In Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell, what does "work hard enough and assert themselves and use their minds and imagination to shape the world of their desires" mean?

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This quote comes at the end of Section I of the fifth chapter in Outliers, titled “The Three Lessons of Joe Flom.” The whole paragraph reads:

The most important contribution of the miracle of the garment industry, though, was what happened to the children growing up in those homes where meaningful work was practiced. Imagine what it must have been like to watch the meteoric rise of Regina and Louis Borgenicht through the eyes of one of their offspring. They learned the same lesson that little Alex Williams would learn nearly a century later – a lesson crucial to those who wanted to tackle the upper reaches...

(The entire section contains 318 words.)

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