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Do you think that hard work will make you successful?


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I am struck by two topics that have been popular the last few days.

 

The first was the "Chinese Mothers" topic where sides were chosen as to who was "right" about hard work. The other has been the (ever-present) topic of the poor.

 

There are stories of people who grew up dirt poor, worked hard, and became successful due to that hard work. I definitely commend those people - they used the resources they had to attain their goals. That *is* the American Dream.

 

At the same time, most posters expect everyone to work, however they are able. That is also commendable - I raise my dc to work hard and I assume most others do to.

 

My question is this - will hard work get every "able-bodied" person to a point where they can support a family at even a lower middle class level? Or just themselves? Is it assumed that working hard in school will mean that you can get a college degree and go to work at a fairly well-paying profession?

 

Usually when the above question gets asked, someone will point out that the trades can be a good place for a non-academic person. Do you assume that someone who isn't academically inclined could be successful in a trade?

 

Are there any "able-bodied" people who will always be poor despite hardwork? What resources does someone need in order to succeed at even a modest level?

 

I have been wondering about these things as I think about the recent topics. Is the Chinese mother right? Can anything be overcome through hardwork and perseverence?

 

ETA: When thinking of this topic, I am thinking of relative poverty in this country, not absolute poverty.

Edited by Renee in FL
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Agreeing with Carol here....there are no guarantees but anything worth having is worth working to get.

 

That said, given the current state of corruption within our government, I am not certain that if one defines hard work as financial success and stability, that hard work will do it for everyone. Too much is controlled by the ruling elite.

 

I do think that the success of a satisfaction, "a job well done", is good for people and is achieved by working hard at whatever the task is that is set before you.

 

But, Carol hit the nail on the head!

 

Faith

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I think assuming that certain actions will for sure acheive certain outcomes is a thing of the past.

Used to be that getting a B.A. ensured having a middle class life-style, equal to or surpassing that of one's parents. Times are a changing. Heck, I think they've changed. My parents and my in-laws enjoyed a MUCH nicer life-style than we have, or will unless I go to work f.t. (and my dh does the same work as my dad did- insurance has changed, the profession has changed, etc).

 

We tell our kid all the time: Be faithful, walk out what you are called to do. Outcomes are God's problem.

 

The problem with the "Chineese mother syndrome" is when hard work doesn't pay off. Then what? Despair? Suicide? Disowning one's kids? It's a linear way of relating with either success or failure at the end of the line.

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I would put it differently.

 

I would say that hard work does not guarantee success, but that no lasting success comes without hard work.

 

This. Hard work does not mean you won't have a car wreck that derails your life and trashes your finances.

 

I believe hard work is key. I am not aware of any success that came without it.

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One other thing that I think has to come into play on this is making good decisions.

 

My db is about to marry a girl that he has been living with that in the end will cost him far more than any of the other bad decisions he has made. There is almost no chance that they will be together in 2 years and he will likely be bankrupt. But he "loves" her.

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Are there any "able-bodied" people who will always be poor despite hardwork?

 

To this part, yes. I have seen a few people make some incredibly short-sighted decisions over and over again in their lives.:confused: Decisions that put them behind the 8-ball financially, or in a more difficult work situation rather than an easier one. So hard work isn't enough. Good decision-making needs to go hand-in-hand with the hard work. Also, some self-assessment is necessary too, when one had "bad luck" over and over. If none of one's peers are having that type of experience as well, then perhaps it is time to figure out what the others are doing differently and emulate it. It takes courage to change though, and not everyone has that.

 

So, I'd say, hard work, good decision-making skills, ability to assess oneself honestly coupled with some courage would be necessary to avoid getting trapped.

 

BTW, those who I've known personally to fit in this mold of struggle were not uneducated poor people, but originally middle class. Also, I'm referring to people on average. There are some extraordinary circumstances out there that can also throw someone's life into complete disarray. I'm not referring to that here.

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My question is this - will hard work get every "able-bodied" person to a point where they can support a family at even a lower middle class level? Or just themselves? Is it assumed that working hard in school will mean that you can get a college degree and go to work at a fairly well-paying profession?

 

 

No, hard work alone is not enough.

 

There are a couple of things that an individual needs to do.

