Good Luck Poop

Challenge as Opportunity

A bird pooped on my shoulder the other day. We’d just dragged the bikes out for a test run. Both my six-year-old and my four-year-old sons are learning to ride with no training wheels so it’s an exciting time at the Berg house. Come to think of it it’s always an exciting time at the Berg house. No shortage of milestones being reached daily between the four munchkins.

There I was, getting ready to run (an not let go – wink, wink, nod, nod), when I felt it. “Plop.” Of course I reached across my body and dragged my finger through it, because the only thing more disgusting than getting bird poop on your jacket is getting it on your skin. Why do we do things like that? Who knows?

Anyway, in response to the pooping I naturally exclaimed, “A bird just pooped on my shoulder!” The kids were wide-eyed and awestruck. They stood with mouths agape looking up at the trees. They couldn’t believe it. Was it funny? Was it gross? What do we do next? Again, who knows?

My wife simply smiled and said, “Hey…that’s supposed be good luck.” Good luck indeed.

Maybe there’s something to it though. Maybe getting pooped on is lucky. Maybe it all depends on how you look at it and what you do next. Maybe it depends on one’s commitment to a growth mindset.

Getting pooped on isn’t ideal. In fact it’s yucky. It causes you to have to stop what you’re doing. It makes you have to wash your coat and scrub your finger. It’s simply not what you hope for when you step out the door. However, it’s a good reminder that you don’t always get what you hope for when you walk out the door.

Maybe getting pooped on is an opportunity to think of life as a process indelibly connected the ups and downs we each inevitably experience. Maybe it’s an opportunity to practice being comfortable with, and even excited about that. Maybe it’s a chance to practice maintaining a positive mindset even when you do get pooped on. I can’t imagine that anyone’s ever been seriously injured or otherwise negatively impacted by a fly by pooping. Typically you survive it, just like lots of other less than ideal situations.

Maybe the good luck is in the message of strength through adversity and hope through challenges. The simple fact is that occasionally we get pooped on and that’s ok. As educators and parents we know that the good stuff is in what we do next with out thoughts, emotions, and actions. Getting pooped on is an easy opportunity to practice and model resilience and joy. For that I’m grateful to the bird who recently relieved himself on my shoulder.

May you have many opportunities to push through challenges with learning, growth, and joy in mind, and to that I can only add…good luck!

Live, listen, learn, lead, and always bring your best.


  1. Amy

    Too funny, Seth! And yes – it is supposed to bring good luck! It happened to a friend of mine last year and she went to the casino that night and won a jackpot! Good things will come to you!

    • Seth E. Berg

      Awesome Amy! I’ll take a casino jackpot…I suppose I woudl have to go to the casino first though, and that type of activity woudl keep me up way past bedtime:). Regardless, I do feel pretty lucky. Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing!

    • Seth E. Berg

      My pleasure Kelly…and thank you. I really appreciate the read and the comment – smiling and reflecting are two of my favorite things, glad to hear your enjoying some of both!

  2. Sheri Mark

    A bird pooped on my head when I was on a power walk just hours before going to shave my head while I was going through chemo for breast cancer. Luckily, I always wear a hat or baseball cap when I walk. When it happened, I started laughing and crying just thinking of the irony of the situation. A woman stopped and asked if I was ok. All I could do was continue to laugh and cry. I explained my situation and she also started laughing. She also told me it was good luck when a bird poops on your head! I think the bird knew I needed a good laugh/cry that day!

    • Seth E. Berg

      Wow Sheri…thank you so much for sharing that story…what a moment! It is amazing how life can give us just what we need during some of the moments when our needs are greatest. Thanks for your strength-modeling and for your contribution to this message!

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