Success Depends on More than Hard Work

Luck or hard work? Warren Buffett, easily considered one of the world’s most successful individuals, understands the role of luck. He calls it the “Ovarian Lottery.”

Whether you are born male or female, in America or Afghanistan, to rich or poor parents, “it’s the most important thing that’s ever going to happen to you in your life.

It’s going to determine way more than what school you go to, how hard you work, all kinds of things.”

00:30 But what about Croatian man Frano Selak?

He’s been called both the luckiest and unluckiest man in the world, with an astonishing number of near-death experiences.

04:25 Another way of thinking of it is to imagine that hard work determines the shape of our success trajectory in life, but we are all embarking from different starting points (luck). It is possible to overcome bad luck, and it’s possible to lose any head start you were blessed with.

08:10 According to the “surface area” theory of luck, he’s reduced his overall exposure to luck. The hard work stayed the same, but something else disappeared from the equation.

Let’s look at some examples.

13:15 You’re looking for a new job but aren’t having any luck. You follow the above process to check in on your luck surface area. You discover that while you’re putting in hours submitting resumes, doing interviews and chatting to recruiters, you actually are spending barely any time just talking to people about your mission. In fact, you realize that most of your social circle don’t even know you’re looking for a job.


17:35 The luck surface area exercise is not meant to make you feel bad for what you’re not doing, or not doing enough of. It’s meant to help you identify those places in life that will most reward you if you pour your energy into them.

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Categories: Voice over Work