A little bit of introspection led me to this conclusion. What we are in life is perhaps largely a function of the following. (Pay attention to the mathematical symbols as well)
(Our natural talents * how effectively we discover and use it) + (How we use our intrinsic intelligence to evaluate what we should learn and how much we listen to that natural intelligence) +/- (How much we (un)learn of what we (un)learn * how effectively we apply it) +/- (How much of appropriate or inappropriate family, peer & societal influence, learning and action related, we allow into our lives) to the power of (Whether we find just the right mentor(s) for ourselves as we move through the various stages of life)
Complex, what? But who said life is not complex! ;-)
And then there are two perspectives/interpretations that get attached to all of this. The individual's perception of himself/herself and the society's. In my opinion, it is very unlikely for the two perspectives to be alike however hard the individual tries to project "his/her" reality. I might as well add that at the end of the day, it is the individual's perception of himself that is real and not that of the society.
Society's perspective is pretty much influenced by how the individual behaves, acts and communicates * how uniquely and interestingly it is done and how it fits into the society/bigger picture.
While I'd like to believe I am talking sense and on to something worthwhile, I must admit that I may not have articulated what's on my mind as effectively as I ought to. If you want to lend your talents to help me refine this....what are you waiting for? Type away! :-)