to despise debt with a vengeance and to exclude it from my life at every opportunity. Like Matt, it made me look a bit meek for years but it works for me now
- I became a broadcaster by pure accident. It gave me a 20 plus year cashflow (it wasn't a career, I was too bolshie for that and maybe not talented enough) that sure as hell beat working for a living and allowed me to engage my endless curiosity and my big mouth.
- As a young announcer I impressed a guy called David Walker who was a copywriter in Palmerston North. He talked to another guy called Wayne Newth about me who talked to another guy called Murray King who gave me a job 20 years later setting up a Maori language radio station in Wellington. That led me to a job as manager of Wellington Community Access radio where
- I met Richard Naylor who, in 90 minutes, showed me that the business I was in was headed for the rocks and who, coincidentally and Via Charles Bagnall, at Wellington City gave me the chance to get into Internet related stuff and set up the 2020 Trust that I now chair. Where
- I met Ulla Skiden who was running the Global Bangemann Challenge from Stockholm who turned out to be a kindred spirit and who kept asking me to do stuff for her. Like travel to India to speak at a conference, to write reviews of hundreds of entries in the Challenge events, who asked me to help her with another project called Techempower.net (sadly now deceased) or become Chair of the Stockholm Challenge jury.
And through it all to work with people from a dozen countries (travel to meet all of them) see the world, go to WSIS, present at UNESCO conference in St Petersburg and speak on the stage of the Blue hall in Stockholm.
- To be married three timkes to strong, intelligent, opinionated, amazing women with all of whom I am still good mates and to have an adult daughter to whom I can talk about stuff like love and betrayal as if they are ordinary subjects like sport and money.
- To still be able to come back to NZ and buy a plot of land big enough to set up a serious garden and have the energy and strength to do the work.
- I have had asthma most of my life. I have had only a few nasty attacks in that 58 years, but it stops me from thinking I am immortal and it helps me focus on paying attention to my health, without getting obsessive.
Luck. All the way. Luck in other people. I hope I give enough of it back.