The Start and The Finish

Many people love the idea of races of various types. NASCAR, various events in the Olympics, boats, motorcycles, and more.

The concept that there is a starting line and finish line and that everyone knows the rules and the best wins is a great way to test the mettle of competitors.

However, life isn’t so cut and clean. There is no start. There is no finish. If you’re a twenty year old pastry chef who is skilled, but has much to learn, that’s far from being a 60 year old pastry chef who was just as talented, started just as young, but has been at it for four decades, working in all kinds of kitchens, saving their money, meeting investors, opening up their own bakeries and sitting at the top of the pastry world.

While it seems obvious that the sixty year old and the twenty year old didn’t start at the same time and won’t finish at the same time, we often apply a different criteria to those who we see as privileged.

The privileged would be those starting with more connections, more money, better education, or any other item we could put a metric to, but at the same point in time. There is more obsession with the difference between those starting at the same time with different advantages than there is for those starting at different times. However, 40 years of experience is a far bigger advantage than some additional resources. And that’s the entire problem.

There is a lack of faith in results that happen slowly over time. At a young age, we’re afraid the decisions we are making, the skills we are developing, the options we have aren’t going to come to fruition into something significant. As a result, there is resentment for those who can make something more “visible” in compressed time scales because they were handed some extra starting resources.

There is no start and no end. Life isn’t even a race, so treating it as one only ends in misery. Someday you will be the person with a 40 year head start, what will you think about your advantage then?