1. Set criteria. What defines success for that person. Is it making a boat load of $$ and being able to take fancy vacations and live the jet set life? Is it to earn enough to live comfortably without feeling like you are sacrificing your soul? Is it the elusive work/life balance?

 

2. Set your goals. You need immediate, 5 year, and 10 year goals. Every work decision you make -you have to decide if it will help you attain your goals. Is your goal to be CEO and the company you are working for keeps throwing more $$ at you to stay where you are? Then you have to stop and say "Will this get me to my CEO goal?" If not, then you need to move on. You may need to take a pay cut but always have the goal in mind.

 

With firm goals in hand, a good work ethic, and networking you can achieve whatever success means to you.

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I think there's a lot of luck involved in life, like the luck of where we are born, the family we are born into, our personalities, interests, physical health, etc. I think people take an awful lot of credit for whatever success they have achieved.

 

I think hard work makes us feel good. I think it's healthy and peace-giving. I am not at all sure that hard work and making lots of money are linked. I certainly know moms who work hard and don't make any money.

 

I think we could change things in our country, but not when we are as divided as we've been the last 15 years.

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Lottery winners

Inheritance (business and/or money)

 

Is that personal success? I don't really think so. To me success is living within their means with basic necessities covered.

 

The statistics for bankruptcy and divorce is very high for lottery winners btw.

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Have you ever read the book Outliers? He argues that the idea of the boy/girl who works hard and pulls self up by bootstraps is a myth.

 

In every case, the people who have come from obscurity and been successful have had help along the way, or been born at the right time, been in the right place at the right time, or had a parent that pushed for them to have the special opportunities that made success possible.

 

He would also argue that hard work is absolutely required, but it just isn't enough. You can work awfully hard as a custodian/or teacher's aide/or migrant worker your whole life and still not ever be able to support your family, much less get ahead.

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Have you ever read the book Outliers? He argues that the idea of the boy/girl who works hard and pulls self up by bootstraps is a myth.

 

In every case, the people who have come from obscurity and been successful have had help along the way, or been born at the right time, been in the right place at the right time, or had a parent that pushed for them to have the special opportunities that made success possible.

 

He would also argue that hard work is absolutely required, but it just isn't enough. You can work awfully hard as a custodian/or teacher's aide/or migrant worker your whole life and still not ever be able to support your family, much less get ahead.

 

I have read Outliers - I thought it was a very good book. Your last paragraph is really what I am contemplating. If someone is a teacher's aid, is it assumed that if that person put their mind to it, they could become a teacher and double their salary? What about the migrant worker? You are right that you could work 12 hours a day as a migrant worker and never get ahead. Is the reason why because he didn't work hard enough or made bad decisions?

 

I guess my questioning really revolves around whether or not there is a place in this country for everyone who works hard. Are there people who will never be able to achieve beyond the cashier? (I picked that job because in one of the other threads someone said that minimum-wage cashier jobs were meant for high school students and those just starting out.)

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Can anything be overcome through hard work and perseverance?

 

I don't think so. I think that the person who works hard has a much greater chance of being successful, given that person's particular circumstances, than a person who is similarly situated.

 

There are too many factors which are outside of a person's control. Three factors are intelligence, physical health, and mental health, although there are many others which do not directly involve the individual, but certainly impact his life.

 

I do not make goals which are contingent upon factors outside of my control for this reason. For example, I would not have getting a job as a goal because that depends on being offered a job. I would have the goal of putting myself in the best position to be offered a job. Some of the things I can do toward that end are making sure I have the credentials needed (education and experience), my personal appearance, being willing to move, having a good resume, having good references, checking those references myself to make sure the people would really say good things about me, using every opportunity to find out which jobs are available and apply for them, networking, being flexible about the kind of job I would take, and so forth.

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I think some of us are blessed, or lucky, and have opportunities that others might not have. Being in the right place at the right time, being intelligent, growing up in a stable home rather than a very disfunctional home, plus many more factors, play into whether or not hard work alone will lead to a successful life.

 

I think it's way too easy for people to dismiss the less fortunate by saying "well, if he/she just works hard enough..."

 

Veronica

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I think about this a lot too. I don't think hard work alone is always enough. There's a lot of luck involved in what opportunities and resources are available to you. There's a lot of variation in ability and intelligence. There's a lot of difference, too, in the way people are raised. You try and raise your dc to work hard, and so do I...but I honestly think a lot of people don't. I meet an awful lot of kids and young adults who don't think anything should be difficult or require any effort.

