Is Success Luck or Hard Work?

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3 månader sedan

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Huge thanks to Gene and Sam from Potato Jet for filming with me:
This video was inspired by and draws examples from the book "Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy" by Robert H. Frank
Special thanks to Patreon supporters (and to everyone who commented on an earlier version of this video):
Marc Forand, Robert Dickerson, Christian Stauffer, LoadTooSlow, Vincent, Lyvann Ferrusca, DALE HORNE, Alfred Wallace, Kevin Beavers, Arjun Chakroborty, Joar Wandborg, Clayton Greenwell, Michael Krugman, Ron Neal, Donal Botkin
Animations by Iván Tello

Name More name
Name More name 5 timmar sedan
Please cite the studies you're showing
Chronatog 5 timmar sedan
Great video and there's no doubt that luck plays a big part in life, especially at the edges of the distribution (super elite selection, e.g. CEO, astronauts, top-level athletes). I feel everybody reducing the discussion to hard work vs. luck is not very useful. At least as important as hard work, if not more, are decisions. In our life, we constantly make decisions. The consequences of our decision-making are huge, especially once they start compounding. Good decisions make you less dependent on luck and hard work, or viewed differently, more resilient to bad luck and allow your hard work to bring even better results. If you choose to have a child early in your life if you don't have the financial means I feel you shouldn't blame anyone if you then need to work a lot to make ends meet, or if losing your job (a bad luck event that can happen to anybody) has a devastating effect on you. Same with not saving up money, choosing a bad career, marrying a useless spouse, not learning/working on skills such as languages and social skills, not putting in effort to understand the world, constantly exposing yourself to new ideas and so on. On the other hand, if you choose a career that has ample job opportunities that pay well and is future-proof, you don't get kids early, learn the most important foreign languages in your field/region, develop social skills to be able to make people like you, save money for bad times, choose a partner that does the same and so on, you won't need to work very hard and it will take an extraordinary amount of bad luck for you to truly fail in life. Also, it's not helpful to focus on being a millionaire/be extremely successful. I think the wise thing is to want to reach a good result given your starting point in life (the hand you were dealt) with regards to your intelligence, personality, parents, financial situation, environment,.. Becoming super successful is a plus which you might reach if good decisions, good work ethics and good luck align. While luck indeed plays a very big part, I feel it's wise to ignore it (or assume mildly bad luck by default) and always focus on making good decisions as well as putting in a good effort in what you do. I feel this maximizes your expected outcome. And if you really did take the best decisions (given the information you had at the time) and gave your 100% but still ended up with a horrible result (this is extremely improbable but possible, of course), you can still blame your luck. And finally, you don't need to take all your decisions based on their expected outcome. You can of course choose a career based on your interests or have children early if that's what you really want, but then you shouldn't blame your luck/capitalism/other people if it doesn't work out well (as I see so many people do), but instead think "this is a result of the decisions I took. I accept responsibility for it and will try to do my best given the circumstances". I wasted most of my 20's smoking weed and only working enough to sustain myself without saving up money. When I now see people my age that are much more successful than me, I wouldn't dream of blaming anyone but myself for it.
Hector Censon
Hector Censon 15 timmar sedan
Thank you, a very eye opening video for me.
Zhen Jiang
Zhen Jiang 18 timmar sedan
You're a good Dad Derek. I'm really enjoying your recent videos.
khubaib ahmed
khubaib ahmed Dag sedan
Success is a blessing and not luck. Hard work is just a way to go through the endeavour and keep the blessing as the way to keep the blessing is to value it which is through hard work. As there is more than one person, so to be participative enough need to match levels. If others are working, One should also to be participative enough.
