Social Question

Paradox1's avatar

Does Working Hard Guarantee Success?

Asked by Paradox1 (1177points) September 27th, 2011

I recently read this: “In all human affairs, there are efforts and there are results. The strength of the effort is the measure of the result.”

To what extent do you believe that an incredible work ethic and hard work equates with success?

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15 Answers

King_Pariah's avatar

It most definitely helps, but in no way guarantees anything. It’s just improving the odds against the house.

Blackberry's avatar

No, but it definitely will help. In a recent survey of people deemed successful due to their jobs and bank accounts, 40% said luck was attributed to their success. And of course most of them had degrees and did say hard work was also attributed.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I believe that @Blackberry has hit the nail on the head. There is work to be done for certain, but luck plays its part, too. It’s a bit of a paradox.


Nullo's avatar

Yes, provided that you’re pointed in the right direction. You can unleash all of your car’s mighty horsepower anywhere, but unless you’re on a road you’re just going to end up with a mess.

tom_g's avatar

I’m assuming you mean financial success? Luck (including where you were born, who your parents are, what year you were born, etc) plays a huge part.

lillycoyote's avatar

No, I don’t think so at all. As, @King_Pariah points out, it certainly helps, but if it guaranteed success, then all those people who working their asses off at two or three jobs just to make ends meet would be “successful.”

Aethelwine's avatar

No. I know many people (inluding my husband) who bust their ass every day to provide for their family. They come home covered in filth and bruises with just enough money to pay bills.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

Nope because everyone else got the same idea… *I have always wanted to yell at the person who told.


Bellatrix's avatar

In addition to everything said above, you would also need to define ‘success’.

Some people work hard at jobs that will never bring them huge financial benefits or status, but they love what they do and they may be making a difference to their community. I would say those people are successful. So what is “successful”?

Paradox1's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake… Like me!
@jonsblond But how can you say no when the story isn’t over?
@GabrielsLamb told… ? Just having an idea doesn’t mean one will execute it day in, and day out.
@Bellatrix Question can be phrased: “Does working hard guarantee a favorable outcome?” This outcome is however YOU define your OWN success – so whatever your goals are. Some should require more work than others, but all goals if they’re worthwhile will require some element of hard work, no?

I would like to point out and acknowledge that I understand luck does play a part, but I would assume that any if not most or all people that achieve great success in society by pure chance will not hang on to it, or will have excess in one area but lack in others, causing them to be unhappy (which is also a measure of success, one of the most important measures across all society and culture).

lillycoyote's avatar

Certainly anything “worthwhile” almost always requires hard works, persistence and keeping “one’s eyes on the prize” so to speak, but if hard work was enough, and there was one, specific, foolproof formula, one set of definable and reproducible characteristics one must have to be “successful”, then everyone would be “successful.” Everyone would have a “favorable outcome.” That a lot of people don’t is not for the lack of “hard work,” I don’t think.

Paradox1's avatar

@lillycoyote I disagree. Most people understand what it takes to be healthy and maintain their weight. Just knowing it doesn’t mean they will act on this knowledge. All people want to be healthy… its impulse is toward more and fuller life. So why do so many people engage in unhealthy habits? If everyone knows how to be healthy then why isn’t everyone? They want the unhealthful act more than the health it forsakes.

So why isn’t everyone successful? Easy… people are generally lazy, are unwilling to change themselves, unwilling to cease whining, making excuses or they think they are willing when they only offer half-hearted measures, then they wonder why they failed and blame their circumstances.
So no, I don’t think, assuming there was a “formula” or that hard work was it, that everyone would be successful by any stretch of the imagination. The real question is why not.

I liked @Nullo ‘s answer… hard work in the right direction.

Also wasn’t is Jefferson who once said “I find the harder I work the more luck I have” ?

wonderingwhy's avatar

Hard work guarantees nothing other than itself. However it consistently provides opportunity, though not always what we want, if one know how to recognize it.

tedd's avatar

No working hard and having a good idea does not guarantee success (though it does tend to help a lot) .

For example, who created the DC system of power that powered early light bulbs and electrical items? Who invented the radio? Who invented X-Rays, and vacuum tube amplifiers?

Hint: It’s the same person for all of the above, and his name isn’t Thomas Edison. Oh and despite a life of hard work and being arguably the greatest inventor since Da Vinci, he died in poverty with most people thinking he was a crazy man.

ratboy's avatar

Sure—just ask any billionaire who started out as a migrant farm worker.

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