Success: it's a mindset 

Success. People often assume it’s some sort of financial accomplishment. In reality, however, it’s really any sort of accomplishment made as long as effort has been expended to achieve it. To be successful then, is to become what you set out to be, this is why for most, success is the ultimate goal. Everyone at some point wants to become accomplished.


If this is the case, why is it that the general model of success is almost exclusively white? They seem to dominate the lists of successful people even in New Zealand. Just look at “New Zealand’s Top 100 History Makers” list on Wikipedia, only 12% are made up of the ethnic minority (Maori). Is this reflective of the reality that white people are more likely to become successful, or simply a reflection of population in New Zealand?  In my opinion, it’s both. Seeing as 69% of New Zealanders identify as European, statistically there would be greater chances for people to succeed within this large population compared to that of the 31% minority groups. The greater the chances of success that occurs, the greater it’s reflection on the racial group that’s achieving it. Therefore, if there were an equal number of ethnic minorities within this country sharing the same population statistic as the white man, then surely we would see greater models of success from across the board.


However, this logic seems to ignore the fact that though white people dominate the population, they also dominate the actual likelihood for achieving success in general. Why, you may ask? Simple, it’s in the existence of the societies mindset. Let’s throwback to the last post where we touched on the stereotype of “black people are lazy” and the fact that this negativity creates an obstacle to success due to it’s pervasive connotation that blacks are incapable. As one of many racial stereotypes that exist across society, you can see how these stereotypes create a negative mindset for the minorities that fall victim to it. We have to struggle, where whites do not. The concept of being white has far more advantages for the population as they don’t have to contend with racial negativity. This is why it’s called white privilege.


So how do we combat this problem of white privilege? Again it’s simple: think like the white man. Seeing as the mindset establishes a set of attitudes held by a particular person, we become subject to what the mindset believes. If we are trapped in a cycle of negativity, we are only ever going to believe ourselves as failures. On the flipside, if we see ourselves as worthy and capable then individual success is a given. As minorities in society we have to act as if we don’t hold the technically lesser position. We may not be the largest group in society, we may not have the greater likelihood of high paying jobs, come from high decile schools or even capable of owning our own property. Statistically, we may not even be in a position to achieve as greatly, but we are capable of achieving despite it all. Like the white man, we are equally capable for success to whatever degree – we just have to believe that we are.


This type of positive self-image is one of the key things to success as it informs you’re identity. It reinforces your ability to yourself. It reminds you that you are able – like the white man - and that you are who you believe you are. Success then becomes that much more attainable, but it needs to be followed by effort in pursuing it – whatever the success you want to achieve. For this reason, desire for success will be the subject of my next post, addressing the willingness for your own success whether it is big or small.

Until then the song of the week goes to Kendrick Lemar – I.


Strength, Love and Blessings.

Karla Abrigo

Living by the mantra “to be a strong, intelligent woman with substance and style” she advocates for the capacity in all of us to be the best we can be. Also living by the rule that understanding is the answer to all problems she emphasizes the old Aretha Franklin adage, RESPECT in everything she does and writes with a purpose that, at the very least, everyone deserves that much. So read and be critical, open discussion is what she relishes in as engagement she believes, allows for collective growth.

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