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SUCCESS: Luck or Hard Work?

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As most celebrate St. Patrick’s Day today, and the word luck gets thrown around, it is interesting to ask yourself a question. Is success a product of luck, chance and out of your control? Or, is it the product of hard work? Surprisingly, many successful people do consider themselves lucky, but that luck is driven by their actions and their self-development.

“Hard work starts with inspiration, which often comes in the form of luck. So, when we get right down to it, hard work and luck are inseparable” (Digfly.com, 2020). Luck and hard work are connected in many ways. When a person adds to their skill set by practice, active learning, and dedication, they can then be prepared to take advantage of any unexpected opportunities, which could be described as luck. Successful people often are on the move and their self-development is a focus to ensure they are adding to their toolkit.

More than luck, taking a closer look at behaviors and tendencies in successful individual include specific traits. They exhibit persistence, resiliency, courage and perseverance which may be a better predictor of success. A clear purpose and a drive to transform their lives makes people successful. The ability to be energized by a failure instead of being defeated by a setback keeps these ‘successful’ people open to possibilities. That’s when luck may strikes.

Additional traits for success include the following https://www.inc.com/lolly-daskal/the-10-most-important-attributes-of-highly-successful-people.html

  • Drive
  • Passion
  • Integrity
  • Self-Reliance
  • Optimism
  • Discipline & Will Power
  • Connection
  • Communication

In the video that follows, hear how ActionCOACH Founder & CEO Brad Sugars, discusses the balance of luck and hard work in his own successful life. An author, entrepreneur, and a philanthropist Sugars has had worked diligently to make his life less based on chance, and more on actual results of his hard work ethic. His focus has been on creating his own luck based on the work he does on himself and the work he puts into his businesses. Sugars also points out that surrounding yourself with the right people, having mentors and coaches positions him to be more equipped to take advantage of ‘luck” when it comes his way. This focus on improving oneself “Puts you in the right place at the right time” says Sugars.


The formal definition of the word luck says. “Success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions” (Dictionary.com, 2021) and “chance considered as a force that causes good or bad things to happen”. This passive definition of circumstances is much less appealing than creating one’s own future and success.

Sitting back and waiting for luck to strike is a strategy. It is however not a strategy most successful people rely on. So, celebrate luck and consider making your own chances to succeed by working hard, reaping the benefit it brings and creating your own luck. That pot of gold is at the end of the rainbow, but you must find the rainbow and be willing to get to the pot of gold by focus, continues learning and passion.

“Diligence is the mother of good luck.“ – Benjamin Franklin

ActionCOACH is the world’s largest and most successful business coaching organization. Finding a professional, certified business coach to help you reach your business goals is easy. Visit actioncoach.com and the first coaching session is on us.


Carmen Gigar is the Chief Marketing Officer for ActionCOACH Global.