Is The American Dream A Lie? Talent Will Win In The End

Coolio

Professional
#1
I Work Hard; Why am I Not Winning?
Posted on September 14, 2018 by David Mullins
“Just work hard and the rest will take care of itself.”
“All you have to do is believe in yourself and anything is possible.”
“Stay positive, set goals and get a little bit better every day. Do this, and your dreams will become a reality.”
We have all heard clichés like these throughout our lives. While, they can be inspiring and comforting, are they really true for everyone or apply to just some people?

Coach Mullins
When I was 12 years old, my mother managed to get us onto the grounds of Wimbledon the day before the main draw matches started. We stumbled across Stefan Edberg (my childhood hero) practicing with Michael Chang. I studied every move they made for the next 30 minutes, but the one thing that stood out to me more than anything was the size of their calf muscles! I don’t know why, but as I walked around the grounds that day watching players get ready for the biggest tournament of the year, I started checking out the players legs! Sure enough, all the male players had monstrous calf muscles!
Based on this experience I believed that one ingredient to becoming a professional tennis player was to have big powerful legs. I assumed that with the right training, nutrition and commitment, I too, would someday have calf muscles that size! But for me, that day never came. You see, I have more of a long-distance runner’s body. I wasn’t built for power, I was built for endurance. It did not matter how many calf raises I committed to doing, I was never going to replicate the same powerful, tree trunk legs of the players I saw strutting around the courts of Wimbledon years earlier. Why?

In my teens, I remember some tennis players dropping out of school to commit to tennis full time. They would play 3-4 hours per day and would receive coaching several times per week. I continued with my 1 hour of tennis per day, maybe a few more at the weekend, while I stayed in school. I could never understand how I could still beat these players so comfortably. I would notice some improvements in their game, but they never caught me and eventually quit (the sport altogether) much earlier than I did. These players had far more hours of on court training time, coaching and competition, yet they could not catch me. Why?
Once I entered the college coaching profession, I finally started to understand the limitations of certain players. Early in my coaching career, I wanted to believe that talent did not matter. Rather, I thought that with the right mindset and work ethic, there would never be any limit to my players’ results. I found it frustrating that some of the hardest working players were not rewarded with a high win count or even a place in my line-up!
I yearned to reward them for all their hard work, but when it mattered most, the more “talented” player usually beat them out for that spot. It soon became clear to me that players who experience the most success typically had “talent” as well as a great work ethic. You see, I have come to learn that tennis talent and genetics REALLY matter.
As a college coach, I was aware that a player’s ability to compete is not derived solely from the number of hours they practice. After a number of years coaching both men and women at an elite collegiate level, I could see there were a number of distinct factors that contribute to their ability to performs and now science has backed up my experiences.
Parents will look to coaches to explain why their child is not improving or why they are losing matches. These are good questions to ask but you must also understand that your child may have inherited a number of limitations beyond their control that might actually be able to explain your child’s lack of results.
The book “Top Dog,” by Bronson and Merrymen, digs a little deeper into this topic. It sheds light on the fact that thousands of hours of practice just isn’t enough to compete at the highest levels of any profession. One of the studies in the book I found fascinating focused on the topic of how people handle stressful situations. When someone is under duress, the synapses in the prefrontal cortex are flooded with dopamine. We use the COMT enzyme to flush out the dopamine. Most of us were gifted with both fast and slow acting enzymes from our parents while others have only fast acting enzymes. An unlucky 25% of the population possess only slow acting enzymes.

This means that these people will have a very difficult time calming themselves down after a stressful encounter. The dopamine will stick around far longer than needed. Now imagine you are a high- performance tennis player and belong to this 25% of the population. You feel pressure from yourself and others to get a win. You get a commanding lead but blow it and you feel the stress building.
The dopamine is now flooding in, but you are powerless to wash it away because of this genetic code you have been dealt at birth. Every muscle in your body is tight as you hit a trail of double faults and have a complete technical meltdown. As a coach or parent, are you really going to get mad about this? I did. At least until I read this study and realized one of my players most likely had this genetic code and was always going to be susceptible to “choking” when a match got close.

