Just a quick quote from a commenter before heading out of town for a couple of days, one day business, one day pleasure.
It has to do with the first quote on the last post, specifically:
...who [...] sees your success as entirely due to your own superiority to the masses, without recognizing the huge role that luck and opportunity played in it.
Actually, I certainly do see most success in life as being at root a product of fortune and opportunity (Taleb makes this point as well in Fooled by Randomness). But that's not the end of it. I was going to write out why, but commenter Travis Steward did such a fine job I'd love for him to take credit.
The interesting thing about "luck" and "opportunity" that I've noticed in my life is that EVERYONE experiences these in spades many times in their lives, even the most dejected of society. The difference between those who take responsibility in their lives and those who blame their woes on others is that the former fucking RECOGNIZES it and takes ADVANTAGE of it. [...]
You want a better life? You want a better life for other people? Then help then learn how to see with clearer eyes, to understand with greater knowledge, so when the opportunities that are offered to them don't go by in a sad hail of misguided egoism and insecurity.
I come from nothing. I am surrounded by friends I grew up with who were given more opportunity than 99% of society, and I am doing better than all of them combined. Why? Because I learned how to take advantage of opportunity and make my life better through a pursuit of knowledge.
It wasn't some fucking bureaucrat that allocated me my "opportunity", it was just a mind and a pair of eyes that learned how to provide for myself even in the most scarce conditions.
Get some courage and take responsibility for your failure. And for god's sakes quit pretending you have it figured out.
Some time back I was watching one of those news magazine shows and it was about luck and seizing upon opportunity. They took a bunch of people, interviewed them to assess and score which were overall positive and which were overall pessimist. Then they got permission to film them going about their daily lives. Unbeknownst to the the subjects however, was the fact that the producers had surreptitiously placed a $20 bill on the sidewalk in front of their path.
Guess which ones on average saw the money and which ones didn't?