In life, the word success is thrown around like confetti at a party. Everyone has a different approach to success, and each individual has a different “recipe“ for it.
Though it is agreed that success cannot be quantified, it is often measured in terms of what a person has achieved, and the scale at which it has been achieved. It has been observed that when two people have access to similar resources, one often outshines the other. Although this difference is bound to exist, in many cases, the difference is so significant, that one wonders about what it is that the person is doing, that is causing this major difference.
The truth is that success is like mathematics, you could add up a bunch of different numbers and arrive at the same number as someone else. So, success must be mapped, it must be graphed to see each advantage, every perceived disadvantage, each resource, personality at each point of time.
Malcolm Gladwell, brilliantly explains in his book Outliers, that there exists a pattern to this perceived success, and it is essential that we become more and more aware of the pattern, and level the playing field.
For example, when in school, for a child who is born on say 12th December 1999, in 2003, the kindergarten accepts students who were born till September 1999, the child will be enrolling next year, that is, in 2004. By that time, he has much more development and experience than someone born on say 12th August 2000. Thus has a higher chance of doing well in school, has a much greater chance of getting more attention from teachers, getting additional resources and opportunities, thus has greater self-confidence as well. This pattern exists in almost every schooling system around the world, where kids who are enrolled like this, have been observed to do better in studies, better in sports since they are much better built than their peers and have a better grasp on the language, all due to the fact that the date of enrollment was an advantage to them. Each access to any resource at this age, snowballs, by teenage the gap is extremely significant. Of course, this is a pattern; it may or may not apply to you. The absence of a small resource at a young age, adds up later. This is also why many teachers and parents are asking the schools to introduce a different method for enrollment.
While this explains a small example of success and advantage at a young age, there are many more hidden patterns that are aiding someone in their path to success.
It may not be the date of enrollment, it could a small policy change that is made that year or a government grant to the research facility in your college. The absence of opportunities like these would most probably change the path, and chances are one may not even achieve success without them.
While that doesn’t mean that people who are successful haven’t worked hard or that they haven’t faced adverse conditions, it means that we need to be much more sensitive and empathetic, towards someone who is considered relatively unsuccessful even with access to similar resources, because they probably didn’t get that one small unearned opportunity.