The Power of Hard Work and Luck in Achieving Success


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 16, 2023

3 min read


The Power of Hard Work and Luck in Achieving Success


Success is a multifaceted concept, with various factors influencing its attainment. While luck plays a significant role in absolute success, relative success is often driven by hard work and determination. This article explores the interplay between luck and hard work, drawing inspiration from the remarkable stories of Tu Youyou and Sridhar Ramaswamy. By understanding the dynamics between these two elements, individuals can gain valuable insights into achieving their own goals.

Tu Youyou: The Professor of the Three No's:

Tu Youyou's pioneering work in developing the artemisinin treatment for malaria serves as a testament to the power of hard work. Despite lacking postgraduate degrees, research experience abroad, and membership in prestigious organizations, Tu's persistence and diligence enabled her to save millions of lives. Her story emphasizes the importance of unwavering dedication and the impact it can have in achieving extraordinary success.

The Role of Luck in Absolute Success:

In the pursuit of absolute success, luck often plays a pivotal role. As Nassim Taleb observed, wild success is typically associated with extreme and unlikely circumstances. Tu Youyou's groundbreaking discovery of the artemisinin treatment can be attributed, to some extent, to luck. However, it is crucial to note that luck alone is insufficient for long-term success.

The Influence of Hard Work in Relative Success:

As success becomes more localized and comparable, hard work plays a more significant role. When individuals compare themselves to others who have experienced similar levels of luck, the difference lies in their habits and choices. By focusing on developing productive habits and making intentional choices, individuals can enhance their chances of achieving relative success.

The Intersection of Luck and Hard Work:

Richard Hamming's perspective on luck and hard work encapsulates their intersection. While there is an element of luck in stumbling upon significant opportunities, the prepared mind is more likely to recognize and seize them. In essence, luck may present itself randomly, but it is the individual who actively works towards their goals that increases the likelihood of encountering fortuitous circumstances.

Rebuilding Trust in the Internet: Sridhar Ramaswamy's Perspective:

Sridhar Ramaswamy highlights the importance of trust in the internet and the need to rethink how data is used to create value for users. His relentless drive and willingness to learn have been instrumental in his success. Moreover, he emphasizes the significance of leaders recognizing potential in others, a quality that has played a crucial role in his own career trajectory.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Cultivate a strong work ethic: Success often requires consistent effort and a willingness to go the extra mile. By developing a strong work ethic, individuals can increase their chances of capitalizing on lucky opportunities.
  • 2. Embrace curiosity and a growth mindset: Like Sridhar Ramaswamy, nurturing an insatiable curiosity about the future applications of one's field can lead to groundbreaking discoveries. Embrace a growth mindset that fosters continuous learning and adaptability.
  • 3. Seek diverse experiences and take calculated risks: The person who actively seeks out new opportunities and takes calculated risks is more likely to encounter lucky breaks. Step out of your comfort zone and pursue diverse experiences that can open doors to success.


The journey to success is a complex interplay between luck and hard work. While luck may play a role in absolute success, it is hard work and determination that sustain success in the long run. Tu Youyou and Sridhar Ramaswamy's stories exemplify the power of hard work and the impact it can have on achieving extraordinary goals. By cultivating productive habits, nurturing curiosity, and embracing calculated risks, individuals can increase their chances of success and create a positive trajectory towards their goals. Remember, as the saying goes, "The harder I practice, the luckier I get."

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