What a thought-provoking question. Here are a few things that come to mind right away when I think about the people I know who are successful and those who aren’t.
Accident of birth: People who are born into wealthy or influential families with lots of connections are going to have a much easier path to success that someone born into a poor family or in a community with few opportunities.
Education: A person needs to be prepared to take advantage of every opportunity that comes their way, and the best preparation is education.
Lifestyle: Drugs and late night partying lead to lack of focus and exhaustion. Also, a reputation for a questionable lifestyle will limit the number of people willing to take a chance on you.
Basic intelligence and reasoning skills: It’s really not fair—and I know that life isn’t fair—but someone with low intelligence is going to have a hard time making choices that will help them get ahead in life and developing the skills they need to succeed.