What Factors Most Determine Success? Essay

1143 words - 5 pages

When it comes to the topic of success, most of us will readily agree that there are various ways to define success. Whereas this agreement usually ends, however, is on the question of what factors most determine success. Whereas some are convinced that “The Triple Package” is essential, others maintain that there are many factors that determine success. Malcolm Gladwell states numerous examples of what can bring on success. Some of these factors are culture, luck, and practice. Another point of view is in his book “Outliers,” Gladwell writes “When outliers become outliers it is not because of their own efforts. It’s because of the contributions of lots of different people and lots of different circumstances, and that means we, as a society, have more control about who succeeds - and how many of us succeed – than we think.” (pg. 7-8; Reading Group Guide) is what composes long-term success. I personally believe that success is brought upon by culture, luck, and hard work.
In their recent work, Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld have offered harsh critiques of what factors they believe is required for success. In their article, “What Drives Success?” Chua and Rubenfeld explain to their readers that they believe “The Triple Package” is a requirement for a person to become successful. The triple package includes superiority complex, insecurity, and impulse control. They explain this in more detail by saying superiority complex is “a deep-seated belief in their exceptionality. The second appears to be the opposite- insecurity, a feeling that you or what you’ve done is not good enough. The third is impulse control- the ability to resist temptation.” (pg. 3; What Drives Success?) Chua and Rubenfeld state, “In isolation, each of these three qualities would be insufficient. Alone, a superiority complex is a recipe for complacency; mere insecurity could be crippling; impulse control can produce asceticism. Only in combination do these qualities generate drive and what Tocqueville called the longing to rise.” In other words, they believe that having all three of these three traits is the only way to propel success.
In Malcolm Gladwell’s, Outliers, he explains the various factors that he believes determine success. David Leonhardt explains, “In understanding successful people, we have come to focus far too much on their intelligence and ambition and personality traits. Instead Malcolm Gladwell argues in Outliers, we should look at the world that surrounds the successful – their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing.” He explains that some people are fortunate enough to experience latent advantages, unimaginable opportunities, and cultural legacy. Gladwell supports his claim by giving examples of each of the factors that he believes determine success. This includes real life stories that actually prove his assumptions true. For example, he tells us about hockey stars, software engineering billionaires,...

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