As many of you know (because only smart people read my blog!), I was not born in the United States. Believe it or not, what we have here is a very good example of a first-world country. I am so grateful to be in this marvelous place, where there are no rigid social classes, and where a person can pretty much be whatever their skills and work ethic allow them to be. A person can be born with a proverbial lump of coal in their mouth, and still rise up to be a wealthy executive or a doctor who saves lives like some kind of super hero. Or they can grow up to draw super heroes!

Now, the road to high levels of success is fraught with all kinds of adversity. Usually, the most successful people went through a lot of hard times on their way to “making it.” And any illusions you may have that some people are just lucky really should fall by the way side. Very few people just fall into success. Usually being successful is a combination of a good work ethic, a vision for how they want their lives to be and the determination to get back up every time the situation knocks them down.

A lot of times, people who are successful cannot even get into an elite college. So they take another route, either through community colleges or they get online college degrees. While some people still think that these are red flags or marks of shame, the exact opposite is true. Some people can simply glide through life on talent alone. But for those who really have to work at things in order to make them go well, life eventually begins to open up in the grandest way. A vision and a resilient work ethic is the combo that can move mountains, and usually does.