If you have not, do yourself a favor and read Outliers. It will completely change your view of what success is, and how it is attained. It got me thinking about ALL the lucky breaks I have gotten in the course of my life.
… Success follows a predictable course. It is not the brightest who succeed… Nor is success simply the sum of the decisions and efforts we make on our own behalf. It is rather a gift. Outliers are those who have been given opportunities— and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them……
….We are so caught in the myths of the best and brightest and the self-made that we think outliers spring naturally from the earth. We look at the young Bill Gates and marvel that our world allowed that thirteen-year-old to become a fabulously successful entrepreneur. But that’s the wrong lesson. Our world only allowed one thirteen-year-old unlimited access to a timesharing terminal in 1968. If a million tennagers had been given the same opportunity, how many more Microsofts would we have today? To build a better world we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages that today determine success— the fortunate birthdates and the happy accidents of history— with a society that provides opportunities for all.
—Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers.