I was reading 2 articles in The Atlantic today. Once was about the role that luck plays in the course of most successful people’s lives, and the fact that the more anyone achieves, the less they dwell on the fortunate circumstances that helped them reach that point. The other was about determination, and the way people tend to underestimate the value of plugging along doggedly, even in the face of failure or potential humiliation.
In other words, work hard and count your blessings.
For a while, I used to write gratitudes: pick 3 things daily for which to be consciously grateful. It really does help.
To start at the beginning, I am grateful that I (1) had the incredible good luck to be born into prosperity. Almost anyone born in America has an advantage, and my advantage was greater than most people’s, even in this country. For example, if we’re counting advantages that have a huge bearing on the relative difficulty of ones life, we should offer gratitude for (2) being born with light skin. It’s such an arbitrary way to judge human potential, but people do judge, and succeeding in America is always easier the less melanin you display in your complexion. And if that isn’t weird enough, I’ll also feel grateful for that fact that I can (3) pass as cis-bodied and heteronormative with minimal effort and only a moderate degree of emotional distress. Some people die because they’re unable to do that. So, I’m truly incredibly fortunate. Probably in the top 10% of fortunate people.
It’s a lot of luck for one dragon to have. So all that’s left is to work hard.