I wanted to get everyone's thoughts on how some people manage to get lives where all the big trends go in their favor and they are equipped with talents / skills / personalities / backgrounds that enable them to attain monetary success and financial independence. I've personally seen many people who have obtained significant wealth (>$10 million), and who have had basically big industry / market / career trends all tip in their favor that allowed them to gain an edge over competitors who worked equally hard but had less fortunate circumstances. My theories: 1. Karma - the wealth that these people enjoy in their current lives is a result of positive karma they've accrued in a past life. If this is true, then could spending more time helping people, doing things with a generous heart, donating to the poor / volunteering at orphanages, soup kitchens, feeding homeless animals, etc... contribute to a more financially prosperous life the next time around? 2. Soul planning and soul evolution - according to believers of soul evolution (for example, the Michael Teachings) - people who easily and seemingly effortlessly obtain financial or career success are at the infant to young stages of soul evolution, where the primary lesson to be learned is power, money, and control over others. Souls at this stage of evolution, regardless of past karma created, will be born into situations where they can explore these themes (wealth, power, control, independence, etc...) in detail. Souls at the young stage actively plan for a life where things work out for them, enable them to achieve tremendous career success, and have power over others. For example, someone in this situation would be Donald Trump or Vladimir Putin, who seemingly treat the world with disdain yet everything seems to fall in place for these guys. According to soul evolution theory, karma is paid during the later mature stages of the soul rather than immediately in the next life. 3. Vows / sheer hard work from past lives (similar to law of attraction): Under this theory, a person can achieve significant wealth and career success as a result of fulfilling a leftover vow or unfulfilled hard work from a previous life. For example, if person A was a poor person in a previous life, but so desperately wanted to be rich that he was able to commit 100% to his career, even if he didn't end up being successful because of bad circumstances, the soul of personal A wanted to be wealthy so badly that in a subsequent life, he vowed to reincarnate into better circumstances that would allow him to "fulfill his mission", in a way. So under this approach, one should work has hard as one can in one's current life, despite negative circumstances, and once one's negative karma has been paid off, one's efforts in this life could yield fruits of prosperity and wealth in a subsequent life. Note that this theory differs from traditional "karma" in the sense that this theory says that one becomes wealthy by "working hard", rather than "doing good deeds", although the fruits of your hard work could be seen only in subsequent lives. 4. Roll of the dice (no karma, no souls) - statistically speaking, some will be luckier than others. No god, no souls, no karma, no reincarnation, just plain cold-hearted chance. Obviously I'd like to think this option isn't true, but many atheists believe in this option. Just trying to understand from a deeper level, what do you think you can do in this life to increase your chances of becoming wealthy in a future life? I'd like to think the ultimate goal of life isn't to amass as much wealth as possible, but I'd had a very challenging life where most of the major things would literally always not work in my favor, which has led me to a lot of soul searching and pondering if I'd done something bad in my previous life to cause this, as I have seen some people who literally have all the major factors in life working in their favor (family background, career opportunities, love life, health, etc...), even though many treat less fortunate people with disdain or indifference, even though they have the wealth to help improve the lives of many other people. What fundamentally is the reason behind why some achieve wealth and others don't, despite similar amounts of hard work / effort? What determines who gets born into circumstances that allow for high probability of financial / career success?