Long-term success is hard-won — usually, the result of deep work, luck, and a strategic view that proves powerful. Successful people always love to point out the hard work involved. Yet, luck plays an essential role, as well. If you had to count on luck or skill, few among us would rely on luck. We control our skills. We hold little dominion over our luck. Right?
Scholars of success tell us that while perseverance, curiosity, imagination, and passion explain differences in success, much of the variance between successful and less successful people is unexplainable. Luck plays a larger role than we would like to admit. Successful people, we learn, are some of the luckiest people alive. What makes them so lucky? It turns out that highly skilled and talented people exploit the possibilities luck has to offer. Successful people are far more likely to create or seek out stimulating environments rich in challenge and opportunity. They seek out challenging situations and opportunities others find less promising. The idea that “chance favors the prepared mind” begins to make more sense when we think about the relationship between luck and challenge. How lucky is that?