Why isn't Amazon in the Amazon?
Although no destination is unalterable, no path is born with each one of us, we are all undeniably part of a context, and this context is able to determine many of the directions we take in our lives. The standard ones of course, every rule has an exception, but let's stick to statistics.
Why do some places “lucky” and others not? Why are the majority of world's greatest billionaires today all americans?
"Because the country's unbridled capitalism allows the entrepreneur to achieve success", one may say.
That is AN answer. An almost current one, the problem is that it is simplistic. It is not simple, it is simplistic, poor. There is more to it than that, although this is not at all a lie.
Why was Google born in the USA? Why wasn't Amazon born in Brazil?
For the same reason that the Renaissance was born in Italy, that the Baroque became a strong movement in Brazil.
I will use myself as an example and you will understand why we all have opportunities, but some opportunities are more opportune than others.
Let’s take Google as our point of view.
Google was created by a guy named Larry Page.
Certainly his son has infinite opportunities more than me or you.
Whether he will take advantage of the way I would take it, impossible to know, but it is also impossible to guarantee and measure.
That child, Larry's son, is a result.
Larry itself is a result.
The fact that Larry Page was born in the USA, the son of a computer scientist at the University of Michigan, certainly created more opportunities for Larry Page to create Google and give his son the opportunities that the son of the creator of Google can have.
There is no detachment from history.
Why didn't my dad create Google? Let's go to the timeline, we are a context remember?
So, here in Brazil we were a Catholic colony that forbade and persecuted jews, after all, jews killed Christ, isn't it more or less? So, jews found refuge in the United States, which was protestant colony, and therefore less radical than catholics and their firespits against jews.
The vast majority of Europe's jews were from more developed countries than catholics (because they thought of developing science, unlike radical catholic countries that used to insist that the Bible was the answer to everything - that's why the great names of science are english, dutch ou german, not that they were not pious, they were only more open and honestly linked to money and science. Meanwhile in Brazil, we developed the sacred images of the baroque.
With the industrial revolution, science began to mean more and more money and power.
With the fragmentation of the Ottoman Empire, the arabs fled to countries that welcomed them, as jews do not get along with arabs that much and already represented a large part of the United States population, relatively few arabs went there. Most went to the “triple border”, here in the south of Brazil.
My great-grandfather ended up in Monte Azul Paulista, a small town in the state of São Paulo.
With the Second War, the jews of the USA welcomed even more the jews of Europe, fugitives from the Nazi regime: part of them were related to Larry’s family.
With the end of the second war, the United States began to invest even more in science, especially with the beginning of the Cold War. Science, which used to be money and power, became even more a direct translation of what money and power means.
At the same time, Brazil invested in soccer games to calm people down during the military dictatorship - implemented with the help, strategy, financing and American directives because, of course, they had enought power to do so.
The world Championship came. In 1970 we won it for the third time, thanks to Pelé!
On the other hand, computing does not came.
Carl Victor Page, Larry's father
In the same period Larry's father became a professor of the newly born "computer science" back in the 1970s.
At that time, my father still dreamed of being a new Pele or "the king", as we Brazilians call him.
A young Larry must have been delighted with that whole universe and opportunity he had ahead of him. With access to the most modern computers in the world at the time and the relative comfortable financial position of his father, a college professor in the USA, and, of course, his genius too, Larry founds Google.
Now, think about where and how your family was on September 4, 1998, the day Google was founded.
Interestingly, here in Brazil, Fernando Henrique (the President) had just signed the "Pelé Law", which determined new and very important rules for sport in the country.
A totally symptomatic story, isn't it?
But reflect on whether it is possible, if it would have been possible, in any way, anyone in your family, to have developed Google in 1998.
We are not just what we set out to be. It is not a question of strength, focus and faith.
You have not developed Google because you are lazy or something.
We are an inevitable result of history.
Looking back over only the last 100 years, if a guy named Franz Ferdinand had not been shot in 1914, the war that fragmented the Ottoman empire would not have broken out, which led to Lebanon, which made his great-grandfather end up in Brazil.
The simple fact that we are HERE and NOW is a result of history.
The story never recounts, never returns to zero. There is no way to think that we are all born with the same opportunities and that everything is a matter of will, because the world does not restart with each generation.
There are accumulations, failures - yours and others, of course - and everything else is the kind of thing that determines EXACTLY who we are today.
To really understanding this fact and observing your context holistically may be the only way out for you to also truly take advantage of the real opportunities you have.