Something that I’ve always spoken about is luck. I don’t know how I got so lucky to have the kindest and most beautiful souls in my life, constantly supporting me, loving me and being there for me. Yet, I realised I do not have an entry on luck.
Chanced upon this video and it really reminded me of how lucky I am, even more than what I thought initially.
The events during the past weekend and a couple of external family situations made me realise how lucky I am. Long story short, I spent saturday night with the search bar “how to deal with stupid people”. Then, it made me realise that I am just a lucky motherfucker to be where I am right here right now.
I am really lucky.
Very lucky. One of the luckiest motherfucker on this planet, because I’m 100% sure there are a gazillion other people who can do what I do, just 100x better. Yet, just because I was born in the right country, to the right loving parents, to the right education system, to have this amazing support system, to have the opportunities, the right place and time, I am here today.
Yes, I did work hard. And yes, I always like to attribute my success to all the hard work I put in (I mean, I really work very very very hard all my life! You cannot discount that). But no, the reality is that I am not where I am today if not for the random lucky chances along the way.
Random Lucky Stars
Just a list of random external factors that made me who I am today:
- My love for math started young. Dad made us memorise the multiplication table. Mum made us do quick addition of number plates when we are on a road trip. I still do that all the time!
- Since young, my mum exposed us to entrepreneurship. My grand-aunts had their own businesses, my grandparents had their own. It was no cushy life, and I learnt so much from being exposed to sales and entrepreneurship since young. I remember on weekends, we used to hold garage sales just to sell the items away, and I had a lot of fun convincing people to buy.
- Economics entered my life when my dad told me “I got all As in economics. Economics is easy.” He said the same for math too. And I ended up falling in love with economics.
- We would have discussions about geopolitics, business, world affairs at dinner tables. It was really fun and inspired me to take up the hobbies of geopolitics, macro markets and general economics.
- I travelled a lot when I was young. My parents love to travel so they took us with them. It genuinely shocked me when I was 17 and learnt that some people have never left the country. My parents would bring us to new places, experience new things, understand the different cultures in other countries.
- Travelling abroad, moving abroad, living abroad. I’m speechless at the opportunities. The people I’ve met, the life-changing experiences, the challenging my internal foundations. I am not who I am today, if not for the many many many party nights, the drunk chats, the intense debates, the insane fun.
- Beyond the intangibles, I’m just incredibly lucky with the tangibles too. I say that I am not a fan of material assets because I don’t buy them. But maybe that is because I have them. They’re just given to me as a way of showing love and support. And because I have them, I never took them so seriously. A bag is just a bag. Cashmere is just warm and I’m cold. But to other people who don’t have them, a bag could mean the entire world to them.
- I’m exposed to different people from all walks of life. That’s amazing. Like my friendship principle. At the same time, my curve is skewed towards the right with a thick long tail. I only kinda learnt about class a few weeks ago. And I spent a few days learning about middle class, middle upper class and upper class. I understand that I am privilege and lucky, but I do forget a lot of other things. And this is before discrimination, negative stereotypes and racism.
To the last point, a strong principle of mine is that when you add value as an individual, racism, sexism, ageism and all the discrimination does not happen to you.
Well, it works for me. But I live in specific nice societies. So it’s not fair for me to take my reality and apply it to others. Just because I’m lucky in my situations does not discredit that the world can be a truly terrible place for others.
- Honestly, one of the biggest factor is people telling me that I’m hardworking. Since young, Xav (brother) was the smart one. His grades were better than me, he studied so hard (while I played before exams) and he just took education so seriously. In primary school, I could not care less about grades. I’m a child, I just want to have fun and play catching at recess! I did work hard though. So since young, Xav was the smart one and I was the hardworking one. That helped a lot actually. I knew I am dumb and if I worked hard, I could become smart some day. So that’s what I did.
- Positive stereotypes worked well for me. I remember the night we had this chat with E. I don’t care about how people view me, as long as I have an internal locus of control for things I do. And I like the general stereotypical asian things like super focused, excelling at a few things, math, studious, etc. Well, that kinda worked for me since I like these traits anyway.
- Experiencing failures. I will admit that the 3 greatest times I’ve experienced failure was
- 15 year old — experiencing the harsh reality that you can’t always be 100% nice and kind. There are assholes in the world, and they will eat you up whenever.
- 23 years old — experiencing the soul crashing reality of life. Which caused my to experience mild depression. Actually, this was a very important life lesson, for it allowed me to begin again.
- 25 years old — experiencing rejections when it comes to love. I’m incredibly lucky to have loved and still be loved by the most wonderful souls in the world. So I had to learn how to deal with rejection. It sounds stupid, but it’s not a nice lesson for an adult to learn. Anyway, after many rejections, I’ve learnt a lot and grow much more.
Luck + Hard work
- Getting into all the schools and courses that I always wanted. Sure, it is hard work on my side. I’m also certain Lady Luck was smiling at me when I got those good grades, scholarships, opportunities and all
- Through the highly curated network groups, I got to know a lot of quality people and brains.
- Advice from dad. I didn’t think my dad has such a huge role in where I am today. My dad was also helping me to see situations from new angles, asking thought-provoking ideas and allowing me to experience things, just not straying too far. Because I had his external insights, I could see beyond my peers. Today, I still have these types of people in specialised skillsets to allow me to see a situation from other perspectives.
- Right place, right skillsets, right time. Honestly, I felt like giving up so many times. E always pushed me and supported me. My parents tried to understand, failed but continued to support me. Random internet strangers with their kindest words having so much faith in me. Oh my heart. I don’t deserve any of these wonderful things. I’m just the luckiest motherfucker in the world, to have met all these souls.
And ok I have to add this. I’m lucky that I am conventionally good looking. It helps.
Luck is a curious thing. It is so insignificant in the general way we live our lives. It’s actual hard work, doing the necessary evils and having strong internal locus of control to get to the place we want. Yet at the same time, luck is really that 0.01% to push us slightly in the right direction. The right direction in which all the hard work actually pays off.
Above all the lucky stars in my life, the biggest things I’m grateful for are people. People, people, people. They are the best things in my life. People who are support when I can lean on, people who give me advice to help me get back on track, people who are giants and lift me up, people who have an unconditional believe in me and what I do.
Often times, when the sun rays are gone and the gloomy clouds are back, the universe sends random people to check in on me and send some unwavering faith. I am genuinely useless without them. It’s so easy to lose faith when it’s all gloomy. Their faith brings the ray of sunshine, clearing the doubts away.
I’m the luckiest motherfucker in the world. If there is a next life, I hope I find these people again and repay them 100x.