Money makes life so easy; I often remind myself how hard life was for me and is for other people in this planet (and, I mean, almost every single human in the planet). We are living in an extremely overpopulated world where supply of workforce is always way greater than the demand; this creates a situation where people unnecessarily suffer. What was supposed to be an easy ride through life, that is, a life where we (humans) just searched for food and spent the rest of the time socializing and being happy is instead an extremely hard and tumultuous ride through poverty, sickness, disease, hunger and natural disasters.
I understand how lucky I am about knowing that I will have something to eat tomorrow; I built a safety net by first leaving Mexico, going to college, moving to the US, finding work and work my ass off until two months ago. But other people weren’t as lucky; there are a lot of people whose parents did not take them to school, something that was paramount in my future success. I recognize the fact that I was lucky in a sense as my parents, although did not provide me with a good life, at least gave me an education that allowed me to extricate myself from a life of misery. That was just pure luck, I could have also had parents who couldn’t afford my education and I am certain that my future would not have been as flourishing.
I give myself little credit to my achievements which are way above average considering I was not born in the US; my achievements were the result of limited favorable circumstances that I took advantage off and nothing else. I am not a prodigy, genius, or above average in any way; Just a guy who did not have it so hard. And even if I was a genius that would mean that luck gave me an above average genetic makeup. Everything nails down to luck!
When I was married to my former wife I was often impressed how she felt that what she achieved was not a result of pure luck, she was a psychiatrist making $70k per year in residency with a great career outlook ahead; still she gave no credit to the roll that luck played in the equation. For starters the probability of being born in the US is something like 4%. that is really unlikely, then we talk about the probability of having a supporting family who encourages you to go through medical school (extremely necessary btw), the probability of having money to pay for medical school (inheritance money), probability of being smart enough to understand math and sciences. In short, it is extremely unlikely to be in her situation, I cannot calculate most of these probabilities but each of them makes the probability smaller and smaller to a point where it is actually almost impossible to find oneself in that situation; The rest; the effort to go through medical school, is just a minuscule part of the equation. yet, people in her situation, whit a marked arrogance and huge altered ego think that are better than everybody else when the only thing that led to their circumstances was first and foremost luck and just then effort.
I love this country and am lucky to be here but if I had something unfavorable to say about Americans is how they think that is normal to be in a situation such as ours, a situation where we can virtually have whatever we want just by extending a piece of plastic. I hope people in the US would understand how lucky we are.
There are several wealthy individuals that I admire, most of them fail to recognize the roll that luck played in their success. While I certainly could not replicate anything that Musk or Bezos achieved it is worth mentioning that they had privileged lives, and that their life would have been favorable regardless of the fact that they hit the nail in the head with their ideas. I am way more inclined to admire, or admire to a much greater extent the former owner of Alibaba, Jack Ma; a short guy who got rejected from working at KFC, with an average Chinese education and life. This is the people whom I admire as I identify myself better with them. Being an entrepreneur when you have nothing is to a huge extend harder than having money and starting a business. If I had $300K extra right now and the desire to open a business there are a pleura of ideas that I think would be successful. The problem is that while I have that kind of money and could certainly risk it, the idea of risking what I suffer so much to obtain is something that I do not even consider doing. In my eyes making $300K, starting a business and succeed makes you a genius. Inheriting $300K, starting a business and failing makes you a complete idiot.
Last, I would like to offer a word of advice; next time when you look at your 3 bedroom house, fancy car and beautiful family and you think to yourself of how great your achievements are take a quick trip to a third world country, which are most of them, an when you are there think about whether your achievements were due to your effort or pure luck. This might give you a different perspective through life.