A recent news article (New York Times, 5/25/14, “The Immigrant Advantage”) laid out in startling detail how many immigrants are out performing broad swaths of home grown Americans; in places where “country music songs about family and church play but country-music values have fled;  places where a rising generation is often being reared by grandparents because parents are addicted, imprisoned, broke or all three.”

One immigrant spoke of how he had advantages that many Americans lacked:

1) A loving and sober family
2) Pressure to strive
3) Virtuous habits. 

In other words:

– Positive role models exhibiting constructive coping styles (i.e. resilience and persistence in the face of difficulties vs. turning to alcohol/drugs)

– A network of social and financial support, a sense of community (an outcome of above lifestyle)

The fascinating thing is that ALL these “advantages” are “soft” (i.e. none of them are hard wired into anyone at birth, all can be acquired by those motivated enough to change).

Closing Quotes:

“Change Your Mind, Change Your Life.” – Gerald G. Jampolsky

 “Walking thru the Gate of Change takes but an instant; deciding to walk thru takes as long as you choose.” – Nathan S. Collier

 “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – Robert Collier, 1885-1950