Success: How Much Depends on You Alone?

Robert H. Frank, in his book Success and Luck, explores the role played by luck in the success or lack of it in a person’s life.

Those of a spiritual nature may prefer the term providence instead of luck, but no matter. Frank suggests the good fortune of a person with talent born in the United States rather than, say, war-ravaged Libya. Or the young girl whose parents care for her rather than the girl abandoned by her father and “raised” by a mother on drugs.

Frank doesn’t downplay the role of hard work. Many people beginning with life against them do succeed. He points out, however, that others with talent and a strong work ethic don’t make it to the top but live mediocre lives.

He includes studies to back his claims as well as the results of differing attitudes. Those who believe that their good fortune is a result only of their own efforts are less likely to favor programs giving the less well off a chance to improve their lives.

On the other hand, those successful people who realize how little they deserve their good fortune tend to be filled with gratitude for the good that has befallen them. They are much more likely to favor helping those who were not favored with such advantages. They wish to pay it ahead.

One thought on “Success: How Much Depends on You Alone?

  1. Ben

    I thought the intro quote “The one word that can never be uttered in the presence of the self-made man is luck” encapsulated the entire problem.

    Reply

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