Escape the Mundane + Experience the Remarkable

Congratulations, You’ve Won the Ovarian Lottery

Overcrowded Train vs Bullet Train

In Warren Buffett’s biography, The Snowball, I found an intriguing concept. The Oracle of Omaha said that he had won the Ovarian Lottery:

I’ve had it so good in this world, you know. The odds were fifty-to-one against me being born in the United States in 1930. I won the lottery the day I emerged from the womb by being in the United States instead of in some other country where my chances would have been way different.

Imagine there are two identical twins in the womb, both equally bright and energetic. And the genie says to them, “One of you is going to be born in the United States, and one of you is going to be born in Bangladesh. And if you wind up in Bangladesh, you will pay no taxes. What percentage of your income would you bid to be the one that is born in the United States?” It says something about the fact that society has something to do with your fate and not just your innate qualities. The people who say, “I did it all myself,” and think of themselves as Horatio Alger – believe me, they’d bid more to be in the United States than in Bangladesh. That’s the Ovarian Lottery.

Warren Buffett won it. And if you’re reading this (hold for applause), you’ve won it too. Congrats!

The world we live in is an amazing place. Anyone with an Internet connection and a passion can completely transform their lives for the better.  Even the poorest and lowest-class individuals of 1st world countries have unbelievable potential to be great.

So think about the words of Warren Buffett the next time something discourages you from accomplishing your dreams. And do not forget the incredible opportunities available to us Ovarian Lottery winners.

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