Often it was believed that super intelligence leads to financial success, but a study by Malcolm Gadwall identified determination as the most important predictor of success. It certainly helps to be smart, but there are plenty of people as smart as Bill Gates who have achieved next to nothing. The study further concluded that there are aspects called components of determination that are more relevant than others, and more importantly, some of these components can be cultivated while others are innate. One of these components – sheer willfulness, the desire to get something when you want it, no matter what – is most important. Unfortunately, the study concluded that a good deal of willfulness must be inborn because it is common to see families in which one sibling has much more of it than the other sibling. Circumstances can alter it, but at the high end of the scale, nature seems to be more important than nurture. But a strong willed person needs to be disciplined and not self-indulgent, making discipline the second component of determination. Hence, determination implies your willfulness is balanced by discipline. This is because the stronger your will, the less anyone will be able to argue with you except yourself, and someone should argue with you because everyone has base impulses, but if you have more will than discipline you'll just give into these impulses and as a result end up on a local maximum such as drug addiction. Another important thing that the study concludes is that discipline can be cultivated, and in fact does tend to vary quite a lot in the course of an individual's life, and since determination is the product of will and discipline, you can become more determined by being more disciplined. The last component that the study discovered – another malleable one – is ambition. If willfulness and discipline are what get you to your destination, ambition is how you choose it and the fact that ambition is malleable means there is a lot you can do to increase it. Hence to summarize, determination consists of willfulness balanced with discipline and aimed by ambition - fortunately at least two of these three qualities can be cultivated.
The author is primarily concerned with:
comparing and contrasting the roles played by intelligence and determination as a predictor of financial success.