 

I do think that trades can be a good place for someone not academically inclined to find success...but you need help and opportunities to find success there too.

 

In my experience it's all too frequently a matter of who you know rather than what you know or how hard you work. It can be awfully hard to get a chance to prove yourself as a competent hard worker without connections and networking...

 

And this doesn't even touch on out-of-control life events like illness, accidents, family issues, etc.

 

I'm rambling, sorry. But it's a complicated issue. There are so many underlying factors that contribute to success. Hard work is essential if you're trying to improve your life situation, but it's not all there is to it. And when people make it out like it's just THAT simple and people in bad circumstances should just be trying harder, I think they're just not getting it.

 

It's more comfortable to think that people in poverty are there because they're just not trying hard enough, and that 'we' are doing all right because of all our virtuous hard work and that's all there is to it, but it's just not always true.

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I think some of us are blessed, or lucky, and have opportunities that others might not have. Being in the right place at the right time, being intelligent, growing up in a stable home rather than a very disfunctional home, plus many more factors, play into whether or not hard work alone will lead to a successful life.

 

I think it's way too easy for people to dismiss the less fortunate by saying "well, if he/she just works hard enough..."

 

Veronica

 

:iagree:

 

Exactly my thoughts, but stated much more succinctly. ;)

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Hard work by itself is not enough to get anyone anywhere. You may be a hard worker, but that doesn't mean anyone's going to give you a job. You may be a hard worker, but that doesn't mean you won't be passed over for what promotions may be available for, say, cashiers. (There aren't that many promotions for cashiers, btw, and usually it's just to a higher rate of hourly pay and a slightly different type of work. It's highly unlikely that you'll end up getting promoted to something with benefits, like assistant manager.)

 

Hard work will hopefully help you get farther, but you will still have to depend on other people to somehow validate your hard work, either by promotion or, if you run your own business, by valuing your business and choosing to shop there, or whatever the equivalent is.

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I have read Outliers - I thought it was a very good book. Your last paragraph is really what I am contemplating. If someone is a teacher's aid, is it assumed that if that person put their mind to it, they could become a teacher and double their salary? What about the migrant worker? You are right that you could work 12 hours a day as a migrant worker and never get ahead. Is the reason why because he didn't work hard enough or made bad decisions?
A teacher's aid has no way to become a teacher unless she or he can have the freedom to take night classes and manage to have so few expenses that taking college classes are not a hardship. Basically impossible if you are a single parent with no outside help.

 

A migrant worker can't just stop working to focus on getting an education if his family is depending on his/her income. Add that to the idea that the opportunity would have to BE there to get ahead, a supervisor who is willing to let him take more responsibility, access in a presumably rural area to educational opportunities.

 

If you don't know that the opportunities exist for you, then you can't take advantage of them, you know? It reminds me of the primary difference in Outliers between low income and middle/upper income kids. The middle/upper class kids knew that they were entitled to negotiate, they would ask for special privilege, extra help, etc. They assumed that special exceptions to the rules could and would apply to them if they asked. The lower income kids were just as intelligent, but they had been trained NOT to ask by their society. They assumed that exceptions would NOT be made for them, and so they never asked. It reminds me of the Bible verse "You have not because you ask not." But if you don't know to ask... is that the same as making bad choices? I think not.

 

I guess my questioning really revolves around whether or not there is a place in this country for everyone who works hard. Are there people who will never be able to achieve beyond the cashier? (I picked that job because in one of the other threads someone said that minimum-wage cashier jobs were meant for high school students and those just starting out.)

 

A place, yes... a way to get ahead? I don't think so.

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Wait! You think hard work means clocking in and clocking out at a job?

 

No that is not enough.

 

If a cashier isn't making enough to be whatever he deems successful, then they will have to work hard towards a point where they won't be a chaser anymore. That might mean schooling after work. It might mean putting the word out that they are interested in learning a better job skill. It means talking to people about what they do and working on research to find what might help yourself. It means working hard at not letting social norms in that socioeconomic level keep you from changing your thinking and so you can climb out of that level.

 

No. If someone thinks hard work means just passively clocking in, doing their job, and clocking out - no. That is not enough. It never ever has been enough.