Another book I recently read, “SUPERHUMAN,” by Pullman discusses studies that show “about a quarter of the variation in the amount of practice people put in could be explained by genetic factors.” That means that a quarter of the drive to go and practice is genetically influenced. Practice also magnified the effects of innate talent. In short: genes influence how much you practice, and also how successful you end up being.
This book also explains the Multifactorial Gene-Environment Interaction Model (MGIM) – In a nutshell MGIM recognizes that practice can’t explain achievement and accepts that both genetic and non-genetic factors are essential for expertise. Those involved with this model have done studies which “found that the amount of practice someone put in accounted for 30 percent of the variance in performance. In other words, factors other than the amount of practice put in accounted for 70% of the individual differences in performance ability.”

Basically, genetics impact every aspect of an athlete’s life. I could cite many more examples than I have included in this short blog, but hopefully these few little-know examples will make you think about some others. This goes way beyond what we see on the surface: height, weight, speed, jumping ability, etc. Genetics impact how an athlete deals with stress and even their commitment to practice! We may think it doesn’t impact on these subtler areas of an athlete’s development because we cannot see it with our own eyes. We are almost hoping it doesn’t exist with our “work hard and never quit” adages.
It is my hope that coaches and parents can better understand that developing a high performing tennis player is an extremely complicated process. You have no idea in which areas your child/pupil will begin to reach a plateau in their career due to their genetics. We want things to be neat and simple, and “experts” will sometimes sell you on easy solutions. Tennis development, like personal development can be a full of potholes and missteps.

Parents will look to coaches to explain why their child is not improving or why they are losing matches. These are good questions to ask but you must also understand that your child may have inherited a number of limitations beyond their control that might actually be able to explain your child’s lack of results.

If your child loves tennis and has big dreams, absolutely support them in the best way you can but make sure you maintain realistic expectations along the way. Recognize that an innumerable set of factors must converge in order for a player to reach a world class standard. Such a standard is out of reach for most of us, but if we love to play and truly want to improve then we should do our best to maximize whatever genes and environment with which we have been blessed. We all have our limitations; it is not something to get upset about.

https://www.tennisconsult.com/tennis-talent-genetics-matter/

In my coaching programme. I am starting to see talented kids beat up on older kids, even though the older kids are doing everything in their power to improve. I'd like to still believe you can will yourself to be exceptional, maybe not world class but say D1 level.

What are your thoughts coaches? Is there a strong element of genetics and your natural athleticism sculpting your tennis path. Good or bad coaching can nudge you upwards or downwards slightly but generally your level is already decided? @Ash_Smith @tennis_balla @treblings @Easy Rider
 
#3
Yes, hard work overcomes everything is a lie. However hard work is the only thing you can control and talent alone is not enough plenty of talents fail due to lack of work ethic or just plain luck like injury.

Correctly it should be "if you work hard AND smart you can reach your genetic limit where ever that might be" but that doesn't sound sexy.

Still most people don't even come close to their genetic limit in both academics and athletics so there is still some truth to it.
 
#4
Yea, we all have a limit but hard work still pays off in life. Genetics and talent probably explain why some players who have “ugly” games win against players with better looking games. Some players have superior physical skills and mental skills that compensate for weaker technique
 
#5
most of the time its the hard work that puts u in a position to succeed. It doesn't guarantee it. But with out it its very unlikely u will have any success in any of life's endeavors.
 
#8
The article you quoted mentions non-physical genetics and its contribution but it never actually touches upon any specific genes, dna, or genetics identified as the contributing factor. In other words seems more like correlation than cause. How much of it was early childhood nurture vs nature to create the "right" mental disposition?

I do believe the person's "personality" is definitely important, but the physical limitations in sport probably play a bigger part. You could "genetically" have the greatest and most competitive and hard-working attitude in the world, but if you don't have the physical attributes, you'll never beat Usain Bolt in the 100m sprint.
 

mcs1970

Professional
#9
The main things under your control are your work ethic and attitude. Before anyone whines about genetic profiles, ask honestly if you have done everything in your control to maximize your talent. Coming to genetic profiles and genetic gifts, definitely some are more blessed than others. You can train as much as you want. You'll not have the ability to take the ball early as Fed does. There are others who are blessed and fritter it away. You look at them and get upset as to how much you could have done if you were blessed with those gifts. Life is unfair that way. If you are on the smaller side and you are trying to see how far you can go, take a look at players like Nishikori, Schwartzman, Chang,...etc.

