different-understandings-of-success

Malcolm Gladwell believes that the saying, “it’s the brightest who succeed” is a myth. Gladwell believes that those who succeed do so, because they seem to be getting more time than the others. He gives examples with bright students who always get the “teachers’ attention”. He highlights that the wealthy people are made to appear more successful by the people around them who were wealthy. He gives an example of the Canadian hockey team where the biggest and the most focused boy gets more practice and playing time hence becomes better than his smaller in mass and younger counterparts. He gives an argument suggesting that if Bill Gates did not come from a well-off family, he could not have achieved what he has now. Talking of cultural influence, he says that students who got better results in mathematics did so due to their culture where the failures believed they could not do better. Gladwell says that if we want to build a better world, “we need to replace the patch work of breaks and arbitrary advantages that today determines success—the fortunate birth dates and the accidents of history – with a society that gives an opportunity for all” (Gladwell 2009). Gladwell gives another example about the accident of ages where he says that people born in the same period of time seemed to have something in common. He says that those born in the mid 1950’s shared a common interest in computer technology while those born in the mid 1930’s generally became lawyers.

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Some of Gladwell's myths are wrong. We know of people who did not have a bright future when they were young. Some underwent a lot of hardships to achieve what they did. They worked hard. Success came to them as a result of hard work. The most successful people used the “sixth sense” which most people did not use. Taking an example of Thomas Edison, most people believe that he is the one who invented the light bulb. Edison did not invent the light bulb. According to some sources, Joseph Swan Starr was the light bulb inventor. Edison went ahead and modified the invented light bulb. He became successful to a point that people declared him the inventor which provoked Joseph Swan to sue Edison. Gladwell suggests that, in early times, the African-Americans were poor in academics. This is a wrong concept. Taking Ben Carson as an example, we see that he was from a poor family raised by a single mother. In his book “Think Big”, Carson says that “his mother forced him to reduce the hours he was watching television and increase the hours to read”. His mother told him to “read a book every week and summarize it to her by the end of the week”. This made Carson move from the bottom of the class to the top of the class (Colvin 66). He is a known and respected neurosurgeon in the world. Carson succeeded as a result of hardwork but not having the best school and facilities. If Carson had the best facilities but failed to work hard, he would not have made it. Success is a result of one’s hardwork and determination, better facilities and more attention from others enhance more success.

In Deepak Chopra’s “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success”, he does not view success as material wealth accumulation. He says that success is not always a result of hardwork but understanding of human nature and observing the law of nature. He says that these laws that make nature of forest would bring the fulfillment of human’s deepest desires. D.Chopra says that life is a journey, and success is one component that makes it enjoyable. He defines success as the ability of having a decent life with energy, fantastic health, and the chance to fulfill your objectives. D.Chopra believes that enjoying the coolness of nature and exercising the ability to stay silent and meditate makes one believe in his true potential. In his second law of giving and third law of cause and effect, he says that what we give to this world is what we shall eventually have. He illustrates clearly that we shall reap what we sow. He goes ahead and says that the intentions and desire that we have always led us to success.

D.Chopra’s laws have a strong contradiction. His second and third law clearly say that what we give to the world is what we will get back. If you stayed at home and applied little effort to everything you are doing, you shall always get poor results. Poor people do not appear successful despite being peaceful. He gives people advice about sowing better things to reap greater rewards, but he still tells people that success does not require a lot of hardwor (Gladwell 25). This is a total contradiction, because it leaves the reader in a state of confusion as he or she does not know whether to put much effort or not.

In any case, human beings will always regard people with material wealth as more successful than their spiritual wealth counterparts. Every human being would always prefer material wealth than the spiritual wealth. In trying to build a strong foundation for their generations to come, people will always prefer material wealth since their spiritual wealth will be not helpful to the younger generation. Not many people have achieved both spiritual and material wealth, but those who did are the ones with the correct definition of the word success.

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