Discover How to Overcome and Win in Our Society!

Dear Reader,

I always thought that my success in school, sports, etc… was due to my hard-work and my perseverance, but this is not necessarily the case. Bad Circumstances ended up teaching me some very good lessons from a very young age, and I met some key people in my life. This helped tremendously.

When parents get divorced you always hear how this hurts children on some level. I bet that if we do some research the numbers will indicate that divorces are more detrimental than beneficial to a child…just a gut feeling. I don’t know where I would have been if my parents had not gotten divorced. But as far back as I can remember after the divorce, I developed an “I will prove them wrong attitude towards life.” I truly felt my father didn’t believe in me or didn’t care about investing his time in me. I had an exceptionally strict, strong-willed mother who determined the difference. She was not super wise about the world that I will describe in the next lines, but she was wise about what needed to be done to give me a shot at a better life. She was able to get us out of Cuba into the United States when I was a young enough age, and so I owe her my success. This my sound like a “cliche” but the next lines will explain why it is just plain fact!

Just like this kid I used to waste spend my time in streets of Havana and Cienfuegos, Cuba

  1. The one thing I would teach any child from a young age is to always seek the environment that will lead to success and work hard!
  2. The one thing I would teach any parent is to introduce your child to the best of the best environments and to teach them to work hard!

“Achievement is 5% talent 95% preparation. Preparation is the individual plus the environment. Therefore find the best environment with a track record of success and work hard.”- Roberto Torralbas

This is what I did not know until much later into my life.Why? Well because I am a big believer in some of the points Malcolm Gladwell makes in the book Outliers: the Story of Success. Here are two quotes that  give us insight into our current situation as human beings.

“The lesson here is very simple. But it is striking how often it is overlooked. We are so caught in the myths of the best and the brightest and the self-made that we think outliers spring naturally from the earth. We look at the young Bill Gates and marvel that our world allowed that thirteen-year-old to become a fabulously successful entrepreneur. But that’s the wrong lesson. Our world only allowed one thirteen-year-old unlimited access to a time sharing terminal in 1968. If a million teenagers had been given the same opportunity, how many more Microsofts would we have today? To build a better world we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages that today determine success – the fortunate birth dates and the happy accidents of history – with a society that provides opportunities for all. ” ― Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success

“For almost a generation, psychologists around the world have been engaged in a spirited debate over a question that most of us would consider to have been settled years ago. The question is this: is there such a thing as innate talent? The obvious answer is yes. Not every hockey player born in January ends up playing at the professional level. Only some do – the innately talented ones. Achievement is talent plus preparation. The problem with this view is that the closer psychologists look at the careers of the gifted, the smaller the role innate talent seems to play and the bigger role preparation seems to play.” ― Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success

Here are some conclusions to draw from the above:

  • 1-) We can’t control the genes given to us.
  • 2-) Preparation is more important that talent.
  • 3-) We can overcome lack of talent by preparation.

So if you want to be successful lets prepare hard and Boom, that’s it! We are successful. Not exactly.

Preparation requires the right environment, not just hard work. Finding the right environment can be very tricky because there are a lot of imposters talking a big game and not delivering at all. Also, once you find the right environment, at times it requires sacrifice to get into that environment (sacrifice of location, money, family, and so forth).

One environment I was able to get in that helped me transform from one stage to the next was getting accepted into Cornell University. For some this is not a big achievement, but for me it was finally climbing onto a solid edge for a quick break and then until the next challenge. I came to the United States at the age of 10 with only my mother, leaving 99.9 percent of our family behind. We were really poor with no clue about how this country works, no English, few friends! We learned lots and lots of hard lessons!

Climber Momentarily  Resting Before Going On- this is how I felt after I graduated from Cornell University

Climber Momentarily Resting Before Going On - this is how I felt after I graduated from Cornell University

I don’t want to continue talking about my life story in great detail because just this small intro to my past serves the purpose. Let’s just say that after Cornell I went on to other challenging goals, but without knowing what I do know today.

“Achievement is 5% talent 95% preparation. Preparation is the individual plus the environment. Therefore find the best environment with a track record of success and work hard.”- Roberto Torralbas

I want you  read another quote from Malcolm Gladwell:

“Superstar lawyers and math whizzes and software entrepreneurs appear at first blush to lie outside ordinary experience. But they don’t. They are products of history and community, of opportunity and legacy. Their success is not exceptional or mysterious. It is grounded in a web of advantages and inheritances, some deserved, some not, some earned, some just plain lucky – but all critical to making them who they are. The outlier, in the end, is not an outlier at all.” ― Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success

Sometimes we look at others who have achieved higher success in a field and we are in awe of their accomplishments. I  am sure everyone can relate, but the truth is these people are just people who have achieved great things and worked hard in the right environments. Because we so profoundly personalize success, we miss opportunities to lift ourselves onto the top rung. People tend to be too much in awe of those who succeed and far too dismissive of those who fail and so they do not take enough action to shape our world!

Now that I am 27 years old I follow one principle very blindly. Find the right environments, learn the right skills, and work hard. No excuses…but what I regret, is when I didn’t know this important life lesson. I was just using a shotgun method and grabbing any opportunity I saw because I didn’t know if it would be available again one day. In essence, it is not a bad philosophy to have when you have nothing, but as soon as you can, you must find the right environments, learn the right skills, and work hard.

Sincerely,

  Roberto Torralbas

p.s.  Just in case you were wondering, I don’t agree with all the points in Outliers: The Story of Success. For example read the following quote

“To build a better world we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages today that determine success–the fortunate birth dates and the happy accidents of history–with a society that provides opportunities for all.” ― Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
I do not agree with this, but I’ll leave this for another day.

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