The success equation

Apropos of absolutely nothing, I was thinking while on my bike the other day (I do a lot of thinking on the bike) about an equation for success. On the ride I distilled it down to:

Ability + Opportunity = Success

But I’ve since realised that there’s something else needed. After all, plenty of people with both the ability and opportunity have failed to succeed. I think it’s either perseverance or perhaps commitment. And given the former’s more difficult to spell, I’m going with the latter:

Ability + Opportunity + Commitment = Success

It’s difficult if not impossible for an individual to control all these things. In fact you might argue that the individual can only really control their commitment to something: ability being largely genetic and opportunity environmental.

From a societal perspective, we should be concerned about giving more people with ability the opportunities to succeed. The commitment, of course, is down to them.

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3 thoughts on “The success equation

  1. Hi Mark

    I hope you also think about the traffic when you’re out on your bike :-)

    A suggestion and an observation.

    Suggestion – I wonder if the equation might be better if the operators were multiplication rather than addition? A huge amount of ability, mixed with a small amount of opportunity and commitment, probably won’t come to much.

    Observation – Though I agree that factors like genetics, heritage and location play significant roles, I do think we can influence both ability and opportunity. Ability through education in its many forms, opportunity through awareness and a desire in both cases to seek them out.

    Cheers
    Adam

    • Me says:

      Hi Adam. I’m fortunate to live in an area where the roads can be beautifully quiet, but I do still try to keep my wits about me!

      I like the idea of multiplication over addition very much indeed. Great suggestion.

      In terms of your observation, I was thinking about that. I tend to think that someone being open to being taught and seeking out opportunities still relies on a level of personal commitment and a proactive decision to do so.

      Thanks for the comment. Hope you’re well.

  2. [...] is about attitude as well as opportunity and ability (to paraphrase what a wiser man than me recently said). Unless people start immersing themselves in this area and seeing the possibilities of new [...]

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