Does Adversity Inspire Success?


t’s not uncommon to hear about geniuses coming from places with low wealth. A lot of people think the fact that life is harder for people in that area is actually what helps make these geniuses so smart. But we don’t think that’s the case.

First, check out this awesome, inspirational video about Kelvin Doe (AKA DJ Focus) who is from Sierra Leone in Africa, and raids trash bins for electronic parts to build radio transmitters, generators and batteries.

He loves MIT for its electronic parts, but he doesn’t like American food!

We’re not at all doubting how awesome Kelvin is, nor that his unique story is part of what motivates him to learn. But we don’t think he’s a hard worker because he’s poorer than some people in America—that’s just not a fair way to think.

Kelvin is smart because he works hard and is interested. Maybe the ways he’s learned (by raiding garbage cans and taking things apart) is a result of his environment, but not his drive.

Every person has a unique story, which can motivate them in a different way.  Kelvin wants to help his family and community. What do you want to do?

If you want to be as driven as someone like Kelvin, it’s not a matter of living in Sierra Leone and raiding garbage bins. It’s a matter of knowing what you want to do and striving for it. That’s why he’s so good at what he does.

Whether it’s building your own radio transmitter, programming an awesome videogame, developing greener fuels, designing an efficient building, or just getting an A on that next project, success is a result of hard work. And hard work can be pretty fun when it gets you what you want.


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