Jun 10, 2012

Have you thought of the unlucky ones?

Recently Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball and The Liar's Poker, gave an inspring talk at the Princeton commencement. He talks about the importance of understanding the element of "luck" in your life. It's very easy to feel "entitled" to all the things that you have achieved. It's easy to attribute success to your own abilities and forget the role of luck. So it's important to remember how lucky you have been. There are many ways you end up lucky.

You could be lucky to be born in a safe and strong country
You could be lucky to be born to caring, supportive parents
You could be lucky enough to get into a good school

So the main message is to be thankful to the unlucky ones. And often times they are folks who have been behind you, directly or indirectly, helping you get where you have got. Here are a few ways to take care of some of the unlucky ones.

1. There are a lot of "support" people who might have helped you get you where you are. Teachers, clerk at your dad's office, office staff, maids, uncles, aunts, advisors, friends and many more. Don't forget them. And some of them do it without having much of their own. Set aside a small gift for your nanny who took care of you in your early years as she may be going through tough times today.

2. People born in difficult countries and families. Loan small amounts through Kiva. Most of your money just sits in the bank. Why not set aside $200 towards helping people around the world? And the best part is that the loan repayment is upwards of 99%!

3. Academically brilliant kids who can't afford to get into a school or college because of lack of financial resources. Or in many cases, just the lack of guidance and advise. For kids in India, you could "Adopt a Scholar through Foundation for Excellence" and fund their college education.

4. At a minimum, just think of those friends and supporters who made a small impact in your life. Just remember, that besides your own abilities, there is some role played by lady luck. Do this so you don't lose your own humility and learn to share the "extra cookie".

(Scroll directly to 10:55 to listen to the extra cookie research).

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