BTW....this is a good read:
http://blog.dilbert.com/2015/12/05/my-napoleon-complex/
 
#10
Work ethic and attitude are probably largely inherited traits as well, so even they may not be under your control. It's like telling fat people to just eat less or gay men to just like women and assuming its just all under their control. Much of how we act is defined by genetic hard-wiring in our brain. That goes for things like positivity, concentration, diligence, etc.

Elite tennis players are elite because they were granted amazing physical gifts but also amazing mental gifts. Some get more gifts on the mental side like McEnroe, Connors, Gilbert, Chang and some get more physical gifts like Sampras, Kyrgios, Becker and some get both like Djokovic, Nadal, Agassi and Federer.
But all of them were highly gifted with both physical talent and work ethic.
 

mcs1970

Professional
#11
Work ethic and attitude are probably largely inherited traits as well, so even they may not be under your control. It's like telling fat people to just eat less or gay men to just like women and assuming its just all under their control. .
Seems like quite a stretch. We'll just disagree.
 

mcs1970

Professional
#12
Work ethic and attitude are probably largely inherited traits as well, so even they may not be under your control. It's like telling fat people to just eat less or gay men to just like women and assuming its just all under their control. Much of how we act is defined by genetic hard-wiring in our brain. That goes for things like positivity, concentration, diligence, etc.

Some get more gifts on the mental side like McEnroe, Connors, Gilbert, Chang and some get more physical gifts like Sampras, Kyrgios, Becker and some get both like Djokovic, Nadal, Agassi and Federer
Sampras > Agassi, both mentally and physically. You might want to flip those names.
 

FiReFTW

Hall of Fame
#13
Of course people have different amount of talent for certain sports, no question about it.
But thats completely out of your control.
The only thing you can control is how much effort u will put to improve.
The more you put the better tennis player u will become, the less you do the worse you will be.
So I dont get the point of this article.
 
#16
@Coolio Sorry for delay, m8 ... But I was away for very long time, site has changed :)))) and since you tagged me : Nature and Nurture, hand in hand ... Hard work without talent will beat talent without hard work, somewhere down the road, but for the real heights ... Nature&Nurture
 
#17
Has anyone ever heard Federer give the impression that he works really really hard? Or suggested that his record achievement was the result of the work that he has put in way more than other players have?

I haven't.

Truth is we simply don't know how much a role talent, inherent traits play and how much "hard work" does.

Take school, some students breeze through some subjects with easy As while others really struggle.

People encourage others to work hard...well...because it's just an encouragement. At best they biasly base "hard work" on their own difficulty. For example, parents say in their day they had to get up at 5am, walk 2 miles, etc... so the kids aren't working hard if they get up at 7am and driven in cars everywhere. This is just a stupid logic/comparison to use to judge "hard work". Parents have no idea about different difficulties that kids have to face today or even if their kids are built for getting up and walking like they did.
 
#19
Working hard and getting results is not the American Dream. The Dream is that you have the opportunities to do so without anyone trying to put you down because of who you are. That is all. Whether results come or not can depend on so many other factors.
Well said sureshs! Outstanding. American Dream is about opportunity.....not results and guarantees....heck it isn't even that you get the same opportunity as the next guy, but that opportunity exist and is a 'possibility' for everyone who works to earn it.

This week that dopamine issue is bad, but next year they may find how it can be an advantage.
Also, coaches talk about spotting talent and maybe they are right half the time, but the truth is, you don't know how far you can go until you invest your Effort and Attitude. Even if you can spot talent, at what point is it decided? Ever heard of the "Late Bloomer Advantage in Sports"?