 

Hard work is a heck of a lot more than that.

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Nope. Work alone will not make you successful. You need a trifecta.

 

hard work

preparation

luck

 

None of them may happen, all of them may happen. It rains on the just and unjust. Some of the hardest workers I know get the shaft over and over because the stars didn't align for them. Yes, you get up again, in hopes that one day it will work out, but FAIR isn't stamped on your birth certificate.

 

We try and teach our (universal our) kids to work hard, and we stress schooling to prepare them in that in hopes that when they head out into the world, they hit Luck.

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Sure luck plays a role. No doubt. Like I said, hard work doesn't mean you won't have a wreck or that the family you are born into won't crap out on helping each other as needed.

 

But on the whole a person of average intelligence and able-bodied most certainly can work hard to better their lives or at the least, the lives of their children.

 

Success will also be measured differently. I am absolutely a success compared to the poor family I come from. But compared to many here or IRL, we are not successful by any stretch.

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A migrant worker can't just stop working to focus on getting an education if his family is depending on his/her income. Add that to the idea that the opportunity would have to BE there to get ahead, a supervisor who is willing to let him take more responsibility, access in a presumably rural area to educational opportunities.

 

If you don't know that the opportunities exist for you, then you can't take advantage of them, you know? It reminds me of the primary difference in Outliers between low income and middle/upper income kids. The middle/upper class kids knew that they were entitled to negotiate, they would ask for special privilege, extra help, etc. They assumed that special exceptions to the rules could and would apply to them if they asked. The lower income kids were just as intelligent, but they had been trained NOT to ask by their society. They assumed that exceptions would NOT be made for them, and so they never asked. It reminds me of the Bible verse "You have not because you ask not." But if you don't know to ask... is that the same as making bad choices? I think not.

 

 

:iagree::iagree:

 

I need to read that book again.

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Hard work alone---NO!!!

 

Hard work is a key factor, but it will not guarantee that you are successful and can support yourself or family. There are too many external factors that a person has no control over that can cause hardship.

 

-job loss

-lack of available jobs at a decent pay

-people who work in non-profit orginizations will experience hardship when the economy is failing (ask me how I know that:glare:)

-amount of children one has (sometimes there are true oops!:lol: ask me about that one too!)

-illness

 

...are just SOME of the external factors that can prevent hard work from being profitable.

 

Here is an odd example: My dad is a very smart hard worker who was the LAST employee to be let go when his factory was moved to Mexico. His "hard work" kept him working until the external factor could not be avoided. Same thing happened in the 2nd factory he worked at (it was shipped to Germany).

 

Hard work will help, but it is only a factor to the equation. I hate to admit this, but I think luck and/or blessing has a lot to do with how monetarily successful a hard working person will become.

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Nope. Work alone will not make you successful. You need a trifecta.

 

hard work

preparation

luck

 

 

 

I think some of this is basically true. You can be the hardest worker in the world, but if you're up against a network of good ol' boy racists, you're not going to get far being a POC getting stonewalled in every direction. I've got a friend in the Southwest that is looking for a MS position in a biology lab and she's feeling the backlash of anti-Mexican immigration based on appearance only- never mind that's she's half Irish half some random native American heritage she doesn't even know about.

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So there is no personal accountability to make a basic effort to educate or better yourself?

 

I don't buy that.

 

I will agree it is harder and can be more frustrating, but, yes, they can do it.

 

They aren't trained monkeys or robots. They are people capable of change and adapting IF they make an effort and sacrifice to do so.

 

That is part of the HARD part of the work ahead of them.

 

Now if we want to talk about the repercussions of leaving one social level behind in an effort to work their way up? Yes, dang hard. Sadly many times those who try to do it as stigmatized by their family and community and thus find themselves lacking a support frame to help them through when they could most benefit from it. I will admit it sucks and it is difficult. But they can do it.

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Hard work will help, but it is only a factor to the equation. I hate to admit this, but I think luck and/or blessing has a lot to do with how monetarily successful a hard working person will become.

 

 

Be careful in saying that it's blessing-I am grateful for myself, and I thank God every day, but the other side of that coin is the possibility of looking down on the unfortunate as not blessed. $ doesn't equal God's blessing. Crummy people make $, too.

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You definitely need at least a little bit of luck, and preferably more.

