Recently, I have had this random thought on the topic. Different people may hold very different opinions. I think there is very little credit you can take for your success.

The external environment contributes to one’s success the most. Imagine you are born in some countries in Africa, how likely will you be at your status right now? Imagine you are working in an industry that is declining, how likely will you be getting your promotion and salary increase? Imagine you are working on a startup idea that serves a few million people in a city extremely well, how likely the startup will be a unicorn?

Indeed, there is something we can choose from. You can choose to work in an industry that is booming and develop a solution that can potentially solve a problem for billions of people. But to succeed, you still need a lot of luck, like the people you met, the team you are working with, the training you received. Take this argument to the extreme, if your parents did not pass you that strong DNA, you will be in a disadvantaged position.

If you are gifted and have a favourable environment, it is your problem to not succeed.


  1. Completely agree! You might also be interested in Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers where he shared similar views as above and expanded with further data points.

    I think there are a few decisions in life that can be life changing but this is an excellent view to have in any case because it helps you stay grounded and to be more appreciative of your ‘luck’ and all external factors that contributes to one’s own success 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your reply! It is indeed important to be more appreciative and grateful. I will definitely check out the book you recommend!

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