When we come into the world we do so as a helpless frightened baby with no material belongings. There are certain things that everyone needs to sustain one’s self and to be successful in life. These may seem simple at first, but some of these are not automatically distributed to each and every person who enters the world.
BASIC MATERIAL NEEDS
To be successful in life, one must have their basic needs met. Without proper nutrition, a child cannot concentrate in school. Without housing, a child may not even make it to school due to the hardships the family is facing. Without appropriate medical care a child may be too ill to attend classes.
Perhaps the most important thing each person needs to be successful is a loving caregiver. In a perfect world, this would be a biological mother. But since the world is far from perfect, not everyone is so lucky. A mother could die at childbirth or the child could be taken away because the mother is not fit. Still, each baby born into this world has multiple needs for which assistance from an adult is required.
A loving parent not only provides that which is required for survival such as food, blankets or shelter. A loving parent provides the baby with a sense of trust. This trust develops when the baby cries and someone lovingly holds it, feeds it or changes a diaper. In situations where this fails to happen the child can develop a psychological condition called Reactive Attachment Disorder. Under these circumstances, the baby learns that the world is not a safe place, that important needs sometimes get unmet or delayed, and that in general people cannot be trusted.
As a result, as the child develops, he or she fails to make an emotional connection or bond with others. This can lead to a very disruptive and painful life. If a child cannot bond to others they become self centered and are often anti-social in nature. In this case, anti-social refers to a psychological condition in which a person cares very little for others and therefore is more likely to commit criminal acts against others. Many people in prison have Anti-social Personality Disorder.
To be successful, a child also needs self confidence. This often is provided in a caring and nurturing family setting and can be reinforced by teachers, ministers, counselors, and other community members who interact with the child. In a dysfunctional family, this may be lacking. Children can still be successful, however, if there is someone who cares enough about them. To be happy and successful in life, one must have a belief that they are capable. Without some degree of self confidence, children or young adults will not strive for greatness.
POSITIVE ROLE MODEL
Next on the list of importance is a positive role model. If one’s parents fail to model positive behaviors, the child will generally follow in those footsteps. A positive role model need not be a parent, but that is ideal because the child is exposed to parents at a very early age. Still, many successful people will attribute there success to an inspiring teacher, grandparent or even a caring neighbor.
Lastly, an education is essential. One need not go to the top colleges or even receive a college degree to be successful, however this certainly gives a young person a jump start in life. At any rate, a basic education is an absolute necessity to become successful in the job market.
It should be noted that success is measured differently by different people. In one research study, children were asked to play a game in which they attempted to toss 5 rings onto a post from a few yards away. Afterwards they were interviewed by the research team and asked if they felt they successfully performed the task. Some children rated themselves as unsuccessful because they only tossed 4 out of the 5 rings onto the post. Other ranked themselves successful because they tossed one ring onto the post.
Some may look at a bank statement to determine if one is successful, yet there are millionaires who are deeply depressed. Some may look at a job title to measure accomplishments, yet there are gravely unhappy CEOs. Others measure success through the joy their children bring them. A homeless person on the streets may feel he has had a successful day because he panhandled enough money to get his next drink. Success, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, but if a child is provided the 5 basic ingredients described above, their likelihood of living a happy and rewarding life increases dramatically.