Is success determined by hard work or your genes?

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Sabrina Almeida

Mississauga, February 26, (CINEWS): Is it hard work or genetics that propels an individual to academic and career success? Well, that’s an endless debate.
According to a group of researchers at the University of Edinburgh, nature might have a larger role to play than nurture. In a study of more than 800 sets of twins conducted in 2012, the university psychologists found that genetics were more influential in shaping key traits than a person’s home environment and surroundings. Identical twins were chosen for the study because they shared the same the DNA.
Those that support this theory believe that it is your “drive” which is largely responsible for your success, and that it is inherited. So whether you are a go-getter or a couch potato depends on the type of people your parents are.
Does this mean you can blame your failures on your parents and just sit back and relax? Not so fast. While some (or most) of your abilities might be inherited, traits can be nurtured or developed to your advantage. In fact some
scientists believe that the evidence to support the theory that success is genetic is fairly thin. Even educators agree that the skills for success can be learned. Specifically that teaching children to set goals and work towards them,
can help them become successful adults.
Simply put, while you might not be able to change your IQ,, your approach or mantra is what can make or break your life. And your environment, experience and education have a big say in that.
Another school of thought extends the argument to income and other social factors. Meaning, kids in the lower socio-economic strata are less likely to succeed irrespective of their genes or education. Some child psychologists however say that it is parental state of mind and behaviour that impacts kids more than their socio-economic status.
I guess this means parents are still on the line when it comes to raising successful offspring, whether it is by genetic recipe, parenting skills or the environment in which their children are reared.
I’m inclined to believe that both nature and nurture are important. Nature is what separates achievers from the rest of the pack, and irrespective of their circumstances and opportunities. That’s where all your rags-to-riches stories come from. Agreed, drive too plays an important role here. Not necessarily the one you inherited but more circumstantial—meaning the drive that propels you to get out of the situation and never be wanting again.
Nurturing, on the other hand, is what is brings out the best traits that can help you to succeed. All psychologists agree that children need to feel good about themselves. A positive self-image creates a sense of security and well-being which in turn fosters self-confidence and encourages an individual to achieve.
So where does the “1% inspiration, 99% perspiration” theory figure in the success recipe? Or does it at all?
Don’t write off hard work just yet! British-based researchers Michael J. Howe, Jane W. Davidson and John A. Sluboda concluded after an extensive study that “innate gifts” are not necessarily a recipe for success. The ability to do
something well is what often makes the difference and this comes from a certain kind of hard work viz. practice. The kind that successful sportspersons exhibit. Meaning, no one is born an inventor, a CEO or a star football player. Even if you possess innate abilities and talents, when not developed or appropriate channeled, they will serve no purpose.
Successful people usually work hard than the rest. They believe that’s the price you have to pay for success and are willing. It just seems like it was easy to those on the outside.
So roll up your sleeves, apply some elbow grease and keep working to achieve your dreams. Or share your recipe for success with us

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