This article belongs to Australia - Land of the Free? column.


It's surprising that many of the successful people in the arts, music, writers, poets, sport, politics, and even in business started from very humble beginnings.


Is there something in us that has to be brought out by a will to succeed that is easier to access when we have nothing? Or to put it another way, is being poor a head start to greatness by a minority of people?


The answer has to be yes for some. Even the most basic essentials of life were denied some of the great people on this planet. Yet they were able to overcome the lack of a loving home, education, respect, a need of adequate sustenance, and were often ridiculed as children.


Somewhere in them was a spirit that was ignited by their circumstances that made them fight for every opportunity. Once they had that break they made the best of it. Maybe that's all it takes - make the best of every chance you get.


Ringo Starr that great drummer of Beatles fame was a good example. Not only was he raised in poverty stricken Liverpool, but also he was very sick and unable to complete his schooling. Yet he rose to become one of the best Rock and Roll drummers in the world.


Kevin Rudd, the recently elected Prime Minister of Australia lost his father at a very young age. His family was evicted from their home yet he rose to lead his country's Government.


The late Kerry Packer was raised in affluent circumstances but his father ridiculed his son making his home life miserable. Perhaps this galvanised Kerry into becoming the richest man in Australia. Maybe it motivated him to grow the business beyond anything his father would have been able to imagine.


So what do you get when you put the two things together - will to succeed and money? The answer is Bill Gates.


There can be no doubt that there is a drive in some people to succeed that is not in others.


It would be interesting to understand what makes some people so determined to succeed it is the only thing that is important to them. It transcends everything in them even their families.


Poverty is a good motivator but it's not the only one, ridicule, and disrespect, someone favouring another in the family making the one out of favour determined to succeed. There are many factors that can motivate. There must be many personal reasons that are never discussed.


So behind every successful person there is a reason that drove him or her. It would be interesting to discover what it was.