My husband recommended that I read Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell, and I'll admit that it was definitely a good read. It was interesting to see that what made people "outliers" wasn't just their hard work or dedication, but a series of opportunities at just the right time. And even our heritage, going back generations, has an impact on who we are in even the most subtle ways
For me, it was an excellent reminder about the Qadr of Allah, and His favors to us. We might tend to think that the education we received and the wealth we earn are products of our own effort. But someone with more education might earn less, and someone with less education might earn more. Someone might be scraping by at the poverty level despite hard work, and someone else might be born into wealth despite laziness.
We still have choices to make, and we'll be accountable for our deeds, that's what we really earn in this life. But we shouldn't be deluded about what we are provided, that we earned it or even deserve it--we can't take it with us, anyway.