Rachel Thompson

Sunday, November 17, 2013

John H.T. Francis – Reflections on Fundamental Matters: Not for the Satisfied Mind @JohnHTFrancis

Excerpt 5: Reflections on Fundamental Matters: Not for the Satisfied Mind – Chapter: The
Ingredients of Success
761. In attempting to draw a synthesis on Success and its drivers, we can say that Luck is primary over all
other ingredients. Without Luck, nothing is easy, and with it everything becomes possible. As for the
hierarchy between the other ingredients (Common Sense, Hard Work, and Natural Gift), the relative
importance of each seems to depend on the subject matter we are considering, albeit Hard Work seems to be
almost always present.
a. Common Sense seems more important than Hard Work and Natural Gift in Business and
b. In Science, Hard Work and Natural Gift are at least at par and probably more important than
Common Sense.
c. In Sports, Natural Gift is key, but it does not express itself fully without Hard Work and Luck.
762. Luck is in reality present at least in two and a half out of the four mentioned above. There is Luck itself
as an ingredient, Luck is present in Natural Gift with which we are born and do not get to choose, and Luck
is partially present in Common Sense. Common Sense can be nurtured; some are born with it, others gain it
with time if they are exposed to the right environment, but in both such scenarios, Luck again plays a key role.
763. We are therefore left with Hard Work only as the almost pure ingredient under our control. What each
one of us can really do is to give her greatest effort and try to draw the best from the tools, internal and
external, Life has given her. This way she earns her self-respect and gains her personal integrity regardless of
the outcome. The outcome, whether positive or negative, becomes as much of a fact of life as the weather or
winning the lottery. When one has earned her self-respect through Hard Work and internal honesty, the
outcome becomes less important, provided of course that material needs for the beloved ones (such as
family) and oneself are met to a decent level.
764. Our relatively small human scale and the interactive nature of things make us consider Success and
Failure with a lot of perspective.
a. No Success or Failure is final.
b. No Success or Failure is guaranteed by some magical ingredients.
c. Success can bias the objective reality, particularly because societies can be irrational about Success
and Failure. The status acquired through Success is not always a fair one.
d. All Success is relative to our human scale, which is negligible in the face of the Universe.
765. What should we do differently then when it comes to succeeding or failing? What is more important
than doing things differently is actually changing the way we assess Success and Failure, whether in our own
life or that of others, and how we feel about various outcomes and achievements in our life.
a. We ask the reader to pay attention to how many good singing voices there are out there who will
never have the chance to be globally recognised for a whole host of reasons; how many people born
in Africa who could be great business men or great leaders if given the means but will never see any
of that happening because they are simply born in the wrong place and time.
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