The Intersection of Hard Work and Physical Identity in Achieving Success


Hatched by Glasp

Jul 31, 2023

3 min read


The Intersection of Hard Work and Physical Identity in Achieving Success


Success is a multifaceted concept that can be perceived in absolute and relative terms. While luck plays a significant role in absolute success, hard work becomes the determining factor when success is viewed comparatively. This article explores the stories of an exceptional scientist and the importance of having a physical identity, highlighting the connections between hard work, luck, and personal growth.

The Power of Hard Work:

Tu Youyou, a Chinese scientist, exemplifies the power of hard work in achieving remarkable success. Despite lacking formal qualifications and prestigious affiliations, Tu's unwavering persistence and diligent efforts led to groundbreaking discoveries in medical science. By infecting herself and others with malaria and testing a new drug, Tu saved millions of lives. Her story serves as a testament to the significance of perseverance and dedication in achieving extraordinary accomplishments.

The Role of Luck in Success:

While hard work is crucial, luck also plays a part in determining success, especially when outcomes become more extreme. Nassim Taleb's statement in "Fooled by Randomness" encapsulates this idea, highlighting that mild success can be attributed to skills and labor, whereas wild success often stems from variance and luck. However, it is important to note that luck alone is not sufficient. Luck may provide an initial opportunity, but it is the individual's habits, choices, and actions that determine the sustainability of success.

The Connection to Physical Identity:

Dr. Daniel O'Neill emphasizes the importance of having a physical identity, which he defines as the innate human drive to move our bodies through space. Children who develop a physical identity not only engage in physical activities but also cultivate an "athlete identity." However, many children fail to develop a physical identity, leading to physical inactivity and missing out on the joys of exploring the world around them.

Expanding Physical Education:

To foster physical identity, it is crucial to prioritize physical education in schools and make it an integral part of children's education. Dr. O'Neill suggests that expanding and reinvigorating physical education can help children develop a lifelong interest in physical activity and experience the joys and pleasures associated with it. By making physical activity a regular part of family life, parents can also contribute to their children's physical identity and overall well-being.

The Role of Sports:

While physical education encompasses various activities, sports serve as an excellent entryway for developing a physical identity. Engaging in sports allows children to not only participate in physical activity but also develop character-building skills such as teamwork, discipline, and perseverance. Starting with lower-key and less competitive leagues can provide a supportive environment for children to explore their physical abilities and develop a positive relationship with sports.


The stories of Tu Youyou and the significance of physical identity illustrate the intersections between hard work, luck, and personal growth. While luck may provide initial opportunities, hard work and persistence are essential for sustaining success. Similarly, developing a physical identity through physical education and engagement in sports can lead to a lifelong interest in physical activity and a deeper connection with the world around us.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Cultivate a strong work ethic and persist in the face of challenges. Success often requires continuous effort and dedication.
  • 2. Embrace opportunities and actively pursue new experiences. Luck favors those who take action rather than waiting for opportunities to come their way.
  • 3. Prioritize physical activity and encourage the development of a physical identity in yourself and your children. Engage in regular exercise and explore various sports to enhance overall well-being and connection with the world.

In conclusion, absolute success may be influenced by luck, but relative success is a result of hard work and personal choices. Developing a physical identity through physical education and engagement in sports can further enhance personal growth and overall well-being. By combining hard work, luck, and physical activity, individuals can pave their path towards success and lead fulfilling lives.

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