Charles Barkley and Mike Jordan struggled initially to make their HS teams, then went on to be mega stars. Barkley grew late and then didn't really grow enough to be a big Guard in the NBA, but dominated in the lane for a decade.
Undrafted Kurt Warner would throw 41 TDs and tally 4,353 yards whilst helping the Rams to win Super Bowl XXXIV, picking up both league MVP and Super Bowl MVP at 28 years old after only getting some playing time due to injuries of the ones Coaches thought were far more talented.
The theory goes that no pitcher 6-foot-4 plus would be able to develop the mechanics to become a successful and consistent pitcher, and for a while it looked like this was very much the case for Johnson who did not make it to the majors until the age of 25. At around the age of 28, Johnson found his control and polished his game to become one of the all-time great left handed pitchers and a force to be reckoned
 
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#28
Lots of evidence these days pointing to a genetic basis for personality.

But then I know lots of people that don't believe science so you are more than welcome to disagree.
I have read enough scientific articles to know that the nature vs nurture debate has extensive divisions among research scientists too. You being a doctor doesn't give you more any credibility in the field than someone like me, when there are scientists, actively researching and debating that topic, who disagree with you. Keep believing what you want to believe though. Just don't try to pass it off as science.
 
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#30
"extensive divisions" also exist in the intelligent design vs evolution debate.

But one has "science", and the other, wishful thinking.
Did you even read about the divisions in the nature vs nurture debate among trained geneticists (not politicians or fundamentalists pushing their own agenda), to claim that the analogy holds?
 
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#31
I Work Hard; Why am I Not Winning?
Posted on September 14, 2018 by David Mullins
Totally unknown and unpredictable. You need only look as far as the pro ranks. A guy like Anderson say, he was a journeyman, kind of hanging around the teens and 20 rankings for years--yet now he has leapt to the top 10 with some big wins. I wouldn't have predicted it. He used to be the servebot archetype, yet over time he's shored up his ground game impressively. He rips some bigtime shots now, watch his Laver cup v Fed. So when he's improved in the last 2 years, after being in a holding pattern for what, 8-10 years? You just can't predict. So what coach could ever honestly say (or say to themselves) to the rec player who appears locked into the same 3.5 game for years, that he/she couldn't make a move?
 
#32
Would be very interesting especially at 285 pounds.
Agree, I'd say weight is probably the one sure thing you can point to with regards to genetics vs. nurture that will disqualify you from ever becoming a top pro. In a small court situation, needing to change direction quickly, your inertia as a heavier person (even if supremely fit) will keep you from being able to recover fast enough to hang with lighter guys. It's just physics. But beyond that, totally unpredictable.
 
#33
Has anyone ever heard Federer give the impression that he works really really hard? Or suggested that his record achievement was the result of the work that he has put in way more than other players have?

I haven't.

Truth is we simply don't know how much a role talent, inherent traits play and how much "hard work" does.

Take school, some students breeze through some subjects with easy As while others really struggle.

People encourage others to work hard...well...because it's just an encouragement. At best they biasly base "hard work" on their own difficulty. For example, parents say in their day they had to get up at 5am, walk 2 miles, etc... so the kids aren't working hard if they get up at 7am and driven in cars everywhere. This is just a stupid logic/comparison to use to judge "hard work". Parents have no idea about different difficulties that kids have to face today or even if their kids are built for getting up and walking like they did.
dude works out hard:
 
#35
The article you quoted mentions non-physical genetics and its contribution but it never actually touches upon any specific genes, dna, or genetics identified as the contributing factor. In other words seems more like correlation than cause. How much of it was early childhood nurture vs nature to create the "right" mental disposition?

I do believe the person's "personality" is definitely important, but the physical limitations in sport probably play a bigger part. You could "genetically" have the greatest and most competitive and hard-working attitude in the world, but if you don't have the physical attributes, you'll never beat Usain Bolt in the 100m sprint.
Some people are born with Lynch Syndrome which confers the lack of mismatch repair genes. Genes can have copy errors which can result in cancerous mutations. The mismatch repair genes repair the copy errors. Some people, though, don't have them and they are far more likely to get cancer in early adulthood. That's a place where there is a strong negative factor in your genetics and it conferred early death to large numbers of people until we started understanding it and coming up with therapies for cancer. This is also a case where nature is stronger than nurture.
 
