Success Paradox: Luck or Hard Work?

Meesum Qazalbash
5 min readApr 27, 2021


The credit of success, a hard-line topic to praise Luck or Hard Work. Often hard work is considered as the main factor for success. Is there a thing that constitutes our success but does not count in the equation of success? Or what is luck, and how can we define it?

In the Quarantine, this headline went viral, “Nearly Half of the Men Say They Do Most of the Home Schooling. 3 Percent of Women Agree.” (Cain Miller, 2020). Our topic of interest is not about who is right, but it is an example of something called Egocentric Bias; people believe they contribute most. For case, researchers asked authors of multi-author papers what proportion of the work they did? When their participation added up sum came on average 140%. When couples answered, how much of the housework do? The merged total was virtually always over 100%. A person might assume this is because people desire to emerge more helpful than they are. Yet when they answered, how much they add to domestic violence? Or how much disturbance is theirs? Again, the result was crossing the hundred. People believe they contribute most to work as well as ground more problems. Why is this? (Muller, 2020).

Solely because you endure and retain vividly all of what you do but not what everyone else does, people overestimate their contributions and underestimate others (Muller, 2020). You may think this pious lead us to underrate the significance of other things in our lives, the role of Luck in our achievement. Professional hockey players may list their hard work, consistency, professional coaches, their parents, the non-comfort zone to reach the NHL (National Hockey League). Perhaps they are oblivious to the fact that they are born in a lucky month. Forty per cent of players picked in the top league were born in the first part of the year (Study suggests NHL has bias in favour of players born earlier in the year, 2013). If a person is born in January, he is four times as odds-on to be a pro hockey player.

The speculation concerning this disparity is reasonable because the cut-off date for the Hockey League is January 1st. Players who have a birth month at the beginning of the year are a little older. They are bigger and faster than others in their league. This difference should shrink to nothing, but it does not. Because young kids who showed the most promise have more experience on the ice and enter more tournaments, they received better coaching and improved their skills, these advantages compound year after year. However, any professional hockey player felt grateful for his birthday? Presumably not.

We are usually ignorant of fortunate events that shape our success. Plausibly the most notable bit of like many of us hold is being born into a well-to-do country. Around half variance in income earned by people encompassing the world is explained by the country’s citizen and that country’s income distribution. Assume a person born in Burundi, which has the lowest GNI (Gross National Income) per capita of just 730 USD/year (Burton, 2019). He is adverse to earn substantially. It does not signify how ingenious or hard-working he is. We can identify how chance plays a significant role in our lives. There is no wrong to say we are just the outcome of our circumstances. It seems that hard work and talent counts for nothing. It’s a well-known custom that either luck or skill, which explains success (Muller, 2020).

Luck obeys the law of demand and supply, and its effect increases with an increase in a desire for something confined. Let’s ponder over the current batch of NASA astronauts of 2017. Eleven candidates qualified from a pool of over 18000 applicants to graduate from The Astronaut Training Program (Potter, 2020). When competition is tough, being talented and hard-working is crucial, but it’s not sufficient to promise victory.

Overlooking the influence of luck may augment our likelihood of success. If you perceive a product to be unpredictable, you are less likely to lend work in it, which moreover reduces your odds of success. It’s a valuable fallacy to feel we are in comprehensive control of our fortune. Once you have achieved a reliable state, it seems reasonable to consider you deserve it (Muller, 2020).

Suppose civilians in our society, one with authority like industrialists and lawmakers. They enjoy such a position not because they are talented and hardworking but because they have been more fortunate than others. They do not apprehend how lucky they are, and they have a perverted perspective of reality. They are living in the kind of survivor bias: all these leaders have struggled vigorously and eventually succeeded, the world seems fair to them. They have hard work in their experience, but what they do not have is a sense of failure. This does not earn them the title of standard for success. It appears a wicked scam of the human psyche that triumphant without any malice will attribute their progress to their hard work and ingenuity. Therefore, they contribute less to preserving the very elements that caused that success attainable in the first place (Muller, 2020).

What to do if a person desires to be successful, the best word is contradictory. He primarily believes that he is in complete domination of his fortune, and success comes down only to his skill, talent, and hard work. After that, he has to know that is not true. He has to revive: if he does achieve the success that luck bestowed a significant role and give him good fortune, and do what he can to increase others’ luck.


Burton, J. (2019, March 14). Countries With the Lowest Incomes. WorldAtlas.

Cain Miller, C. (2020, May 9). Nearly Half of Men Say They Do Most of the Home Schooling. 3 Percent of Women Agree. New York Times.

Muller, D. (2020, November 16). Is Success Luck or Hard Work? Hals & Hounds.

Potter, S. (2020, January 10). NASA’s Newest Astronauts Ready for Space Station, Moon & Mars Missions. NASA.

Study suggests NHL has bias in favour of players born earlier in the year. (2013, February 28).



Meesum Qazalbash

🌌 Exploring cosmic collisions as a senior undergrad student, crafting statistical methods for binary black hole mergers! 🚀🔍