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Is success 'natural' or 'nurtural'?

Updated: May 1, 2020

Are people born to succeed, or are “success” qualities developed after birth?

The age-old “nature” or “nurture” argument has plenty of supporters on both sides of the fence …but from personal experience; I must admit that I sit firmly in the nurture camp.

Like all children, I was born into this world as a bundle of potential, but up until a lightning bolt stung me into action at the age of 14, I was just plodding through life without any clear direction or goals. That lightning bolt came in the form of the sudden death of my beloved dad from a heart attack and it was an utterly gut-wrenching experience.

All of a sudden as the eldest of 3 children, I suddenly became the head man of the family and that triggered a new found sense of responsibility and a desire to set an example for my brothers. This was the catalyst for me being a lot more disciplined with my school work and a lot more focussed with my real sporting passion which was Rugby League.

What transpired from the emotional lowlight of my life was a complete transformation in the way that I lived my life and a clearer perspective of what I wanted out of life.

Out of this adversity came the best lesson I’ve ever learnt…”it’s not what happens to you in life that counts, it’s how you deal with it!”

Whilst as human beings we feel much more comfortable when we can control our environment and the circumstances around us, there are many times in life that “things” get thrown our way and we just have to deal with them as best we can.

The way we deal with these “uncontrollables” is mostly dictated by our internal beliefs and thought processes that drive either a “can-do” attitude or a “she’ll be right” attitude.

While it’s easy to back off and park your car when you hit a major pothole or setback along the freeway of life, the winners and genuinely successful people amongst us are those who search for and find a way around these potholes…they have a healthy and productive “can-do” attitude, they know where they want to go and are determined to get there. This is the foundation of mental toughness.

But the fact of life is that the vast majority of people reflect their body chemistry. As organisms comprised of 60-70% water, many people do what water does…they take the path of least resistance through life. When potholes or hurdles are encountered these people display a “she’ll-be-right” attitude and take the path of least resistance. They sit back and wait for things to happen rather than making things happen.

As a consequence the “she’ll-be-righters” actually disempower themselves and they get stuck when confronted by the inevitable potholes of life because they never learn to be value of persistence, nor the joy of reaching challenging goals. In football terms we call these types of players “fair weather” footballers, they’re the ones who love playing the easy beat sides but they go missing against the good teams and sooner or later they’ll let you down because they lack mentally toughness.

From my own experience I know that once we’ve overcome the first big hurdle in our life, we gain tremendous self confidence and realise that we have the power within us to do almost anything. In learning such a lesson we are actually learning a key ingredient of success…the value of persistence.

It’s just a matter of looking within ourselves and finding the strength to get around or over that first big pothole. From then on we’ll never look back and our lives will have well and truly changed for the better!

TIP- If you’re someone with a “can-do” attitude please understand that you can make a real difference to the “she’ll-be- righters” you meet on your journey through life.

By infecting someone with enthusiasm or simply lending a helping hand you could make all the difference to someone that’s feeling stuck…and at the end of the day don’t we all want to make a difference?

Here's a video produced by some great friends of mine showing a further insight into my journey to success....enjoy!


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