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Luck Vs. Hard Work: What Is The Ultimate Key To Success In Life?

luck vs hard work

All of us dream of living a life where our deepest desires and ambitions would become a reality.

Whether we’re poor, rich, old, young, black, yellow, white, male, female, or simply different, we all have something that guides us in life and motivates us to keep moving forward.

We envision a future in which we actually work the jobs we love the most, we visualize a life where we are the most successful and famous people in a certain field, and we dream of dimensions where we are brave and confident enough to reach the highest of highs.

But, still… rare are the people who actually find the right path and make all of those dreams come true.

Luck vs Hard Work

Tell me, have you ever wondered why certain people like Steve Jobs or Oprah Winfrey, and J.K. Rowling became what they have become?

Do you think it was just a matter of luck, or it was all thanks to their hard work, focus, and their absolute dedication?

What is, in your opinion, the essential key to success in life luck or hard work?

Most people like to use the word ‘luck’. Whenever we look at successful and famous people who according to us hit the jackpot in life, we like to refer to them as ‘lucky’. But, what is luck, really? Is it fate, genes, or a good opportunity?

If you ask me, luck is the first and basic ingredient to the special dish called success. Every part of your personality, from your perseverance to your risk tolerance to your ambition to your intelligence is a product of pure chance. Your genes combined with your experiences and choices in life are what make you the person you are with the opportunities you have.

But, somehow that isn’t enough to make everyone successful.

Opportunities present themselves every day to every person. Right?

But, only the ones who recognize them and seize them without a delay get to transform these opportunities into their realities. It’s not rocket science, but still, most ordinary folks are not able to do so.

hard work vs luckThis leads us to the next ingredient: Good, old hard work.

This is the usual answer when it comes to achieving success in life. And probably the most realistic one. I mean, think about it. What good are books, documentaries, and talk shows about being successful if success is entirely luck?

Hard Work Is The Key To Success

You see, hard work might be the second most important ingredient for achieving success, but it’s definitely what makes the job done. No success is ever achieved without sweat. If you believe that success is purely based on luck, you’re not likely to try as hard as if you believe that success comes from hard work.

No matter how lucky you are or what genes and circumstances you have, history shows us that you still need hard work to pull it off.

Oprah Winfrey was once fired as a news anchor for being “too emotionally invested” in her stories. She was called “unfit for TV news” by her boss. Today, she is the most famous talk show host in America.

J.K. Rowling, the author of the book that completely changed our childhood – The Harry Potter fantasies, went through serious childhood trauma and many difficulties in life. Yet, she made it all the way to the top.

Steve Jobs dropped out of college and started working on his first computer prototype at the age of 21.  He faced many failures, and many obstacles, but the reason why he became the father of Apple, the multinational technology company which is now worth $750 billion is his hard, determined work.

These people didn’t blame society, the government, the economy, or their circumstances. They focused on what they had, instead of what they didn’t have, and they worked their way up to the top with nothing but their will and hard work.

Luck is an important part of achieving greatness, but it’s definitely not all there is. You cannot possibly expect that your luck will guide you through life without you doing anything at all. You cannot wait for things to simply fall off the sky. You have to work hard for them. And you have to deserve them.

But, You Need Luck For Success, Too

So, what is the secret behind the success of people who cover the magazines such as Forbes and Entrepreneur, because there is a general assumption that we can learn from them? 

It is probably their personal characteristics such as optimism, tenacity, skills, talent, mental toughness, hard work, and emotional intelligence that made them reach the stars and be where they are today, according to research. 

A number of studies showed that intellectual curiosity, passion, imagination, and openness to experience are keys to success.

To answer the question of whether the most successful people are the luckiest in our societies, Italian physicists Andrea Raspisarda and Alessandro Pluchino, together with the Italian economist Alessio Biondo, measure the role of luck in people with successful careers. They used a toy model that made a simulation of the evolution of the careers of the collective population over 40 years. All the participants in the study were offered several types of lucky events and several unlucky events. They were all talented ( they were creative thinkers, intelligent, skillful, determined, and had emotional intelligence).  (1

 When the simulation was over, they found that success was not normally distributed, and 20 participants that were most successful held 44% of the total amount of success, consistent with the real-world data where 1 in 8 men own the same wealth as the poorest half of the world. 

