What We Attribute Success To

As I've aged, I've learned to accept and appreciate the impact luck has on my success.  

As I've aged, I've learned to accept and appreciate the impact luck has on my success.  

I'm a lucky man. 

If you talked to me a few years ago, I would have had a hard time admitting that. I would have said that whatever success I've had was due to blood, sweat, and tears. I've since realized how utterly self-serving that was. 

I've achieved more than I ever thought I could in my career. All I wanted was not to make my parents regret letting me get an art degree by having to pay my bills and student loans after graduating from college. So I worked my ass off and thought that I earned everything I got. 

I didn't appreciate enough that I was born to a family who cared about education and prioritized it for the kids. I romanticized the story of having been born in a developing country and then immigrating with my family in pursuit of the American dream. I didn't appreciate being in the right place at the right time at key points in my life & career to meet all the people who taught me, corrected me, and gave me numerous opportunities to grow. I attributed my progress to my capabilities and motivation. Being born with good mental & physical health has been taken for granted while I pat myself on the back for getting myself to the gym every week. And so on. I discounted those things that helped and elevated all the challenges I overcame. 

Dans les champs de l’observation le hasard ne favorise que les esprits préparés.

In the field of observation, chance favors the prepared mind.
— Louis Pasteur

There's a corrosive belief among some people that the poor deserve their lot in life and, conversely, the rich deserve theirs. This is an example of the just-world hypothesis or fallacy which rationalizes people's misfortune because they deserve it in some way or another. How horrible is that? 

I don't completely discount the value of hard work, but if that was all that was required, then so many more people deserve a measure of success. Working hard is never a guarantee but does create opportunities to maximize the beneficial effects that luck brings. 

I'm a lucky man. Now, back to work.