 

Personally, I never, ever take good health for granted.

 

Yup-I've said it in a few of these threads-my *luck* has been my health.

 

everyone is one accident away from losing everything if they don't have some sort of health insurance.

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So there is no personal accountability to make a basic effort to educate or better yourself?

 

I don't buy that.

 

I will agree it is harder and can be more frustrating, but, yes, they can do it.

 

They aren't trained monkeys or robots. They are people capable of change and adapting IF they make an effort and sacrifice to do so.

 

That is part of the HARD part of the work ahead of them.

 

Now if we want to talk about the repercussions of leaving one social level behind in an effort to work their way up? Yes, dang hard. Sadly many times those who try to do it as stigmatized by their family and community and thus find themselves lacking a support frame to help them through when they could most benefit from it. I will admit it sucks and it is difficult. But they can do it.

 

No. Of course it takes personal responsibility. What I am saying is that personal responsibility is NOT enough. Much depends on where you live, what your opportunities are, etc...

 

FOR example... I just coached a group of boys who competed at a First Lego League competition. The research topic this year was biomedical engineering. One requirement was a interview with someone in a field related to biomedical research/usage. Our kids worked SO hard. They interviewed an oncologist in our small city twice and presented their research to her once they were done. They won the local/regional competition with ease according to one of the judges (who were also from our area.)

 

Then we went to the state competition and were competing with kids who have parents who are fellows/doctors at Mt. Sinai, Walter Reed, and world class hospitals they had doctors who were co-coaches, mentors, etc.

 

Our team was blown out of the water. Our kids had worked just as hard, in some cases harder, but they didn't win that competition. Not when some teams have the opportunity to have world-class doctors giving weekly or even daily feedback to you team. They had an advantage that we didn't have and there was no way to GET that advantage for ourselves, short of moving and getting new parents.

 

And our team had a good project. I felt really sorry for one team in particular that was from an extremely rural area. They interviewed the people available... a GP I think.

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Lottery winners

Inheritance (business and/or money)

 

Not sure about inheritance, but there was a study recently that I heard about that said the great majority of large pot lottery winners were back in the same financial situation they were in before they won within something like 5 years.

 

We often hear of stories where heirs squander their inheritance but those seemed to happen years ago. Today I think most heirs have their money in trusts which keeps that from happening. They may still squander their money, but not at a rate that devastates the inheritance.

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Sometimes people work very hard on something that is not marketable. That would make them unsuccessful in most people's terms, but maybe success to them is something that gives them satisfaction. So, first off, I would say one would have to define success. If defined as relative poverty vs. something above that level, then, no, hard work doesn't guarantee success.

 

But I agree with Carol in CA that maintaining success requires hard work (and everyone's definition of hard work will differ as well). One can be momentarily successful (lottery winner, inheritance) but maintaining that success requires work (of various types).

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Not sure about inheritance, but there was a study recently that I heard about that said the great majority of large pot lottery winners were back in the same financial situation they were in before they won within something like 5 years.

 

We often hear of stories where heirs squander their inheritance but those seemed to happen years ago. Today I think most heirs have their money in trusts which keeps that from happening. They may still squander their money, but not at a rate that devastates the inheritance.

 

It's the parable of the Talents. You're always going to have people that squander whatever they get.

 

http://www.smartonmoney.com/going-broke-after-having-millions-how-one-millionaire-family-lost-it-all/

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Very true. I think that many people are very hard workers within their abilities, their career field and location, etc. but will never be "successful" in terms of financial wealth as the world sees it.

 

If one person chooses to be a hard-working sanitation worker and enjoys that work and can support a family (no matter what standard of living), he IS successful, IMO, whether society calls it that or not. I think choice and attitude have a lot to do with the equation. But it's also true that in some fields a person may want to be more successful and can work as hard as they can, yet never achieve that success. Sometimes it's just not possible.

 

I think we all need to create our own vision of success and work towards that. For us, it's being able to pay the bills and no longer be on food stamps. Save *something* and keep it. Maybe help our kids out as they go into adulthood if we can, and retire without relying solely on social security. Success can be a long process and while the process itself may not feel all that successful, the fruit at the end of the journey tells the truth about what got you there!

