I recently posted a caption on FB “You never need to feel like anyone is luckier than you” making the point that you can create anything you desire and that any hardship you experience can actually make for stronger desires. This was met with one response saying “where you reach has to do with where you start from” and that got me thinking. I felt inspired to share my thoughts in some detail because it was a really great point about whether our success is limited by our beginnings.
I do agree to a large extent that where we reach depends on where we start from – but I don’t believe this is about the opportunities we have per se (or lack of them). I think it is about the beliefs that are instilled in us from our early experiences.
If your early life starts in poverty and your parents expose you to a belief that “people like us will never have any money”, then that’s going to leave you starting out on the back foot, if indeed wealth is what you desire. If, on the other hand, your parents tell you “things are different these days; you have all the opportunities you need to live a different life than we did” then you can see how that might be a little more helpful in your quest to get rich.
A belief is 10,000 times stronger than a desire, so any negative ones lurking might severely limit your progress. Remember also that over 90% of your beliefs are subconscious, making them pretty tricky to identify and clear out (at least without some persistent failed efforts providing you with the clues).
Wealth is all relative and this leads to an interesting point also. As my FB friend suggests, if you were born in a very ‘poor’ country where the extent of your family’s wealth was one cow, you might be as pleased to own three cows, as you might be to bag yourself a place at university and end up living in a massive house, had you grown up in a wealthier country. But is this just because of relativity or are there other factors at play here?
The USA presents a great example of somewhere that dreams can come true. Remember the Engineer in Miss Saigon desperately singing ‘the American Dream’ as he plots his immigration into the States? It’s a country where anything can happen – and that message is instilled in its youth. I can’t miss the opportunity to mention Meghan Markle at this stage and how a pretty big dream came true for her this week! Now I’m not saying that as a little girl she dreamed of marrying a prince, but if she had and she’d been told “there’s no chance missy; you didn’t start off in the right place” she probably wouldn’t now be calling Kensington Palace home.
The point I’m making is that the beliefs instilled in us play a more important role than where we actually start out. This is true for both our own individual belief system and the beliefs of our whole society. If your society says you can be anything you want to be regardless of where you start, then backs it up with examples of success stories, somewhere along the line that message is going to sink in.
Another factor that’s more important than you might initially think, is exposure to the possibilities. These in themselves can create our desires. If you see other people being paid to travel the world and write blogs, you might be inspired to think “Ooh… I would like to do that”, but if you are never exposed to the internet, how would you know to think it? You might never be inspired to launch that desire.
I’ll never forget when I first met a multi-millionaire friend of mine and heard some of his life stories. He used to make me laugh because some of the things he took for granted were mind blowing to me. You know that saying ‘how the other half lives’? The desires I set for myself during our first encounters were incredible just because he opened my mind to things I had never considered were available before.
If you start off life in a very poor country where the richest people around you own three cows, do you have an equal footing in terms of your ability to set desires with the person growing up with three TV’s? No endless exposure to media and adverts, no fast cars whizzing past on the highway… I would say not really. Is it any wonder then, we might naturally conclude that where we end up depends on where we start? And whilst I do accept that this is probably the case for many, for the reasons I’ve mentioned; I don’t for a minute accept that this needs to be the case. We all have the same power to manifest whatever it is we want and we all, for our own reasons, chose to come into the lives that we did. It’s not luck that’s going on – it’s attraction.
I have a friend who grew up in a very poor Malaysian family forty odd years ago and who was able to attend school because her father had a desire for her to get an education. It was very much against the norm and what she experienced to get through was the stuff that movies are made of. Hours of daily trekking, the family moving around the country in pursuit of the best schools available and eventually borrowing the money for her to take the 10 hour train ride to Kuala Lumper to attend a university interview. She went on to attain a Ph.D. in Biomolecular Chemistry from Cambridge University! I’m sure you’ll agree that example does a good job of blowing relativity out of the window!
We all measure success differently largely based on the starting point we had. If you were taught that the best measure of success is how happy you feel, then you attracted a lovely lesson. We all have the ability to be happy with what we have – or don’t have! I like to think that some of the poorest people in the world are the happiest because they are notstriving for financial wealth. But perhaps that chap who really wants to own three cows instead of just the one is equally as frustrated in his quest as the American graduate who can’t quite afford a Ferrari to sit beside the Range Rover on his driveway. Who knows. One thing I do believe is that struggle and hardship in whatever form they take, can be the most powerful of intention setters, regardless of where you started out.