For eons people have discussed, debated and questioned the correlation between luck and effort. Most believe, no matter how much you work, (I will not use the term ‘hard work’ as I believe the ones who work the hardest on earth are donkeys) the ‘final touch’ is always given by the slice of luck one has in life.
Not only in corporate parlance, any space in life, it is a conical diagram. The best of the lot form the peak, the law of averages rules the mediocre and there are vast majority of dwellers at the bottom. Pick any example. Take a country’s government; led by few, followed by many and voted my millions. Take an economy; there are very few billion-dollar valuation companies, many million-turnover companies and a swarm of aspiring outfits. In a company, a hand few of individuals run the company, many of them manage the company and loads of them work for the company. Talk to the top management and they have their version of how they made it to the top. They have sound knowledge of their domain, expert and practical exposure, innovative thinking and aggression. They also add a flavor of ‘luck’ by saying, “and ofcourse, I was at the right time at the right place”. The second rung people are more upbeat on luck. They all agree to have made their way up through maximum input-maximum output mentality, optimism, a very good Boss and a lot of luck on their side. The base of the cone with the maximum population cries hoarse on being the most talented, most used (read misused), exploited and the unluckiest of all the three slabs.
Certainly, am not at the peak. I don’t feel am the unluckiest, either. So, I guess, I would fit in the middle bracket. I did not want to pursue Maths after the compulsory classes. I got enough marks to call it good, not good enough for my school to offer me the subject (I was lucky). I took up biosciences. By the time I completed a year, I was confident I would never become a Doctor. I graduated with Commerce in college. In a herd mentality, I enrolled in Chartered Accountants’ course. Ofcourse, I knew the percentage of people who pass the CA Exam every year. What the heck? There is no harm in trying. There are no marks for trying, either! I failed miserably. During my preparation for Management Schools I was gaining confidence. Maths was not that bad. Especially, at this level too if people want fundamentals to be clear, I did feel at some point I should have worked on the subject a little more in my elementary days. Anyhow, the high point of my life came when I cleared the written test for the most reputed and esteem B-School in India. But only the peak of the cone gets in there. I wasn’t there yet. I did not go further than GD and interviews. But I made it to a decent B-School in the next rung of institutes. (I was lucky again). With my aptitude and psyche, I would have never come out of the so-called ‘esteemed’ B-School. I would have never made it through the first year, leave alone walking out with a 7-figure salary job. My institute was the perfect fit (matching-matching!!). I participated in all sports and cultural activities, had outings every week, got assignments that were done in a ‘group’, learnt more from conversation than big, fat books. But the two most important things which I got from my institute were my future wife and sleep for atleast 7 hours a day. I eventually bagged a decent job from the institute, though. I am working in an MNC now. I am happily married to a Tamilian who does not understand a word of my mother tongue, Bengali. (I am lucky here too!! I can crib about her infront of her without her getting inkling of my conversation with like-minded people). But now I realize, its neither effort or luck that makes you a happy person.
You are lucky if you see the luck side up!