How much of your success is due to luck versus skills?
This question cannot be answered as it is.
Luck is too abstract a concept to be weighed against skills. Replacing it with circumstances reveals the true nature of the dilemma.
Circumstances are not immovable. They constantly change based both on randomness and our own actions. This combination makes it impossible to be totally in control of our conditions, but it also means we’re not helpless and we can steer things the way we want. Skills only matter when we take circumstances into account.
For an aspiring cook, good conditions may be :
- Having enough money to take a year off to study in a great school.
- Living in a city with a strong culinary scene and tradition.
- Having supportive friends.
- Growing up in a family of professional cooks.
Some of these situations are totally random (the cook family) - others may be the result of past actions to a certain degree (the off-year).
Some circumstances are impossible to overcome. A child born blind and with Down syndrome in a penniless family in the middle of the Great Bengal famine of 1770 is in such a circumstance. I call these, curses.
Some people have skills so sharpened that they can find a way out of seemingly impossible situations. individuals like Leonid Rogozov, the doctor who removed his own appendix in the middle of Antarctica. I call these people, macGyvers.
What happens when macGyvers are afflicted by a curse? They lose.
Some situations are too much for anyone, no matter their abilities.
If the sun was to explode in five minutes, none of us could do anything about it.
A good thing to keep in mind when judging people’s life.