So, the simulation found that talent mattered for real success in life, and those that were average talented had a higher possibility of increasing their success by making use of the possibilities of luck.

But, in general, the talent was not sufficient because participants who were the most talented were not the luckiest ones, and people who had luck and average talent were the luckiest ones.

Luck And Average Talent Are Important For Success –  Says Science

In our competitive business world, business people do not accept, in general, the fact that luck is the reason for their success. This makes them hurt because they do believe that their success was a result of hard work and self -determination. So, is it luck or hard work that makes you successful? Luck, or hard work, which one determines your success in your life and career? Let’s see some debate points: 

Luck means having the right opportunity at the right time, so there is a high probability that they have the right chance. 

We have to accept the fact that in life, there are many things we cannot control, and in our life, things happen without our influence. 

One of the biggest and most obvious examples of having good luck in life is having people there to help us and improve our lives at the right time, like the best basketball teacher to make your talent shine or a life partner who is always there to give you support. 

According to the American author and financial journalist Michael Lewis, luck makes the difference between successful and non-successful people when they are equally talented and have the same level of confidence. He thinks that not all people have the right chance at the right time, so he does believe that luck has a huge role in life when it comes to success. 

Luck is important for your career, because there are 2 important events that are decisive for your career and are associated with luck, and they are: 

1. Grabbing the opportunities that are good 

All the opportunities in life come only once, so if you are lucky enough, you will recognize them and grab them to move forward and excel in your career. 

2. Meeting the right people at the right time

Luck decides who comes into our life, and meeting the right people plays a huge role in the success of our lives. But nevertheless, it is sometimes up to us to take action and go outside and meet new people, who know, they might be the ones who will help you with your career and make you successful!

People Who Think That They Are Lucky Are The Most Successful In Life

According to Professor Richard Wiseman, a public psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire, people who believe that they are lucky are successful in life, and if their work is the best and most effective, that luck will play its role and in this way, success comes. 

His research showed that there are 4 principles that are important for people who are lucky and they are as follows: 

  1. Take planned risks and never step back if you fear failures 
  2. People who think that they are lucky constantly work on finding new opportunities 
  3. Luck comes from learning from past experiences and working hard to reap a good fortune
  4. They follow their gut feeling when they make their decisions

So, if you are willing to be successful in life, you must believe in yourself and work hard to achieve success. 

To Be Successful You Need To Be Lucky, Not Just Skillful

Success is a combination of skill and luck, but sometimes, we confuse them and we do not know which is which. 

Skill is the ability or the knowledge we need to execute or perform something, and when we have the ability, we know how to do something, while luck comes suddenly when we have expected something else to happen in life and it can be good or bad. 

So, when in a life situation, luck is predominant, we usually do not have control over the situation and the outcome, but when skill is predominant, we should engage in the process carefully and have some coaching and expect feedback. 

Skill and luck are on a continuum and there are some extreme cases and situations in life where skill and luck are on both extreme sides of the spectrum. For example, to be successful when you gamble, you need luck, but when you play chess, you do not have the skill to play well and win the game. 

Researchers created a model of economic success where participants that had different abilities faced a few random events, either positive or negative. 

In the results, it was seen that few participants were more successful than the rest, and they were the lucky ones, not the most skillful ones, so if you see someone next time who is very successful, it does not mean he or she is very skillful, they probably had the best of luck. (2)

6 Effective Ways To Improve Luck In Your Career

Luck might be part of our fate and we cannot force something to happen, but still, sometimes we can do something to bring good fortune in our lives, like:

1. Face fear 

If you are scared that you will face failure, do not step back and try to overcome your fear.

2. Pygmalion effect

Be positive! What you expect, it always happens in life! If you think good things will happen to you, keep in mind that positivity is the basic criterion for all good things in life!

3. Be positive 

Luck is always on the side of positive people and keeps forward their welfare in life, so stay positive and be active in chasing your dream. 

4. Try new things

Never be afraid to embrace changes and try new things in life. They might turn into a life-changing decision. 

5. Stay motivated and visualize your luck 

Try to be thankful for all good things in life and even in bad times. Think how happy you are to know what is right and what is wrong, and the more motivated you are, the luckier you become. 

6. Listen to your heart! Always!

Before making big decisions for your career, believe in your intuition and listen to what your heart says. It might help you to make the right decision!