What separates successful people from unsuccessful people, achievers from non-achievers, winners from losers? Are people born that way or do they develop habits as they grow older which determine their stations in life?
It would be fair to say that the answers to these questions are very complex ones. It is a combination of factors which include such things as your country of birth, when you were born, your IQ, your physique, your capacity to remember, your environment, your parents, your friends, your associates, the formal education you receive and the books you read.
Let us look at the things you have no control or little control over and work through to the things that you have absolute control over.
First, you have no say when, where or how you were born or who your parents are. Genetics dictate such things as your IQ, to a large extent your physique and your capacity to remember. However, these things can be improved through training and effort.
As a youngster you also have no control over your environment or the formal education that you receive, but that can also be improved as you grow older and take more control of your life – if you choose.
So, what is left? You might think not much. However, I contend that what is left could very well be the most important determinants of failure versus success. The people you keep company with and the books that you read.
Now, here is the exciting part of it all. They are the two things that you definitely have control over. So I need to ask you two questions:
- Are you associating with positive people who are interested in helping you achieve your goals?
- Are you educating yourself, on a continuous basis, with appropriate books to improve your knowledge base?
There are books available to suit everybody’s taste. For those who have an aversion to reading books might I suggest “Rhinoceros Success” by Scott Alexander (ISBN: 0-937382-00-0). It is one of the most amusing “success” books you will ever find. It also contains cartoons complementing the text. It is quite a masterful production written by a very talented writer.
Scott Alexander has written three “Rhinocerotic” volumes. All are eminently readable.
I first read Scott’s books some fifteen years ago and have read them several times since. They are always enjoyable and are just as relevant today as when he wrote them way back in 1980.
You cannot change the conditions of your birth but you can take advantage of those things, which are within your control. You can put yourself on the road to success. Just surround yourself with positive people and read, read, read!
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