#36
Working hard is not the same as working smart.

Andy Roddick wasn't working smart (realizing enough of his potential) until late in his career when he took on Larry Stefanki as his coach. Suddenly Andy got leaner, faster, built and implemented a game with more dimension than just big serve/big forehand, and got to within a couple points of knocking off Federer at the pinnacle of Roger's career when they met in the '09 final at Wimbledon. Anybody remember that 5-set instant classic?

Had Andy been working smart at an earlier point in his years as a pro instead of just working hard, I'm confident that he would have notched one or two more majors for himself. Some of it probably comes down to luck, but some of it hinges on making the right decisions at the right times. Andy truly had the heart of a champion, but his development plateaued for too many years during his prime.
 
#37
Working hard is not the same as working smart.

Andy Roddick wasn't working smart (realizing enough of his potential) until late in his career when he took on Larry Stefanki as his coach. Suddenly Andy got leaner, faster, built and implemented a game with more dimension than just big serve/big forehand, and got to within a couple points of knocking off Federer at the pinnacle of Roger's career when they met in the '09 final at Wimbledon. Anybody remember that 5-set instant classic?

Had Andy been working smart at an earlier point in his years as a pro instead of just working hard, I'm confident that he would have notched one or two more majors for himself. Some of it probably comes down to luck, but some of it hinges on making the right decisions at the right times. Andy truly had the heart of a champion, but his development plateaued for too many years during his prime.
The thing is working hard worked really well for Roddick. Until it didn't. As you move up, the competitors get better and better and you have to work on getting that little extra. Even if it only works for a short time.

An example of working smarter and stepping over people: in software engineering, there are low-value projects and high-value projects and low-value work and high-value work. An example of high-value work is development on something that will greatly increase product sales. Maintenance of existing features is something that has to be done but it won't get you promotions and financial goodies because it doesn't bring in additional revenue. So, career-wise, you want to work on a great project and then leave it so that you don't have to do the maintenance work on it. You leave it for the remaining people in the group or for a new hire that won't make progress for a while because they are weighed down with maintenance work.

Another career builder is getting smart and efficient people to work for you. And maybe have them compete with each other to please you. BTW, there are lots of people that won't do this stuff and they'll get stuck at some point in their career.
 
#38
Working hard is not the same as working smart.

Andy Roddick wasn't working smart (realizing enough of his potential) until late in his career when he took on Larry Stefanki as his coach. Suddenly Andy got leaner, faster, built and implemented a game with more dimension than just big serve/big forehand, and got to within a couple points of knocking off Federer at the pinnacle of Roger's career when they met in the '09 final at Wimbledon. Anybody remember that 5-set instant classic?

Had Andy been working smart at an earlier point in his years as a pro instead of just working hard, I'm confident that he would have notched one or two more majors for himself. Some of it probably comes down to luck, but some of it hinges on making the right decisions at the right times. Andy truly had the heart of a champion, but his development plateaued for too many years during his prime.
I think Roddick is someone that maximized his potential and perhaps even over-achieved. Have to respect that.
 
#39
I dont know if it is genetics or gaining important abilities in a very young age. When I was a child and in first years of school I tried each sport. I was an excellent football player.(Almost like Messi :sneaky:)
Whatever sport I tried I was on the top. When I was 16 I began to play tennis. I won a lot of tournaments as a amateur and then as a senior. When I was over 40 I was in top 5 in my category in Poland. 17 years ago I injured my right wrist and was forced to use two handed forehand. After two months I was on the same level as before injury. I just adjusted all my behavior on the court to new technique. I chose tactics which let me hide my problems caused by my new technique. I didnt even use proper two handed forehand. 3.5 years ago I changed my two handed forehand to forehand with crossed hands(Seles, Bartoli, Peng) and now I am #3 in Polish Ranking. My two handed forehand and two handed backhand are very effective but I agree that most of my wins are based on physical fitness. All parts of my body move separately. There is no stiffness. I can easily adjust even in unstable positions. I have narrow but long feet. It really helps. I think that genetics and physical fitness gained in a very early age are equally important. Ability to analyse and change technique and tactics are important too. I am very strong mentally but I think that it is caused by the fact that many times in the past I solved many problems on the court. I just understand that consequence gives a lot of points. That is why I am patient on the court.
 
