Andrew Ducker (andrewducker) wrote,
Andrew Ducker
andrewducker

I don't deserve my success

Over here I've been discussing willpower, effort and success with philmophlegm and it's reminded me of a topic I've meant to discuss for some time - how lucky I am to be anywhere near as successful as I am.

I'm lucky I was born to smart parents.
I'm lucky I was born to nice parents.
I'm lucky I was born to parents who read a lot, and passed that on to me.
I'm lucky my parents were interested in passing along the things they'd learned to me.
I'm lucky that when I repeatedly messed things up at school and university my parents were willing to help me get things sorted out.
I'm lucky that when I was living on very little money, unemployed or on a couple of really rubbish jobs, my parents were capable (and willing) to lend me money.
I'm lucky that my father was interested in computers before they were seen as useful.
I'm lucky that he brought home the most easily programmable home computer* in 1983 rather than the one that had the most games.
I'm lucky I enjoyed playing with them and seeing what they could do.
I'm lucky that my hobby/addiction to computers turned out to be something that people would pay money for.
I'm lucky that my father was able to get me work at the hospital, using my computer skills.
I'm lucky that the skills I developed there were transferrable to my first "proper" computer job.
I'm lucky that when that avenue ran out I was able to start over with my current employers as a "graduate trainee" despite my degree being nowhere near good enough, because they were sensible enough to take experience as being important.

Without all of that, I wouldn't be in nearly as good a position as I am today, and I'm very grateful for all of it. Because frankly very little of that was down to me deserving anything, or making any kind of decision. I chose to "start over" in the final step there, but everything else is me being lucky with the circumstances of my birth.

And that's one of the many reasons I support efforts to give people who didn't have all of my advantages a good start in life, and support when they make mistakes that I could get past because I had a better starting point or parents who could help me out**.

*The BBC Micro, designed for teaching purposes.
**Let's not even get into things like my parents lending me the deposit on my first mortgage. Took me a while to pay it back, and I feel good that I did, but having parents who could even give me that helping hand was a huge step up.




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