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The Great Myth of Success

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By Chris Gunn

APMCP Year 15 Online

Several weeks ago in history class we shared biographies of business leaders in Asia, and analysed keys to their success. While some of them are born into families of wealth or business connections, there were many that worked their way up to their current positions. For example, Mike Moore, president of the WTO worked as a meat cutter and a roofer before embarking on a career in politics and  international trade.

What I found most surprising from the class was their majority consensus that these people had some kind of special advantage over the rest of us normal people. They were revered for their success, and the class felt  the chances of achieving the same level of success was beyond the reaches of us mere mortals at the APCMP. Granted, Capilano College is not Harvard, and we are not the sons or daughters of world leaders or huge business tycoons. However, what we are also missing is a believe in our potential, and our skills as young business people in Asia. What is it that separates us from these business leaders? Obviously they have loads of money, nice silk ties and fancy haircuts, and publicity machines that make them look good, but they were once young students as well.

These leaders have two things that separate them from us. First, they are part of the celebrity elite whom the media has created, and they are maintaining by carefully perpetuating themselves through their media and public relations machines. But this difference is one that they developed as they entered the exclusive world of celebrity-dom. The second, and more telling difference that that separates these people from Cedar 225 is a confidence in themselves and their abilities, motivation, and a vision of what they want to achieve. It seems when reading about these people that they always saw themselves achieving success, and were determined to reach it. 

As graduates standing at the doorway of a career in Asia, how can we succeed to the same level? First , we can demystify the celebrity myth that these people are different from ourselves. Secondly, we can acknowledge that we have the skill set and knowledge, embrace a confidence in our abilities, and develop an unwavering long-term vision of what we want to achieve in Asia.

Chris Gunn

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