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Opportunities and Success

Just before sleeping I decided to go through the first chapter of Outliers, one of the bestselling book on success and innovation. The chapter was so intriguing that it pushed me to think hard about myself. And I had only begun to read.

A very valid point was made in the chapter about the opportunities that people get in their life which pushes them to success and how baise these opportunities tend to be. A very intriguing example was given of how a hockey players in a specific region turned out to have similar birth months. No, it had nothing to do with astrology but a simple set of opportunities set out by the council of hockey which gave more opportunities to the people born in January, February and March.

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It turned out that the council enrolled young kids for training at specific time which unknowingly gave kids born in January more chances of fitting the age bar and entering the hockey team.

As a result, these kids got head start in their life and rode on the opportunities towards success.

Though, it is not ignoring skills and intelligence. It surely points out the missed opportunities for other kids. In the chapter, more examples are given for different games, education and different scenarios.

And seriously, we have witnessed these facts even in our day to day life. We find people with opportunities more equipped with things to handle the day to day challenges. And I looked at myself and said, "What opportunities did I have and what I didn't?"

To start with, I was born in a city which gave me excess to advantages of city dwellers. But ironically, I spent most of my childhood in a small village, on eastern part of Nepal, which was a base for advance research on Agriculture (PAC), where my father was working.

Though, I did my early schooling in a village school which had less to offer than city school. The place I was living in was nothing like a village. It was a merge of high end research labs and villagers living in harmony. The people and the culture of the place is still something I idealized.

It was in this very village I had witnessed computers and large computer networks, despite the fact that the village had no telephone for inter communication. Amazingly, though the time was between 80s and 90s, I was able to see and experience Laptops before Desktops. I still find it strange because it was only after a decade I was able to own my own Desktop while I was doing my A level. Here I have given you an example of few gained and missed opportunities, based on location. But I have noticed that location sometime does not bother people who have strong will to succeed.

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Now lets go to parenting. Today I have an engineering degree and a passion for building things and making it work.

This passion was seeded into me early on when my father gave me a LEGO as a first toy. I still remember the day he opened the box and gave me the pieces to solve. Since then I have never stopped dreaming about building and designing systems and working with it.

But my main point is that I did not become an engineer because I was given a LEGO and that I had fun with it in my early days. The important thing is that I was given an opportunity to explore things which luckily resonated with my interest and skill sets. (Because I still remember my father buying me a General Knowledge book on which I simply had no interest :) ) I was even lucky to have an uncle who was amazingly creative and inspired me to draw, build and even play music. Somehow, I still have a taste for music similar to him. This doesn't mean I was influenced, it means that I was lucky to have people around me with whom I could resonate. Now that is very important. I believe that every people have something interesting inside them and that they should get an opportunity to explore it.

Now, this opportunities to explore your interest is much more important than an opportunity to go into formal schooling and get a degree. Because once a kid finds his passion, he is bound to follow it till the end and success in itself is defined by his path. But in this weak education system, modern schools have a habit of narrowing down your options. I still remember how the amount of Art and Music class lessened as we marched to higher grade.

My point is that though opportunities play important roles in people's life sometime a little more hard work can balance the missed opportunities. Because looking at myself, I know that there were many points where I could not achieve certain things due to the lack of opportunity, but as time went on the homework paid off. My experience shows that when you realize that you are not able to do certain things better than other due to lack of knowledge, just remove your self from the rat race of trying to win. Step aside and work on your weakness and do a strong homework.


I could go on and on. But I thing thats enough. Further I do not know how the book will move forward and may be there are certain things that I still have not explored in this post. But when I get time, I will certainly do so. Also, feel free to share your thoughts on it.

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