Is success random? How important do you think luck is for achieving success? Now, you may be a self-hero, a believer in hard-work-brings-success philosophy; every morning you may look forward to reading stories of successful people who were certain of their successes from the start. To achieve success, you may even be sufficiently motivated to learn new skills, network madly, and work endlessly. After all, if you do all the things right, success will kiss you. See, you are feeling great already! Now that you are all set to achieve success, let us sit in a time machine and head forward three years in future.
You have grown a little older. But, sadly, nothing really has changed. All what has changed is that your book shelf has ten more books of successful people and twenty more of self-help books. Looking back you deeply regret working like hell for the last three years. You feel pangs of guilt whose source cannot be traced. You feel cheated. You feel like burning all the fake books your book shelf is having.
Whoa! Wait, we almost forgot about your twin brother. Let us ask how he feels now on recently selling his company for $25 MM. He tells you that he feels great and because he did yada-yada in life, he was able to get a profitable exit. You know deep in your heart that you are way smarter than him, had more connections, worked twice as hard. But he is successful, you are not. So, his success must be a fluke. Right?
Right. Repeat after me what you just said. Success is a fluke. Success is a fluke.
So, why obsess over it? Why loathe success of your brother? Why read self-help and startup stories books? Why burn your soul daily for not achieving success? Why regret being so smart?
Today, you have still three years before realizing success is a fluke, so make most of it.
But then you ask, why does success look so methodical. Why do successful people say that what they learnt, where they went for studies, whom they met at a party, etc. played a major role in their success. Why do the dots look connected as if there is indeed a recipe for success? This is because dots are in fact connected. Even for great failures, dots look connected. Heck, even for normal lives, dots look connected. Dots are made to be connected.
Apart from the usual stuff, there are a million other things which influence success. After a minimum quantity of basic ingredients: networking, hard work, skills, you should leave it on randomness to get you success. Don’t obsess over it. Just be ready with basic ingredients and expose yourself to randomness. Given enough time, success should follow.
And don’t fret over your twin brother’s success, after all he is your brother. Moreover, if he got lucky in three years, you may also get lucky in another two, ten or maybe thirty years. if you never get success, don’t blame it on you, blame it on lady luck!