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"An achievement by an acquaintance"

"Hows he doing now?"

"He's doing quite well, I guess..."

"How well is he doing?" 


"I heard that he owns a real estate property and is earning a handsome income every month. He drives a sports car, he has an expensive condominium just for himself."

"Wow! How did he do it?"

"Nah... He's probably has rich parents". 

Those were the words used in a conversation between three friends about a much younger ex colleague of mine many months ago.

And the belief that the younger ex-colleague of mine has rich parents went on for a while. And so doing the material success that he achieved was expected. I did not probe further as to what led to his success as I've already charted a path for myself and I am progressing steadily in the path that I am travelling on. 

A few weeks ago, the same conversation was brought up again among the same group of people. This time it was more introspective.

"How did he do it?"

"He went to set up an entreprise".

"Oh. He probably has rich parents to support him in the early stages of his entreprise". 

"Thats not true. His parents are people of average wealth. They live in average homes".

At this point I learnt a few things.

I simply do not care my younger acquaintance was doing far better than me; it really did not bother me because I am clear of the path I travelling on in life. Many people like to admire the success stories of others without the real drive to have it for themselves. Even more tend to brush aside the personal successes of others saying it is a matter of luck or inheritance, perhaps the successful one are born with a rare talent,  a gift of the gab, foresight,  business acumen.


Many people failed to realise even if my younger acquaintance was from a privileged family, it takes a lot of courage and risk to start an entreprise and stand against all odds to make it work.

What my younger acquaintance achieved was entirely well deserved. He took the risk to leave a comfortable environment, he had dreams. He took the risk of facing failure. He took the risk of being in debt. He took the risk of failing in his entreprise. He took the risk of being ridicule. (Ok, he might not care about being ridiculed because if he does, he may not have even taken the risk.)

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There are many important lessons that we could learn from others who have succeeded. We will not live long enough to make every imaginable mistake. Despite being a far younger acquaintance, there was at least a thing or two to learn from him.  When I found out much later that my younger acquaintance hailed from an average background it made his entrepreneurial success even more impressive. The assumptions that his other acquaintances made completely discounting the fact that he hustled to get to where he is right now completely eliminates the opportunity to learn from his success secrets.. 

If you would like to be a winner, associate and learn from winners. Learning to be humble enough to learn from others, even if they happen to be younger or seemingly inferior, would add to our wisdom and pool of knowledge. We may not know everything about succeeding. But if we learn from the winners or read up about  those who have succeeded in a big way, we might know more about succeeding than we ever could on our own. 

There are many lessons that we can learn from the successes as well as the failures of others. As Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba corporation once said, "Instead of learning from other people's success, learn from their mistakes. Most of the people who fail share common reasons whereas success can be attributed to various different kinds of reasons".


Written by Abraham A.L on 19th Feb 2016

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