The Key to Achievement

Human achievement seems to depend on factors that extend beyond intelligence and social status.  One segment of our population makes the most of their abilities and opportunities while others settle for the comfort of mediocrity or end up relying on social assistance.  This division occurs across all cultures and all economic groups and a variety of factors are likely responsible.

No doubt, mental illness and psychological disorders often play a role, as do genetic traits and the quality of parental nurturing.  While intelligence and access to a good education surely favor human achievement, many exceptions occur and some humans demonstrate remarkable success without the benefit of formal training.  Life is complex and one's genetic constitution, skills, experience and opportunities all influence its course.

But it seems to me that self-esteem is a crucial factor.  If one is raised in an environment where expectations are low, where criticism abounds and where blame is frequently placed on others, he/she will be far less likely to reach their potential.  On the other hand, when skills are recognized and fostered, when self-confidence is instilled and when self-reliance is encouraged, personal achievement often follows.