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#41
An example of working smarter and stepping over people: in software engineering, there are low-value projects and high-value projects and low-value work and high-value work. An example of high-value work is development on something that will greatly increase product sales. Maintenance of existing features is something that has to be done but it won't get you promotions and financial goodies because it doesn't bring in additional revenue. So, career-wise, you want to work on a great project and then leave it so that you don't have to do the maintenance work on it. You leave it for the remaining people in the group or for a new hire that won't make progress for a while because they are weighed down with maintenance work.
That is interesting, isn't it?

This knowledge isn't difficult to come by. It seems like everyone knows it.

What I'm curious in is ... how do you get what you want (the bolded) when everyone else is going for the same thing? Don't you have to be smart and talented in office politics?
 
#42
That is interesting, isn't it?

This knowledge isn't difficult to come by. It seems like everyone knows it.

What I'm curious in is ... how do you get what you want (the bolded) when everyone else is going for the same thing? Don't you have to be smart and talented in office politics?
There are a lot of people that know it but those people are a small percentage of the population. The thing is that you do quite well, even at lower rungs of the ladder. And lots of people would rather enjoy working on the technical aspects without dealing with the political stuff. The thing is the vast majority will be limited if they don't play the politics. My particular area pays quite well but there are lots of areas that don't and the same politics exist in all of the other places. So there may be much stronger motivation to either play politics or get frustrated when you don't and you get passed over.
 
#43
There are a lot of people that know it but those people are a small percentage of the population. The thing is that you do quite well, even at lower rungs of the ladder. And lots of people would rather enjoy working on the technical aspects without dealing with the political stuff. The thing is the vast majority will be limited if they don't play the politics. My particular area pays quite well but there are lots of areas that don't and the same politics exist in all of the other places. So there may be much stronger motivation to either play politics or get frustrated when you don't and you get passed over.
Almost everyone wants better things. So I don't think that there's only a small percentage of people that understand that they need to do more to achieve better things. Everyone does. But there's indeed a small percentage that know what to do, ie talented in corp. politics.

I underlined your sentences as if you're suggesting it's only a matter of wanting for (most) people. Just a matter of do or don't.

I don't think so. You're ignoring the ability of individuals. They don't play politics, get passed over most of the time because they can't play politics. They don't have that ability.

Likewise, Roddick probably wanted to win as many slams as Federer, but he simply couldn't. It has nothing to do with being smart or hard working. Roddick and Federer weren't born with the same genetic makeups. Say, Roddick was preoccupied with hot women while Federer rather chose tennis over girlfriends. Such choices undoubtedly affected their careers, no? So, how did the two guys "get to pick" such different personalities?
 
#44
Almost everyone wants better things. So I don't think that there's only a small percentage of people that understand that they need to do more to achieve better things. Everyone does. But there's indeed a small percentage that know what to do, ie talented in corp. politics.

I underlined your sentences as if you're suggesting it's only a matter of wanting for (most) people. Just a matter of do or don't.

I don't think so. You're ignoring the ability of individuals. They don't play politics, get passed over most of the time because they can't play politics. They don't have that ability.

Likewise, Roddick probably wanted to win as many slams as Federer, but he simply couldn't. It has nothing to do with being smart or hard working. Roddick and Federer weren't born with the same genetic makeups. Say, Roddick was preoccupied with hot women while Federer rather chose tennis over girlfriends. Such choices undoubtedly affected their careers, no? So, how did the two guys "get to pick" such different personalities?
Sometimes it's don't want to; sometimes people don't know how to. Sometimes there's someone that's much better at it than you are and you're competing with them.

At some point, you may be comfortable with what you have. I'm not that far from retirement and the effort to get more probably isn't worth it to me. At some point, you may just be happy with some of the perks. I rang up half a million in healthcare costs in 2017 and 2018 and am pretty happy that my employer insurance picked up the costs and that they gave me a lot of flexibility in working around my illness. It's pretty hard to launch a major career effort when you're trying to get back on your feet health-wise.
 

