How to Succeed

Let me share with you something about success.

To be a successful person, you gotta fall first. Almost die. Then get up again – but better than before. Your shoulders real square and your walk erect. When you walk again like a free person, then you realize this immense strength and renewed trust in yourself to meet any challenge life will throw your way.

But of course, that is a horse’s lie.

When we fall, Life chooses who lives and who dies. Who walks and who doesn’t. Success is as much an outcome of your chances and environment as it is your genius and your efforts. Just because one person is not successful does not mean that person did not have the intelligence or the tenacity to succeed in a task or a goal.

Bill Gates was Bill Gates because he was born in the West Coast with access to a computer terminal as a high school student in the 60’s. There was a thousand Bill Gates who were born in India, China, and Africa who are now driving taxicabs and planting rice in the fields because they didn’t have access to a terminal four years prior to the introduction of the Personal Computers.

People fall all the time. Many don’t get back up. I won’t take credit for the eighth time I cheated Death. I am better off in all ways but not because of something I’ve done. I am better off because Life has been kind and generous to me.

So to be successful, it’s not enough that you work hard. You have to put yourself in the situation where the environment supports your growth. Even then that is in many ways not enough.

Success is a mirage. If we happen to stumble upon an oasis of success, we should be apprehensive about taking credit for something as fleeting and unfair as Chance and recognize those people who have worked just as hard but didn’t have the same luck as we were favored.