João Góes
João Góes Dag sedan
The more you work hard, the best you'll have luck.
star sky
star sky 2 dagar sedan
R U Excited
R U Excited 2 dagar sedan
You will always be the only person doing all the work you do.
serosank 2 dagar sedan
ldelgg h
ldelgg h 3 dagar sedan
Epic cgp grey merch
Raj ‎
Raj ‎ 3 dagar sedan
Ran the simulation for given numbers 11/18,300. And it aligns with your analysis. But I would like to point out another aspect of it, and that is skill (for people perceiving this video as skill is useless). With 5% luck, although an average of 10 out of 11 people were selected in, with average luck score being 97%, the average skill score needed was 100%. In fact, the minimum luck score needed was 87% in some cases (with average of minimum being at 94.5%), but minimum skill score remains at 100% only. So, yes, while you need a tremendous amount of luck to succeed, only luck cannot get you success. It's a precondition of gaining success, and runs in parallel with your skills. e.g. if Veritasium wasn't already good at it, he wouldn't have been referred by anyone. And he would've never seen this success. So, his skills developed his luck. It's a feedback loop. You need luck to gain on skills, and you need skills to gain on luck. That's why success takes time.
alex hebert
alex hebert 3 dagar sedan
Success is when you have no time to watch this video and don't feel like you need to.
Toshi 3 dagar sedan
But honestly, when someone says that they achieved something because of hard work it gives you hope, that if they can do it then so can you. When someone says it was just luck it can sometimes be demotivating as you don't see yourself being that lucky.
Forrsch 3 dagar sedan
"It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not weakness, that is life."
Dmp Ramos
Dmp Ramos 3 dagar sedan
HIMYM 😂😂😂I got the reference!
Cinematic Laboratory
Cinematic Laboratory 4 dagar sedan
I believe success is a matter of perspective. It always implies other people failing, not to mention success eventually leading to total failure. The atomic bomb was a huge hit too.
Alexander Wilisow
Alexander Wilisow 4 dagar sedan
The biggest Olympic stadiums in history! 🏟️⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Do you have a favourite? ⁠⠀
Federico Tomba
Federico Tomba 4 dagar sedan
I wanted to make a long and complicated comment/rant on myself, but it'd be just the same old, same old. Short version: I'm just a whiner and a victimists who exaggerates and dramatizes their lacking to... I uh, dunno, to feel better by giving myself a pat on the back? I'm also already lucky, A LOT because of my life circumstances, but I still wish to encounter more luck to change my life and etcetera. More like a miracle, than actual luck. I hooe you haven't stunbled upon this comment and read through the end, because there's not end point, nothing I wanna prove. Just a whine. If you really read everything, who are you? How are you doing? I hope you're passing a good day, and if you haven't, it's fine too. It may be insensible, but bad days have their uses and importances. They can help you introspect and stuff, maybe do and think things you never thought of before. Unless they're making you despair, in which case please, do treat yourself as the most important person. You think you're just another, worthless cog in the machine? Just another speck of dust in the universe? Just anoher shadow, cast by the giants to which we compare ourselves to? But you're still you, and that's a grandiose thing even (and especially) in the immensity of the universe. Although I recognize thinking on this grand a scale does nothing to ease worries: we can be miracles of life, but we still need to compare ourselves with our society day by day, eat, drink, sleep and stuff. These things are a little connected, though: there is a meaning out there, for everyone. I myself, as useless as I am, think that life is worth living even just because it's life. And even if there's nk meaning to it all, even if you think you're heading towards the path of being a soulless husk just moving and breathing and not properly "living"... There still exist things that influence you, and that you might influence. Treasure those things and have fun with them, just like you were normal. Have fun with the stuff you like. Even just that is "living". I don't even know anymore. I can't really give useful advice, it's just two-cents-worth philosophy. I'm sure it won't actually help anybody... I just hope it'll inspire somebody else to, hmm, think. Just think. About anything. It's truly the one thing that costs nothing, neither money, time, food, oxygen, nothing. Have fun thinking. Also, I like Vtubers, so that may turn everything to moot. Oh well. Let's all make new connections y'all, and let's all just live.
deepstrasz 5 dagar sedan
I remember one video of yours of similar theme. You mentioned Steve Jobs there and people who didn't have university education becoming successful but more due to chance.
