Does Adversity Breed Success?

What does it take to be great?

Often times, whether it be in sports, academia or any other field for that matter, stories arise of talented individuals who don’t quite reach their potential. Commonly, they arise from wealthy families who provide an excellent foundation from which to launch a successful career. Though, for one reason or another, they seem to fall short.

Why isn’t there more success in the world?

Perhaps there is a formula in life, a sequence of events at a particular time and place, which help to groom prosperity.

Firstly, the individual must be confronted with adversity. For instance, extreme financial hardship as a child. Misfortune often teaches valuable lessons, such as keeping everything in perspective. Obstacles force people to find ways around them, instilling a strong work ethic and street smarts.

Another part of the equation is the environment. Potential to progress must exist. To expand on this, a young Sudanese man will have a minute chance to succeed in life. Sudan’s way of life is too harsh, the government is rife with corruption and it is hard enough to sustain the fundamentals required to live. Finally, there is very little in the way of advancement. Compare this to a young man faced with hardships in America. This country offers an environment whereby success can be achieved through bettering ones education and working to earn an income to ‘build a base’. Also, the basic necessities are relatively easy to access, like food and healthcare.

Finally, the support group surrounding the individual has a huge role in his or her overall development. Many talented people have reached reasonable levels of success before ‘falling in with the wrong crowd’. The group must stimulate and encourage growth. Honesty and keeping the person grounded are also paramount. Often times, this is why multiple instances of success and affluence can be found within the same family or social circle.

Embrace adversity, work hard and surround yourself with good people.

“That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”

-Friedrich Nietzsche

By Andrew Cammarano

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