I subscribe to the idea that we need to put ourselves in a position to be lucky. However, there is such a thing as “dumb luck”.
Number 1: We have no choice of where and when we are born. Nor do we choose our parents. We also have no choice over what situation or culture we are born into. These things are totally out of our control.
Bill Gates once said that “Without Lakeside high school, the school he attended, there would be no Microsoft. That school was the only school in America that had a computer.
Don’t overlook the importance of luck.
Malcomb Gladwell in his book, Outliers shows that yes, Bill Gates was exceptional and he was smart, but he was also born into the right situation.
The perfect age to be in 1975, is old enough to be a part of the coming revolution but not so old that you missed it. Ideally, you want to be twenty or twenty-one, which is to say, born in 1954 or 1955.
Bill Gates: October 28,1955
Paul Allen: January 21,1953
Steve Ballmer: March 24,1956
Steve Jobs: February 24, 1955
Eric Schmidt: April 27,1955
And so on…
Number 2: I was quite lucky to be born in a family, a culture where hard work, less complaining, not expecting handouts was a key part of my upbringing. I had great parents who encouraged these things. And even though we were not rich, that ethic was a foundational part of my success.
I was lucky, and I admittedly struggle with being sympathetic with those less fortunate who in my opinion aren’t working hard enough to get out of their unfortunate culture. I need to realize it is hard. Maybe they weren’t so lucky to be born into a better environment. I need to be more sympathetic and less judgmental.
Number 3: What can we do to put ourselves in a position to be lucky.
Well for 1, stop complaining and do something about being put into an unfair situation. Yes, hard work and being industrious can make a significant difference.
2. Ask for help. Not as a handout, but something where you have every intention of paying back in some way.
3. Identify and leverage what you have been blessed with. For example, if you are good with numbers, find a career where it will help you stand out. If you are good with people, network.
Take action, make a difference.