Posted by: Brandon W. Jones | January 31, 2010

How Important is Environment?

The blog by Bob Sutton titled “Work Matters” and the article “Can Personality Be Changed?” by Carol S. Dweck both talk about how personality is developed and beliefs/knowledge are shaped. Many people have the idea that each person is born with their individual personality and that it will not change through life experiences. Others believe that an individual’s personality is shaped continually through life. In a similar sense, some believe that people are either born smart or dumb. They feel that those who will be successful in life are born that way, while those who are unsuccessful are also born that way. On the other hand, there are people who believe that the success or failure of an individual is an individual choice regarding their behaviors.

I believe that each person is born with a distinct personality, but ideas and beliefs can change as each person journeys through life. Each person to a large extent is born with the foundation of their personality and then through life experiences they develop the structure of their personality. Each person is born with specific talents and personality traits that they can either develop or not develop through life experiences. Some of those personality traits may include humility, knowledge, wisdom, etc. Talents may include art, music, sports, etc. While each individual may have specific talents or personality traits that they are born with, it is possible to obtain a new talent or trait through practice and dedication.

I also believe that some people are born with greater opportunities while others have fewer opportunities. Those born in Africa have a different set of opportunities than those born in North America. Those who are born with many luxuries have different opportunities than those that are born with nothing. There are cases where people born with nothing can become great, while those born with many luxuries don’t do become anything.

Success versus failure is completely dependent on who is setting the standards. For example, in football when a team wins only one game one season and the following season makes the playoffs and loses, the team will have been successful. On the other hand, if another team makes it to the AFC or NFC championship game one season and loses and then comes back the following season to lose in the AFC or NFC championship game again, they will think of their season as a failure. Success is determined by each individual.

As the articles stated, no one is destined to have a particular destiny that they are not allowed to control. There are certain factors that are set in life that are out of each person’s control, but beyond those factors, the sky is the limit. Each person can determine the goals for the things they want to accomplish in life. They can then do everything within their power to accomplish their goal. Every person will face some degree of failure, but can continue to work through those failures to be successful in the long run. Hard work is the key to every good thing in life. Those who attain their goals are the ones who put in the necessary effort. No one is destined to be a failure. Each person can succeed if they are willing to put forth enough effort. If someone wants to become smarter, they can study by working hard and then they can become smart.

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