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Success
is it really hard work – or just luck?

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Entrepreneurs, athletes, artists, politicians, astronauts... there's one thing they all have in common: success. Most will say this is just the product of skill, hard work and dedication: but is it really?

Let's find out

Let's take one random person as an example. This will be you.

You will be represented by a random 🏋️ hard work score (skill) and a random 🍀 luck score. Your 🏆 total success will be calculated as % hard work and 0% luck.

Generate your random self
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Re-generate your random self

Play with the random generator until you're happy and ready to move on.

But you're not alone in the world, aren't you? These are 0 more random people, representing the rest of the population – the people you have to compete with. They have been randomly generated, just like you.

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Okay, your peers seem pretty random, but... is there any pattern we can see? What if we sort all people by 🏆 total success and look just at the top 10 performers?

Sort and reveal the top 10 people

The top 10 performers

These are the top 10 performers. Do you see the pattern among them? Reveal the pattern

0%
Average effort

0%
Average luck

0%
Average success

People in the top 10 tend to be way luckier than average.

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Top candidates have a 📈 very consistent good deal of luck, even though luck only accounts for 0% of the overall success.

🙅‍♂️ No one reaches the top by luck alone: working hard is just a pre-requisite. Luck just stacks on top of hard work.

Is this fair? What if we removed luck?

Discover what happens if we remove luck

The top 10 performers
if luck was not considered

Imagine a world where luck was not even a concept and success was entirely determined by hard work alone. These would be the top 10 performers if luck was not considered.

Original top 10

  1. 🥇  (#0)
  2. 🥈  (#0)
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  9. 9.  (#0)
  10. 10.  (#0)

Top 10 "no luck"

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  9. 9.  (#0)
  10. 10.  (#0)

0 out of 10 of them are different people – only 0 remain the same when we take luck out of the equation.

For reference, these were original the top 10 performers:

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While there's not much we can do to compensate this effect, this experiment allows to draw two key conclusions:

  1. You need to 🏋️ work at 100% of your abilities to even stand a chance.
  2. You need to 🍀 maximize your luck by maximizing the opportunities you're exposed to, if you want to get to the top.

Another interesting observation is that successful people are probably not even aware of their own survivorship bias: they just feel it's all been hard work.

How would you compare to others?

You would have scored 0/0

You would have been more successful than 0% of all people

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↑ You ↑

You only can maximize success in your life by maximizing opportunities, and do that by getting out there and making your voice heard.

So go ahead and share this thought experiment – and make other people think, too.

Check out the other products I make ✨

Did you like this? Support my work 🎉

This experiment is somewhat simplistic. There are a wide variety of factors we've simplified into "luck": health, family, country, environment...

So, does luck really account for only 5% of total success – or is it really more? Play yourself with the numbers – or move on to the next step.

Re-play with a 0% luck How would you compare to others?
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by @rameerez