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OPINION: How to achieve success in 2022

Written by on January 2, 2022

“Success” in life is a product of many factors. Your role as an individual is to accumulate the factors. The addition of each factor to a person makes the person’s likelihood of success increase. Your role as an individual is to accumulate the variables that make success likely, the more variables you have, the more you are likely to make the best of opportunity when the time comes. The tragedy of these variables is that one factor does not replace or represent all others. That you are connected does not make up for the variable of knowledge.

In 2011, Yuval Harari published his book Sapiens in Hebrew, it was a bestseller in Israel. Believing that he could replicate the same success globally, he translated the text to English and sent it to publishers. All of them rejected the manuscript. All. Here was a good book, an interesting book, a bestseller in Israel, written by one of the most brilliant people on earth yet it could not go globally. Yuval still insisted on self-publishing, he self-published on Amazon, but it was a classic failure. It was then he realized he lacked another factor that made books a success. He got a publishing house that agreed to translate the book and organize promotional events. That same book that was rejected became a bestseller.

As of 2019, more than 21 million copies have been sold. His other books have sold more than 20 million copies too. His last book published in 2018, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, sold more than 5 million copies in the first year of publishing and has been translated to over 60 languages. Yuval had nearly all the factors that made success in book publishing possible, but he lacked just one. Until he fixed that, he couldn’t become a bestseller. Today, he is a bestseller.

A good example of how accumulating the factors necessary for success can exhibit results can be seen in the history of the Israelites. For most of history, the Jews were most excluded and on pilgrim, which forced them to inculcate the gifts that are mobile especially KNOWLEDGE. As a result of their hardship, they developed resilience and their struggle thought them the power of connections. With these, they exhibited considerable influence on the world. This is astonishing especially if you realize they are less than 1% of the total population on earth.

Despite pervasive discrimination, the Jews received 14% of all the Nobel Prizes given in the first half of the 20th Century. In the 2nd half of the 20th Century after they received 29%. They received fifty-one per cent of the Wolf Foundation prizes in physics, 28 per cent of Max Planck medals, 38 per cent of Dirac medals for theoretical physics, 37 per cent of Dannie Heineman prizes for mathematical physics and 53 per cent of Enrico Fermi awards have gone to people of Jewish origin. Since 1880, almost half of all chess grandmasters have been Jewish. In 2010, the jews representing just 2 per cent of the American population won 21 per cent of places at Ivy League universities and 51 per cent of Pulitzer prizes for non-fiction. They simply accumulated the factors necessary for success in these fields, persistence, knowledge, and curiosity. In finance, they did the same thing using their understanding of connections.

During the space race of the 1960s, while the US and Russia were intensifying efforts to land man on the moon, a Zambian also embarked on the same project. His name was Edward Mukuka Nkoloso. Like the Americans and Russians, he had the ambition to send the first human being to space. He was knowledgeable, resilient, and passionate. Edward Mukuka was not joking, he set up a detailed plan for the space trip even writing a letter to be delivered to aliens. In 1961, Russia sent the first man to space, Yuri Gagarin. In 1989, Edward Mukuka died without sending any “Afronaut” to space. His project failed due to a lack of funds and a lack of enabling environment. Russia and the US had all those. Talking of space, someone has said, no matter how much Elon Musk had loved space and his genius, he would never have built Space X and Tesla if he had stayed in South Africa.

Professor Lewis M. Terman of Stanford University launched a research project that followed 1,470 people with IQs of 140 and above for more than half a century. Some of these men had highly successful careers, others had more modest achievements, and about 20 percent were considered “disappointments”. It is clear that all of these had one element for success, intelligence. However, only 80% were considered “successful”.

Further results from the studies show a common thread. Of 150 men in this less successful category, only 8 received a graduate degree, and dozens of them received only a high school diploma. The biggest factor in the success and lack of success in this group was the family background. Of the least successful group, nearly one-third had a parent who had dropped out of school before the eighth grade. While of the most successful group, nearly all of them came from middle-class and upper-class families and were raised in homes where there were many books. Half of their fathers were college graduates. 1,470 people that had the same major factor for success in life, not all of them became successful. The presence of one factor did not eliminate the need for the others. Advantages accumulate, disadvantages accumulate.

Now, your role in 2022 and further, is to accumulate the factors that make success likely. Accumulate the advantages. Happy New Year.

Lengdung Tungchamma writes from Jenta, Mangoro – Jos, Plateau state.

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