Faheez 5 dagar sedan
This video for who failed by doing hard work
Nicolas Figlioli
Nicolas Figlioli 5 dagar sedan
Now, you sir... Just earned another follower
Christopher Butler
Christopher Butler 5 dagar sedan
"The biggest lie we tell ourselves is that we are all born equal. We are not. We are born lucky. How lucky is a matter of luck." -Somebody Probably
Jiaxi hao
Jiaxi hao 5 dagar sedan
CGI grey?
Lucas Santana
Lucas Santana 5 dagar sedan
É vim por indicação do SVfromr Felipe Deschamps. Muito bom o vídeo sorte minha de achar esse vídeo me fez refletir. A sorte de ter legenda também porque ainda não sei inglês kkkkk
Samuel Carlos
Samuel Carlos 5 dagar sedan
Tamo junto xD
Pro_Rman 5 dagar sedan
Someone please direct graham stephan to this please.
Pro_Rman 5 dagar sedan
My entire life I've always acknowledged when I've gotten luck. But I guess that's just because I have a low ego.
Aadil Peer
Aadil Peer 6 dagar sedan
8th of jan...Thats my birthday...weird
CULTURA PRIMATA 6 dagar sedan
Is not the outline of the future written in the past? Everything is destined or everything is a fate forged by this or that decision ? -Ea-šarru Enki 3500 B.C
Micael Ferreira
Micael Ferreira 6 dagar sedan
Now you were lucky to be quoted by the brazilian Filipe Deschamps =D
Jay Bear
Jay Bear 6 dagar sedan
It's insanely frustrating that so many people don't, or won't, ever understand this.
Alexander Wilisow
Alexander Wilisow 4 dagar sedan
I was born in an underdeveloped and dangerous country where almost no one speaks English. I was determined to improve my life and move to a better place. I studied hard since primary school to university, and I was of course lucky as well, to not get attacked by random criminals or get hit by a car etc. However, currently I am struggling to get a working permit in the country I live in, even if the jobs I apply to fit me a 100% and I am confident I can do them quite easily. On the other hand, I see people who admire me and say I am a skilled engineer; getting the jobs easily.. They have no issues just because they are born here, and I was born on the other side of the ocean :) I am now waiting to see if I get my permit, if I don't, then I will go to a dangerous place, with no work and nowhere to go. All of this is because I was in a place A and not B. Sorry for the long comment. Have a nice day and stay safe.
Derson Ramos Goncalves
Derson Ramos Goncalves 6 dagar sedan
@Felipe Deschamps - Boa dica de Vídeo!
Royale GAMING 6 dagar sedan
know sets u know this paradox
heretustay 6 dagar sedan
This is one of the best easily understandable arguments against capitalism I've seen on yt
Mrityunjay Dixit
Mrityunjay Dixit 6 dagar sedan
Dude for a second I thought his wife was Gal Gadot. lol😂
Advan Eic
Advan Eic 6 dagar sedan
Thanks for indonesian subtitle
Pranav Pathak
Pranav Pathak 6 dagar sedan
Excellent video!!!
Sevdalink 6 dagar sedan
Did you already knew your future wife before that instagram answer or was the instagram answer really the first time you recognized her?
Hector Salamanca
Hector Salamanca 7 dagar sedan
Thanks, great video, I think this is a great perspective.
Hector Salamanca
Hector Salamanca 7 dagar sedan
Every 69 minutes in Africa, a minute pases, and that’s just a matter of luck
Manuel FP
Manuel FP 7 dagar sedan
Wonderful, I'll never expected to find this subject in such a good video... i think i was lucky...
Internet Explorer Chan!
