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It’s Not All Hard Work; Sometimes It’s Luck

The literature on the path to success is bounty. There are books, websites, YouTube channels dedicated to the pursuit of success. With this amount of information, what should you really believe and follow?

What do people usually say about success?

Have you ever heard that the key to sweet success is sweat? This means that hard work contributes a lot to getting to the top. If you don’t work today, don’t expect that tomorrow, you will be a millionaire. If you put in the work, you will be rewarded with victory.

And of course, there is the classic Bill Gates quote. That it’s not your fault to be born poor, but it’s definitely your mistake to die one. It’s on you to change the course your life takes. He also said that to win big, you have to take big risks as well.

There are also people who say that while others quit, you should keep going. Quitting is for losers. And of course, don’t forget the classic saying about a clock. Everybody has the same 24 hours, so what is your excuse?

Should you believe all this?

The simple answer is no. And the complicated answer is this: the life that Bill Gates or any other person on the Forbes list has will never be the same as yours.

You may be a college dropout like Mark Zuckerberg, but there is something unique about his situation that took him where he is now. At the same time, he is a Harvard college dropout. He definitely had the brains and the connection.

You may have a garage like that of Bill Gates, but unlike him, you may not be born in generational wealth. Even he acknowledged this himself. He wouldn’t be remembered as the mind behind Microsoft had he not been born wealthy.

Definitely, how you will spend your 24 hours will depend on your own circumstances. And believe it or not, there is no other person in the world who is in the same exact situation as you. So should you be taking advice from them? Well, you can, but choose wisely.

For one, you shouldn’t even believe that it’s your fault if you die poor. Why? Because success is not determined only by hard work. Have you ever thought that maybe other people just got lucky?


What is the role of luck in success?

In a study done at the University of Catania in Italy, they examined if luck is a contributing factor to success. The findings conclude that it definitely is. They analyzed the working life of people and found that wealth is not directly influenced by talent. It appears that some wealthy people just got lucky to find the right opportunities that led them to succeed.

You can be the most hardworking person on Earth but if the right opportunities don’t find you, the chances of you getting successful are slim. Does this mean you should not focus on your own skills, talent, and hard work? Not at all. You still need to prepare for that time when you catch the perfect opportunity.

Invest in yourself. Take leadership communication classes, get a mentor, surround yourself with like-minded people. You can still do all these while you wait for that perfect opportunity to come by.

The study also found that luck influences behavior. This is supported by another study that looked at the rate of success among basketball players. Those who had previously succeeded in making a three-point shot felt encouraged to try again.

The point of the study is that the success of a three-point shot is not determined by skills alone. The conditions change for every attempt- the angle, the location, the remaining time, and the pressure from the opponent. There is no formula. If anything, players could only wish that their shot gets in. And that is how much a lucky shot can actually make you believe that you can make it the next time around.

This doesn’t encourage you to depend on luck alone. What this means to teach you is that if you do become successful through hard work and luck, you cannot expect the same from other people. A person could have made big money by selling a property that, out of pure luck, stood at an ideal location. There is hardly any hard work involved there.

You can’t make them feel guilty if they cannot afford to die rich. You can’t expect them to have the same 24 hours as you. Because believe it or not, so many people are trying. It’s just that they haven’t gotten lucky yet.

By realizing that success is reliant on luck, you become kinder. You lower your expectations for yourself and for other people.

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