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Sure luck plays a role. No doubt. Like I said, hard work doesn't mean you won't have a wreck or that the family you are born into won't crap out on helping each other as needed.

 

But on the whole a person of average intelligence and able-bodied most certainly can work hard to better their lives or at the least, the lives of their children.

 

Success will also be measured differently. I am absolutely a success compared to the poor family I come from. But compared to many here or IRL, we are not successful by any stretch.

 

What about people who are of average intelligence (IQ-wise) but are lacking certain executive functions? What about people who fall at 70-90 on the IQ scale - can you overcome that through hard work?

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Is this the question we are meant to be answering? Because I think the answer *to this question* is no.

 

That is the question, I guess.

 

For others who have talked about the defintion of success - I should have specified what I meant. I mean success in that the person can support a family with adequate food, shelter, and medical care without gov't assistance. Adequate shelter would be a home of some sort without serious structural problems or neighborhood problems. That kind of ties into that "living wage" thread, too.

 

Can everyone achieve the American Dream if they just work hard enough? Or can some people challenge themselves to their limits and never get there?

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What about people who are of average intelligence (IQ-wise) but are lacking certain executive functions? What about people who fall at 70-90 on the IQ scale - can you overcome that through hard work?

 

Yes. It will be harder, but they absolutely can do it. I have seen them do it.

Everyone has something or several something that make life harder for them.

But that is not a reason to presume they cannot succeed.

I find that rather insulting to a huge portion of our society.

 

Can everyone achieve the American Dream if they just work hard enough? Or can some people challenge themselves to their limits and never get there?

 

Yes. I simply think the "some" you are referring to is the exception to the rule, rather than a rule that applies to an entire class of our society.

 

Like the Chinese mother, I tend to presume success is absolutely possible 95% of the time.

 

And I will go further, I think making excuses/reasons and presuming success is not attainable has more to do with failure than any other factor. And living in a society that thinks like that, makes it that much harder for some to achieve genuine success. They are actully deemed foolish for thinking they can do better.

 

Of course, I say that but I bet very few people think I or dh are successes.

 

So my opinion might likely not be worth squat.:tongue_smilie:

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That is the question, I guess.

 

For others who have talked about the defintion of success - I should have specified what I meant. I mean success in that the person can support a family with adequate food, shelter, and medical care without gov't assistance. Adequate shelter would be a home of some sort without serious structural problems or neighborhood problems. That kind of ties into that "living wage" thread, too.

 

Can everyone achieve the American Dream if they just work hard enough?

 

Absolutely not! Our current economic system does not allow for everyone to earn a wage that would allow them to support a family with adequate food, shelter, and medical care without gov't assistance. The fact of the matter is that our economy provides more low paying Wal-mart type jobs than jobs that pay a living wage and provide health insurance. We can't ALL be doctors, lawyers, and engineers. The saddest thing to me is that some of the hardest working people are also some of the lowest paid.

 

Susan in TX

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Can anything be overcome through hardwork and perseverence?

 

 

 

No.

 

There are people in this world who are so difficult to get along with that no matter how hard they work they will continuously be overlooked for promotions.

 

There are people who, even if they owned their own businesses, their inability to speak and have decent working relationships will sink their own business.

 

They may persevere (keep trying) and they may work hard, but they will fail.

 

There are those who work hard instead of work efficiently. They will work hard (physically) their whole lives but physical work alone will not ensure success.

 

At my DH's work they are reviewed in two areas in order to streamline the review.

 

You get a 1-3 based on WHAT you get done.

You get a 1-3 based on HOW you get it done.

 

The first entails how hard you work, if you're efficient, what you produce.

The second is more about inter-personal relationships. If someone won't work for you or you estrange your peers or the people in charge of your promotion, you'll end up blacklisted and in the same job for a long while without promotion.

 

It would be ideal to say all you have to do in life is work hard. That isn't true. Actually at the end of the day, if you could work moderately and yet get along with people around you and in charge of you, you may actually go further... It isn't fair, but it is relevant.

 

ETA: My husband has had to change his style quite a lot. He considered himself militaristic - tough and hardworking with an outstanding work ethic. If it offended some that was fine as long as he pushed them and himself to get the job done. He's found that isn't a way to inspire people to work. And, actually he offended some and ended up what he considered lightly blacklisted from promotion. We left the plant we were at after he had worked on what he calls "people skills" for another production plant - same company, rules, etc. He was promoted after two months. It is not only what you do, but often how you do it. You can push people or you can inspire them to push themselves.