Internet Explorer Chan! 7 dagar sedan
So if you want to be successful, don't let the luck follow you, you will follow the luck?
star sky
star sky 7 dagar sedan
Teropong bintang itu sangat menarik
Ajmal N
Ajmal N 7 dagar sedan
Titanina Djefel
Titanina Djefel 8 dagar sedan
Luck is when expectations, for a set volume of work, are exceeded
Loki 8 dagar sedan
Malcolm Gladwell
Joe Lonsdale
Joe Lonsdale 8 dagar sedan
Singer of this is a regurgitation of Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.
Liam the Lit Lord
Liam the Lit Lord 8 dagar sedan
This was a dear liberals moment
mehmud 9 dagar sedan
if u born as human u lucky period
Holophrazeinikos 9 dagar sedan
You are calling occurrence "luck"- a very emotionally loaded and non-scientific term (I still loved the video)
jonki leshi
jonki leshi 9 dagar sedan
I was born in an underdeveloped and dangerous country where almost no one speaks English. I was determined to improve my life and move to a better place. I studied hard since primary school to university, and I was of course lucky as well, to not get attacked by random criminals or get hit by a car etc. However, currently I am struggling to get a working permit in the country I live in, even if the jobs I apply to fit me a 100% and I am confident I can do them quite easily. On the other hand, I see people who admire me and say I am a skilled engineer; getting the jobs easily.. They have no issues just because they are born here, and I was born on the other side of the ocean :) I am now waiting to see if I get my permit, if I don't, then I will go to a dangerous place, with no work and nowhere to go. All of this is because I was in a place A and not B. Sorry for the long comment. Have a nice day and stay safe.
Perry Winkle Elliott
Perry Winkle Elliott 9 dagar sedan
if i were the team leader i would have cut the 4 cookie in thirds and share it with my team im no better than them
Tohru Bot
Tohru Bot 9 dagar sedan
"The biggest lie we tell ourselves is that we are all born equal. We are not. We are born lucky. How lucky is a matter of luck." -Somebody Probably
Chaosgremlin 9 dagar sedan
Bud do you ever sleep?
Marius 10 dagar sedan
Where can I click the subscribe button? Again, and again, and again...
pratik rules
pratik rules 10 dagar sedan
why would i increase luck of others....insted of that i ll snatch luck out of others pocket to decrease the competition..which ROCKOFELLORS do..
__ lukitor __
__ lukitor __ 10 dagar sedan
Joder no lo se
Ivan Break
Ivan Break 10 dagar sedan
Define "Success"
Gregory Van
Gregory Van 10 dagar sedan
The most insightful video I have seen all year. "First, you must believe that you are in complete control of your destiny, and that your success comes down only to your own talent and hard work. But second, you've got to know that's not true for you or anyone else."
Lukas Kidd
Lukas Kidd 10 dagar sedan
staying healthy and keeping out of trouble can be a matter of luck as well though. still a good video just needs much more depth.
Tohru Bot
Tohru Bot 9 dagar sedan
The part about meeting your wife made me cry. The rest of it made me regain some hope.. I've been working so hard for the past decade (before I messed up my life). Maybe some luck is still ahead. Either way, thank you for the wonderful video and inspiration. All the best to your family 🍀
Jim Swaffield
Jim Swaffield 10 dagar sedan
Awesome Video!
Official Burrito
Official Burrito 10 dagar sedan
*Comrade Veritasium*
sanjinred 10 dagar sedan
I am not impressed about people who just made it. I am impressed of those who failed first.
crucci 11 dagar sedan
You're lucky I like your videos, mister.
Closing the Loop
Closing the Loop 11 dagar sedan
The God of Good Luck deserves to be praised and that makes you more likable you basically say. But if you’re a believer, you give praise to God for blessings and that also makes you more likable and more important than being liked by other people, is being liked by the Creator of all things. Every house is constructed by somebody but he that constructed all things is God. No luck involved.
