This is the second part of the article, ‘Achievement: Nature or Nurture’. Therefore, if you haven’t read the first part of this article, I recommend you do so. I stated in the first part of this topic that human beings are motivated towards making certain choices and taking certain actions as a result of a complex combination of their natural predisposition from birth and their numerous experiences in life. However, I stated that it is difficult to know which of these two determinants is more potent and gives the greater motivation. While the first part of this article focused on the motivational power of nature and nurture, the second part of this article has been written to discuss how nature and nurture determine our level of success in life.
Although, man is largely motivated by his natural predisposition/brain-chemistry and psychological learning/mental programming through experiences in life, when it comes to the question of what determines great achievements, there is one other factor that must be considered; opportunity. The argument about “Talent vs. Determination” is one that seems to have endured for a long time. The effect of natural brain chemistry explains why some people are regarded as special people; some people are just made for certain things while others seemingly aren’t. But, having little or no favorable gene cannot really determine your true potential; the science of the brain is highly complex and dynamic.
Other than brain chemistry and life experiences, opportunities can affect how an individual develops over time. In many underdeveloped countries, where many children live in starvation, it can be difficult for gifted children to realize and develop their true potentials. The human brain is remarkable, but its potency is not equal for everyone; just as some folks have more physical strength than other folks. Some brains are more powerful than others; they contain greater intelligence and memorability. Nothing in life is ever so equal as we hope.
Yet, due to the true potency of the human mind, it is inappropriate to assume some things are impossible. Through determination and doggedness, regardless of how difficult and uncomfortable circumstances seemed, so many things believed to be impossible have been done. Ordinary people in history have done extraordinary things. People who seemed to not possess the right brain chemistry for certain things have proven us wrong. Therefore, it is convenient to say that determination can achieve as a hard-gainer what talent will normally achieve so easily.
Although, opportunities can be classified under life experiences, it is best to make a clear difference between them: Life experiences refer to indoctrinations, education, brainwash, social interactions, peer pressure, societal ideals, media exposure, environmental exposure, criticisms, and familial influences. Opportunities include wealth vs. poverty, a house full of books vs. a house full of gossips, and strong support system vs. weak support system. Those with greater opportunities and those with favorable life experiences are likely to accomplish more.
A person with the right brain chemistry, the right experiences, and adequate opportunities is likely to do exceedingly great things in his lifetime, whereas another person with the right brain chemistry and insufficient opportunities may have a very hard time realizing and maximizing his inherent potentials. Although, everyone dies, it is far better to accomplish great works in one’s life than to do so little. It is, however, difficult to know which the greatest force in one’s life is. Natural brain chemistry, life experiences, and opportunities matter, and all three work together to determine a person’s destiny!
It is indeed true that while some people may be easy-gainers in certain endeavors, others may have to be hard-gainers in them. For example, some men have the favorable genetics to possess natural strength and mesomorphic muscularity, which many endomorphs and ectomorphs wish they had. And some women have the favorable genes to possess a chic and curvy body which many women wish they had. Some people are really attractive while there are people who are not so attractive. Some people are too tall, while there are those who are too short.
If you are not as talented as certain people in a particular area, you may be a hard-gainer. This does not mean that you cannot accomplish great things in this area. As a determined hard-gainer, keep three things in mind (I do that a lot): “It is never too late”, “I am never too weak”, and “They are never too wise”. It is never too late for you to start, even though you have wasted so much time in the past. It is never too late to start all over again. It is never too late to lead a better life. Some people may ridicule you because they think you are too late, but the truth is, “you are never too late.” You are also never too weak. Like I once stated, you possess remarkable potential, and you alone can tap into it.
People are never too wise. They will scorn you, deride you, and belittle you, but that should be expected. In a world where emotions run amok, you should not expect fellow humans to have your interest at heart. You are just one of the seven billion people that live in this world, and you might as well be perceived as one of the overwhelming people that reside upon the surface of the earth. Therefore, it is only natural and emotionally expected of people to deride and belittle you; for man truly is an egocentric being by nature.