What makes you what you are — and our success in life?
Let’s assume that the basic bedrock of success is intelligence. If we ask psychologists what makes for intelligence there is general agreement that it’s 50% genetic and 50% environment. We could now speculate a little by suggesting that 50% of the environment is due to the culture you absorbed from your parents, and 50% due to the external environment experienced after puberty.
Further, the latter could be due to physical circumstances — and contingent shocks — but also the friends we make and the socialization skills we acquire in the work and social groups we are comfortable with as we approach full adulthood at around the age of 30.
For most individuals with normal levels of testosterone their future lot is largely settled at around the age of 30 years. For the more ambitious it depends on whether they have sufficient intelligence and ability to practise a myriad of new social skills in order to insinuate themselves into a higher social level. More gratifyingly, members at a higher social level like what they see and offer a way into joining their group.
If we add up all the percentages for average individuals we have something like — 50% +25% +12.5% + 6.25% + 6.25%. There’s not a lot of room there for individual decision-making is there? If we do the same for an individual too ambitious to stay for long in any one adult group before moving upwards, we have — 50% +25% +12.5% + 6.25% + x% + y%, ‘x’ being environmental circumstances, ‘y’ being individual personality change and genuine free will when it comes to taking decisions. How virtuous are you?