Yaseen Gouse Samudri
Yaseen Gouse Samudri 11 dagar sedan
From the book "Outliers" - Malcolm Gladwell
Bruno Almeida
Bruno Almeida 11 dagar sedan
Obrigado pela legenda! 🇧🇷
gallaxian 11 dagar sedan
The idea that half of the variance in one's income can be explained by their nationality can be calculated and makes intuitive sense. And, yes, one's place of birth is lucky -- though in some cases one's parent's may have worked to provide them with that good fortune. But you merely posited that luck accounted for some percent of the astronaut selection process; it's not something that you proved or deduced logically. Even if luck did play a role, I'll bet a much bigger factor was the selection committee's preference for the finalists to have a certain demographic profile.
Vít Nekvinda
Vít Nekvinda 11 dagar sedan
Louis Robitaille
Louis Robitaille 12 dagar sedan
For all of you who believe in luck, lemme break it to you. Luck as we know it doesn't exist. Luck is just a display of a few to millions of unknown variables at work, a butterfly effect that started at the beginning of the universe and is still ongoing.
JG Reis
JG Reis 12 dagar sedan
Thank you; the world needs the answer to this question.
klaas victor
klaas victor 12 dagar sedan
Perfect animations...thank you!:-)
Tom Silowa
Tom Silowa 12 dagar sedan
10:00 😄good one
David Hill
David Hill 13 dagar sedan
While it is true that hard work can bring success , and it is also true that not all people who are born to poor parents stay poor or that all people born to reasonably well off parents will become super rich , it is also true that having reasonably well off parents gives you a distinct advantage (you basically start with a head start ) .
Karin Rodrigues
Karin Rodrigues 13 dagar sedan
Have any of you played with snatums yet? I'd love to have a set!
Rinoy Johny
Rinoy Johny 13 dagar sedan
Alright alright......why is this not awarded for being the best channel on SVfrom? Coz people are dumb if not jealous 🤨
There's No I
There's No I 13 dagar sedan
I feel like luck isn't some ethereal force or coincidences, just the effects of actions of those who have come before you. So dont be selfish, pay attention to the roles others play in your life.
James Madison
James Madison 13 dagar sedan
I KNOW luck played a part in my success. I got my degree in computer science with a 3.9 GPA, which was hard work, of course. And....I graduated in 1996, right when the dot-com bubble was rising at top speed. I jumped on that wave, got 5 years of great experience, and when the bubble popped, I already had enough momentum to keep going nicely through to today and beyond. But it's a coin toss as to which was more important--graduating in the top 1% of my class, or graduating when even being able to spell compooter could get you a job working on them.
Taral Patel
Taral Patel 14 dagar sedan
How i met your mother part was amazing
Nic Tai
Nic Tai 14 dagar sedan
I think success is about fulfilling the factors for success and that would include being in a country that has a higher success rate. You may need some time to work your way to that country, but once you have it you taken out 1 factor that would reduce your chances of success. Of course, there are other factors like charisma, leadership, the field of expertise, passion, love, determination, personality, habits etc. but if you must include 'luck' in the equation, maybe I would think of it as the chances of which you get to roll the dice at 6. You just need to do it enough times to increase the chances of it happen. Just like you need to talk to enough people to find that few people who would make the first investment or be your cofounder in business. Would you call that luck? 😀 In fact, I like your videos, but I don't agree with your conclusions. Yes all of us started from different points, but with the correct mindset and enough effort, you will achieve what you want. That requires a lot of hard work. Cheers 🐱‍🏍
sivadmg 14 dagar sedan
networking and having something others want also fall into this mix.
sivadmg 14 dagar sedan
exposure, you've got to be out "there" and be open to the possibility for good experiences.
apolyed apolyed
apolyed apolyed 14 dagar sedan
Sad, but true
Chulypse 14 dagar sedan
Very well said. I'm happy to have come across this video and I will have deeper insight into managing my own business and what guidelines to introduce to my own two sons as they grow up
Craibe 15 dagar sedan
I thought it wouldve been cool if he Shouted out people at the end of the video. Sort of as an homage to Vsauce doing the same for him and confirming his belief in luck.
