I’m reading The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel and I highly recommend it. A collection of short stories about the money in our lives. On page 25, one sentence jumped out at me like a lightening bolt. That sentence was, “Bill Gates went to one of the only high schools in the world that had a computer.”
Think about that. One of the only high schools in the world at that time. What are the chances? What is that head start worth? Morgan goes on to write, “The Lakeside School Mothers’ Club used the proceeds from its annual rummage sale – about $3000 – to lease a Teletype Model 30 computer hooked up to the General Electric mainframe terminal for computer time-sharing…. Most university graduate schools did not have a computer anywhere near as advanced as Bill Gates had access to in eighth grade. And he couldn’t get enough of it.” The moral of this story Morgan writes is that, “If you give luck and risk their proper respect, you realize that when judging people’s financial success – both your own and others’ – it’s never as good or as bad as it seems.”
Would there be a Microsoft if that school didn’t have a computer? Bill worked on the computer with two other boys. One of them, Paul Allen, ended up being a partner with him at Microsoft, the other one, Kent Evans, who Gates said was the best student in the class, died during high school in a mountaineering accident. Would he have been a computer legend like Gates?
We must work hard and follow our heart, but before we judge ourselves and those around us, we might think about those things that lined up perfectly or didn’t line up at all. For everyone. We take risks to live our life and we may also be blessed with some luck. But in the end, everyone’s journey is a different one. The grass is not always greener on the other side. So, water the side you are on and never stop growing.