What is Success?

We all ask ourselves if we are successful and we judge based on our perception of success.  In the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell he outlines the principles behind successful people.

1.  When and where you are born matters.  The year and the month of the year determine if you are in the right place at the right time or in the right physical development at the right time.  Example:  Most professional Hockey players are born Jan- Mar; Bill Gates and other software geniuses were born in a time and area that they were in high school or college when computer programming was available to them.

2.  Culture counts.  Our culture can help or impede our success.  Korean Air pilots had accidents because of cultural differences in communication.  When they were trained to speak English and communicate actively not passively they were successful in communicating with air traffic controllers and accidents were avoided.  Even older pilots 50+ were able to change and become successful.

3.  It matters who your parents are.  If your parents were very hard-working you are more likely to be successful because you learned to work hard.  Emigrant Jewish garment workers were more likely to have children and grand-children who were doctors and lawyers because the progeny saw the parents working around the clock.  Another example: in South China and Japan the rice paddy farmers worked almost year round most of the day and their progenitors became proficient in math.

4.  Opportunity/Chance/Practice.  Successful people lived in the right place, were the right age, had the right cultural background or training, had learned to work hard from their parents and/or grandparents and they were given opportunity.  Hockey players born in January were bigger and therefore promoted to the teams that had better coaching when they were younger–they had more practice.  Bill Gates had an opportunity in his school and a nearby college to practice several hours a day for several years while in high school because a mother’s group bought a computer for their school, uncommon in ’68–he had opportunity and lots of practice.  Gladwell estimates about 10,000 hours of practice provides success.

So what is a successful nurturer?  I’ve had over 10,000 hours of practice and all the above principles.  For a long time I didn’t feel successful: I frequently felt a failure.  That is why I felt endangered.

Today at the end of the day I focus on the good I did, learn from the missteps, and let it all go.  I am successful because I am happy working as a nurturer.  I make the choice to be happy each day even if some moments don’t turn out the way I would like.

May you be happy in your work, may your work be nurturing, and may you thrive as a nurturing outlier.


About jjbailey

Professional Parent, Author, creative homemaker, and endangered species.
This entry was posted in My Life as an Endangered Species, Nurturing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What is Success?

  1. In their own research into the practice habits of pianists, Hambrick and Meinz found that “working memory capacity,” a core component of intellectual ability, predicted success in the pianists’ ability to remember and perform pieces.

  2. Pingback: The Trap | Hand of Ananke

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