Inequality is a big modern buzzword, but it isn’t anything new. There has always been inequality in everything. As a child, I used to whine to my mother when a friend had a toy or a privilege that I didn’t. I used to say that life wasn’t fair; but I meant that it wasn’t equal. They got a toy that I didn’t get… I should be able to have the same toy – that would be equal. “FAIR” had nothing to do with it.
It is still the case today that there is inequality in everything – business, athletics, education, scientific achievement, etc. Some people do more, have more, achieve more than other people.
Some portion of this is lamentably due to causes and conditions outside each individual’s control. But a large portion of inequality can be traced to something within our control – EFFORT.
Some people set a course of Kaisen (the Japanese art of continuous improvement). Others attain a comfortable plateau and believe in their hearts that it is enough. They find momentary contentment and no longer aggressively pursue improvement.
The difference in effort becomes evident as the Kaisen committed group keeps working hard and getting better and the contented party begins to see the result of that extra effort. Suddenly they are no longer contented.
We all want the results, but it is so hard to restart your Kaisen engine once it stalls.
If you would be the best (or even just really good) at anything, you MUST commit to continuous intentional improvement. And, if you continuously intentionally improve, you cannot help but attain the highest spaces within your discipline.
You can read a lot more in depth and find more resources about this in Farnam Street’s The Seductive Path of Good Enough.