On Hard Work and Good Luck, image adapted from Flickr user woodleywonderworks

“Oh, he’s so lucky to have bought a house at such a young age.”

“Oh, he’s so lucky to have such a successful blog with such a large readership.”

Luck. It’s one of those things that seems so far out of our control, yet it has such a monumental impact on our daily lives. We credit luck to a lot of circumstances and events, but that just gives us an excuse to use an external locus of control.

The fact of the matter is the harder (and smarter) that you work, the luckier that you will get. He was lucky to have the house, because he worked so hard to save up a sizable down payment. He was lucky to buy the house, because he worked so hard shopping around the tough real estate market to find the diamond in the rough. He was lucky to have a successful blog, because he capitalized on a rising trend just as it was picking up steam.

Fortune favors the bold, but it also favors those who put in the hours and do the right thing. When you have a strong work ethic, putting in the effort even when no one else is looking, you put yourself in a situation where you are more likely to encounter the “lucky” opportunity.

Does hard work guarantee success and happiness? No, not at all. There are many people who grind it out for years and never get that golden chance, but you do want to position yourself in such a way that you can capitalize when the situation presents itself. Whether or not I want it to be so, I still believe in good luck and bad luck. Hard work, without good luck, can still pay off. Good luck, without hard work, is oftentimes short-lived.

Live your life accordingly.