Kevo

Hall of Fame
#45
The American dream isn't a lie. And God given gifts are superior to hard won skills. It's clear to see that some people are born with certain advantages. The American dream is more about people without those advantages can still make something of themselves by hard work and determination. And that is of course still true because there are so many opportunities. It's not a guarantee that you can achieve whatever you want if you try hard enough. That has never been my understanding of the dream at least. I think that is some other myth that liberals from the self esteem movement started somehow when they wanted people to puff up kids egos to make them feel good, but that's basically a giant guess because of the similarity of mindset.
 
#47
The American dream isn't a lie. And God given gifts are superior to hard won skills. It's clear to see that some people are born with certain advantages. The American dream is more about people without those advantages can still make something of themselves by hard work and determination. And that is of course still true because there are so many opportunities. It's not a guarantee that you can achieve whatever you want if you try hard enough. That has never been my understanding of the dream at least. I think that is some other myth that liberals from the self esteem movement started somehow when they wanted people to puff up kids egos to make them feel good, but that's basically a giant guess because of the similarity of mindset.
I'm not entirely sure about what you're trying to say.

If you believe in "the American dream", you know, people excel and be judged on the merits of their characters as opposed to born privileges, you are more inline with the view of the liberals, the progressives. You know, MLK stuff.(Who's more liberal than MLK Jr.?) The liberals tend to advocate kids to overlook and even feel good about their shortcoming/shun born traits.

It's the other side that judges and prefers to assign people according to their born traits. Eg. If you're aren't heteros you shouldn't get marriage; women belong in kitchen, not in politics, outside.
 

Kevo

Hall of Fame
#48
I'm not entirely sure about what you're trying to say.
Some people are born with an advantage. That's a simple fact of life that you learn from experience and observation. For most people it happens early on when you realize that the older bigger kids can pick on you and pummel you at will and there's pretty much nothing you can do about it. So working hard and overcoming against people with superior gifts from birth is not what the American Dream is about. Those are my thoughts related to the OP.

What the American Dream is about as I stated, which was hinted at by the OP to some degree, is the fact that anyone with hard work and determination can succeed in America, where success is not defined by being the absolute best.

The example given earlier was Roddick. He achieved very good success by any normal standard, even though he may not have been the most gifted athlete genetically.

The liberals I was speaking about were from a specific time and had a specific mindset. I was not speaking about liberals in general. MLK jr. was certainly not a liberal in the modern sense. Maybe more classical, but I really didn't mean to bring liberals in general into the discussion, I was speaking about a specific subset in relation to the anyone can be anything mantra that some espouse. It's good to have high aspirations, but it's also good to be realistic and not deny the reality of your situation. That sort of mindset is certainly not part of the American Dream IMO.
 
#49
MLK jr. was certainly not a liberal in the modern sense. Maybe more classical
Exactly...MLK was about opportunity, but the modern Lib is pushing for Equal outcomes....but I guess you can see why they push for that, because if they can't see the problem with it, they are not likely to achieve much without it being handed to them.
 
#50
@Kevo @5263

MLK Jr. was not liberal in the modern sense?

That's laughable. His ideas of equality and civil disobedience, come up over half a century ago, were so far advanced into the future that even today they are still not achievable, well, maybe a tiny bit. By this rate, it's gonna take a few more centuries to get anywhere meaningful. The next two years or possibly 6 years are freaking toast! LOL. Major step back.

"What the American Dream is about as I stated, which was hinted at by the OP to some degree, is the fact that anyone with hard work and determination can succeed in America, where success is not defined by being the absolute best. "

NO. Just NO.

Suresh got it right (in a different thread). The American Dream is not about hard work and success. It is the ideal that every US citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success.

Don't invent stuff, Kevo :)





5263, "...pushing for Equal outcomes .....but I guess you can see why ... can't see the problem with it, they are not ....much without it being handed to them. "
What the heck are you talking about? Stop being cryptic, nobody can read your mind. You have to elaborate if you want some serious discussion.
 
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