Kliman Khmeron
Kliman Khmeron 15 dagar sedan
So let's see before google we had archie, but what you guys know about luck...
Joel Shor
Joel Shor 15 dagar sedan
When comparing countries, consider the system of government, it plays a role in your success. If you’re lucky, try to maintain the factors that contributed to that luck.
nabil ghafar
nabil ghafar 15 dagar sedan
Yes, I'm glad that some one else also believe that life/success is paradoxical. awesome video.
Aritra Biswas
Aritra Biswas 15 dagar sedan
Amazing video man ❤️❤️ I just love your content
Harriet Ramos
Harriet Ramos 15 dagar sedan
My math professor once said : " I strongly believe the smartest person to ever walk on earth was a plain farmer"
Mitali TheOnly
Mitali TheOnly 13 dagar sedan
Newton was born to b a farmer too
Federico Squartini
Federico Squartini 16 dagar sedan
I suggest people read Aesop's "The Ant and the Grasshopper", old wisdom. Sure you cannot become whatever you want just with hard work (something really unique like being the first man on the moon, a billionaire, or a world famous musical composer), there need to be favorable circumstances and special talent. But you can definitely reach a good deal of success in life if you are patient, determined, and don't make up excuses for your lack of good fortune.
Subhrodeep Saha
Subhrodeep Saha 16 dagar sedan
Is your simulation data available online? I would love to read through it.
Gabriela Rubio Domingo
Gabriela Rubio Domingo 16 dagar sedan
Very good video. It's stoic philosophy explained for people of the 21st century
Pete Johnston
Pete Johnston 16 dagar sedan
I think the best example is Bill Gates. He's operating system was MSDOS but it was well know that his competitors system was far superior CPM. The success of CPM meant that they had plenty of work while Bill Gates was doing nothing. When IBM needed a new operating system Bill Gates had plenty of time on his hands, but his competitors were far too busy to go full out to chase the IBM deal. So Bill Gates success could be considered as a result of his lack of hard work or lack of skill, as if he had made a better product he probably wouldn't have gotten the IBM deal and wouldn't be as rich as he is today.
bendjelloul meriem
bendjelloul meriem 16 dagar sedan
Its not luck its Allah (the destiny) .
Michael Stephan
Michael Stephan 17 dagar sedan
Sustance 17 dagar sedan
Nice T-shirt nod to CGP after the stick figures. Class
Rui Lourenço
Rui Lourenço 17 dagar sedan
If any advice on how to be successful yet kind is paradoxical, isn't that evidence that success is a problematic goal? Instead of trying to be successful, I think we should all just try to be better at what you do. If we keep *trying* we will eventually succeed. Aiming for success isn't necessary, just aim to be better than you were yesterday. And do things for the pleasure that doing them gives you. You need luck to break the world record, but you don't need luck to try. And those that try more often are more likely to be the ones to catch the tailwind. A study found that the more successful research authors (in terms of publication metrics) were simply those that published a greater number of articles. Biases such as age or any sort of skill would almost immediately disappear if you weighed for publishing frequency. So the only advice is to pursue a goal you want to pursue, and keep on trying and never stop improving yourself. Through the law of the Bernoulli trials, persistence beats bad luck so long as you have the skill.
Kushal Shah
Kushal Shah 17 dagar sedan
and that kids is how i met your mother 😂😂👌
Elizabeth Silva
Elizabeth Silva 17 dagar sedan
I got aware about my luck a few years ago and it totally changed my life for good. Gratitude is the key for happiness
Elizabeth Silva
Elizabeth Silva 17 dagar sedan
[offtopic] you were reaaallyyy cute when younger hahahah
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