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The forgotten concept of the "unfair advantages" - Issue #8

Ahmed Negida
Ahmed Negida
Hey Friends,
Last Monday night, I was drinking coffee with my friend, Hazem, at Baleno cafe (Zagazig). He asked me a question “What makes success?”.
This is a pretty wide scope question because the definition of success and the outcome measures of success vary from one person to another but based on my understanding of the situations we were discussing together in our professional life, I answered in detail and I would like to share the same perspective here.
Success results from an effort (or accumulated efforts) multiplied by the unfair advantage. A lot of people focus on “putting efforts” only without understanding the concept of the “unfair advantages”.
Sometimes, life puts you in a position, situation, or environment that makes your success in the pursuit more likely than your counterparts even if you all have done the same efforts. Success will be likely for people who have an unfair advantage in case of equal efforts.
For example, if you start to learn piano music with the aim of authoring new works that makes you a famous composer, a guy whose parents are piano composers and grew up in a musical environment will have higher chances of achieving this exact goal if you both put the same efforts and energy into the thing.
The aim of this argument is not to disappoint people from doing efforts but to understand their position in life and realize their unfair advantages that maximize their chances of success with the normal efforts.
In addition, many unfair advantages in life can be created by people themselves, for example, connections with other people? gaining new experience in something that others ignore? changing your workplace? learning something new?
When people put themselves out there and expose themselves to new chances and opportunities continuously, they are basically increasing the likelihood of good things happening to them. While people might call this “luck”, I do not agree. I think that luck is when you win the lottery for the first time while your chances were like 1/1000,000. Another type of luck can be created by people themselves and I do not prefer to call it luck; you are simply creating unfair advantages for yourself which maximizes the chances of good things happening to you.
As I wrote here in my newsletters 3 weeks ago, I watched Garry Kasparov’s masterclass on chess. The guy mentioned that “He searched for old chess openings that people no longer play and started to study and analyze these positions. He created new ideas and traps and started to implement this thing in his games (i.e. Evan’s Gambit). When I heard him talking about his journey, I realized this guy put the right effort in the right place so he basically created an unfair advantage for himself that makes him distinguished from his counterparts even if they have done the same efforts. He put the efforts in the right place so he did not start from the zero lines like everyone but he started from a more advanced line, making his success more likely.
After realizing this concept of unfair advantages, I started to *create* my own unfair advantages that maximize the likelihood of my success compared to counterparts who put in the same effort and energy. That’s why I always see people who put much effort into the wrong thing or compare themselves to others as stupid. In order to succeed in something, you should have a clear definition of your direction, your potentials, your unfair advantages that you will exploit, your unfair advantages that you will create, and at the last step, you start making the efforts.
So in summary, success (which differs from one person to another) results from accumulated efforts multiplied by the unfair advantages (whether inherited or created by yourself).

Interesting Article I read this week
Scientists Grow Mouse Embryos in a Mechanical Womb - The New York Times
Landmark brain cancer vaccine passes first phase of human trials
COVID-19
It looks that people who were infected with SARS-CoV-2 might be immune against the new variants. A recent study showed that the T-cells resulting from COVID-19 infection work against the new variants as well.
T cells induced by COVID-19 infection respond to new virus variants: U.S. study | Reuters
What I'm reading read this week
Nothing new
Best YouTube video I watched this week
I’m about to finish season #8 of Friends :D
The surprising habits of original thinkers | Adam Grant
The Course I'm teaching this weekend
I postponed this lecture last week.
How to Find and Select A Clinical Research Idea
Twitter Highlights
Mayte Bryce Alberti
Kicking off Day 2 of #UGSS2021 with Dr. Nobhojit Roy's spot-on keynote presentation⚡️. #globalsurgery @gsurgstudents https://t.co/eHUsuzwbxi
[END] ... Thank you very much!
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Ahmed Negida
Ahmed Negida @NegidaMD

I’m Ahmed, a medical doctor from Egypt, a Ph.D. candidate in the UK, and a Global Neurosurgery Fellow at Harvard Medical School.

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