 

I want children with a strong work ethic but I want them to also focus on RELATIONSHIPS. And that isn't just a lame excuse to produce mediocre workers, lol. You can be both. And then, yes, I think you would be successful. But again, I guess that would depend how you defined success. After all it isn't the work they DO but what they are working TOWARDS that counts in the end.

Edited by BlsdMama
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I had a relative come stay with me. I did not know much about her. She came with another relative and her children to visit. This lady was interesting and upbeat, very joyful and happy, and fun to be around. She had been married to a doctor and said she liked golfing. Every once and a while when I was talking to her, she would say something strange or not understand something. I called my dad after she left and asked if she had early dementia or something. Turns out she was mildly retarded. This never entered my mind, although it made sense after the fact, it fit her behaviors and the way the other relative helped her with her purchases and a few other things.

 

Well, it turns out that she watched children for a living and had watched a doctor's children after his wife died. She was such a great person that he ended up marrying her!!

 

So, it is possible.

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Wanted to add on that one variation of hard work I've witnessed lately. Hard work is not necessarily just working hard at one's job but also carrying a few different jobs. My landlord is moderately successful for a fireman but what has actually made him successful is the fact that in addition to being a fireman he also has a sidejob, and on top of that moonlights at another sidejob. So his "hard work" is really "always working." The man is just always working somewhere.

 

Our neighbor has a backbreaking job repairing pools making NO money. He is a really hardworker in a $9.25/hr job. They're only "making it" because he has a second job which is really almost expected here, that if you're making less than $15/hr than you have a second job.

 

When I worked inpatient I noticed a lot of nurses who had a reputation as a hard worker were the ones gobbling up all of the overtime when offered (ahh, those were the days... when OT was up for grabs!).

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Anything is possible, however people often don't succeed because they don't believe they can, rather than any lack of work ethic.

Hard work doesn't mean anything if its not backed by intelligence, not done in the right frame of mind, if one comes form a poverty mentality. Hard work needs to be directed in teh right direction- digging ditaches realyl hard isnt going to to necessarily get one a middle class lifestyle (it may...but it isnt a given no matter how hard one works.)

It's not that anyone can't succeed, its just that people who are brought up in poverty often have such deep conditioning that that is their lot in life, that because everyone around them lives at a certain level they will too. Thats why we have classes in society, and its not so easy to break out of them- but it is possible. People do.

I am not so harsh on people that anyone can break out of poverty if only they work hard. I find that lacking empathy. If it were so easy there woudl be no poverty. The poor are not all slackers who do not work hard enough....the cycle of poverty is not easy to break out of. It takes a certian way of thinking, not necessarily hard work. and when you grow up surrounded by people who think a certain way, it takes a certain sort of inspiration to actually realise you can do it differently- and who is to say why one person finds their way and another just never does. And even then, most don't succeed. And in today's economic climate? I think its time poeple developed compassion for the poor and the disadvantaged rather than judging them. I personally find it strange that many Christians have such an intolerant attitude towards people who need welfare or people whose live's dont look pretty, even people who are drug addicts or caught in crime.....to me, it is not Christian to even think these people should just pull themselves out of it. Its not that easy. They need help and compassion and in the end, they may need that for the rest of thier lives. I prefer to live in a society that takes care of its weakest, poorest members.

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It is better to be lucky than good in some cases. DH graduated college in '98 and I graduated college in '99 so right during the height of the dot com bubble in Silicon Valley. I'd say the majority of the people we knew went to go work for a high-tech startup after graduation. Virtually all of them wound up getting laid off within 2-3 years as the bubble burst. But one of DH's fraternity brothers became a multi-millionaire when the start-up at which he worked became one of the few actual success stories.

 

Was this guy any smarter or harder-working than all the other folks we knew who wound up unemployed? Nope.

 

After the guy made his dot-com millions, he joined a venture capital fund. My DH actually crunched the numbers of the guy's investment performance for DH's then-employer, who was considering investing in that fund. It was below-average. He didn't have any special insight or talent at discerning between start-ups that would be successful in the future and those that were destined to fail. It was pure luck that he wound up in the right place at the right time.

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