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In this episode, we break down some less-obvious privileges behind those success stories that end up on 30-under-30 lists.

Through weekly video essays, "Making It Work" showcases how *real* people have upgraded their personal or financial lives in some meaningful way. Making your life work for you doesn't mean getting rich just for the sake of it. It means making the most of what you have to build a life you love, both in your present and in your future. And while managing money is a crucial life skill for everyone, there's no one "right way" to go about it — you have to figure out what works best for *you,* full stop.

Based on an article by Soraya Joseph:

Video by Grace Lee

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[PAPER RUSTLING] Everyone loves the good rags-to-riches story.

Too bad we usually only hear the part that sells. This is in no way an attempt to bash those with financial privilege, scoff at those who receive help, or mock any success story.

However, I do want to point out some less-than-obvious privileges that many successful people don't talk about when asked how they got where they are. My goal is to help minimize our very human nature to compare ourselves to those who are more successful while being hard on ourselves for either not being enough or not doing enough. At the end of the day, you have no idea what advantages someone else may have had when you compare your life to theirs.

Here are just a few less-than-obvious privileges, beyond coming from a wealthy background, you rarely hear about in those 30 under 30 profiles. Number one, they got to live at home or the door was always open. Many people don't realize the privilege in this.

While by now it's common sense that living at home with a parent or both parents is a huge money saver, the privilege of knowing you can always go back home is a huge deal too, which makes it all the more frustrating when people who save money by living with parents don't acknowledge that as the huge step up that it is. When you're living independently and paying rent, be it solo or split amongst roommates, if money is ever tight, the weight of not being able to make rent on your shoulders isn't as heavy when you have familial support as a backup. Basically when your worst-case scenario is going home versus being homeless, it's a blessing.

Number two, they had positive reinforcement. Many people don't realize that having people who love and believe in you, be it friends, a romantic partner, your parents, et cetera, does wonders for one's self-esteem and overall morale. This is especially true when you receive that level of love and encouragement during your formative years.

Long story short, while there are many people who use the negative messaging they received growing up as a motivator to succeed, there are many more who crumbled under the negativity and toxicity of their environment. Not everyone is able to scrounge up the self-assurance needed to push through bad times. Now imagine those successful folks who were always told good and uplifting things about themselves.

Even if they came from modest means, they were loved and encouraged by their parents friends, coaches, or teachers who saw something in them. Number three, they had good mental health, or just good health overall even those with relatively good upbringings can. Still suffer from mental health issues, ADHD, anxiety, and depression are extremely real and nothing to be ashamed of.

But even with the best access to therapy and medical treatment, struggling with one's mental health can be extremely debilitating. Some sufferers still battle daily to just feel OK. Now imagine those with no access to mental health care due to a lack of funds or any other unfortunate reason.

Let's not forget physical health complications that so obviously impact and impede upon a person's ability to even do the simplest things. Too often people take for granted and undermine the benefits of having stellar mental and/or physical health. When you don't have to constantly worry about what feels like a bleak present, it's easier to focus on a brighter future.

Number four, they didn't suffer from a toxic home environment. This one's pretty self-explanatory. Having a toxic upbringing plays a huge role in anyone's life no matter their tax bracket.

A toxic upbringing can mean anything from direct forms of abuse-- physical, emotional, verbal-- to being a witness to abuse. Growing up in an environment free from abuse or toxic behaviors is a huge privilege that many take for granted. Number five, they only had to worry about themselves.

Having the beautiful freedom to only have to worry about yourself, your things, and your dreams is a major privilege. Let's say your parents didn't hurt you, nor did they intend to ever hurt you with their problems. Maybe they even said they loved you every night.

However, their issues caused you to have to grow up faster, because for whatever reason, you were often left alone and had to take care of yourself or you had to learn to be a caretaker from an early age. This was often true for those who grew up in households that were either single-parent households or just struggling to make ends meet. Oftentimes the older siblings took care of and watched over the others.

Or some people grew up as latchkey kids, and had to take on the role of parenting themselves at a young age. Another example, getting pregnant at any stage of your life. Even those in healthy relationships, with help from their partner and parents, will still tell you that it takes a village to raise a child and that village is a privilege in its own right.

At the end of the day, it is a luxury to only have to worry about yourself, it allows you to have the opportunity to invest your time and your money solely into your things and dreams. Again, this is simply to say to only believe half of what you see and none of what you hear-- more often than not, at least. This is not to take away from the kudos and accolades of those who are conventionally successful.

But there is no need to praise people at the expense of putting yourself down.