Secret of Success: Motivation, Hard Work and Luck

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Success is earned and takes great motivation and skill to get there. It is believed that success also comes from luck and if someone is not born with the luck aspect they may be less likely to be successful. If extrinsic motivation continues to be used all the time it could affect how children are motivated as they grow into adults. Many different things impact someone’s motivation which impacts how successful they are. If someone is not motivated by the right things they may not be as successful as someone motivated by positive things with good outcomes. Motivation, hard work, and luck all lead to successful living.

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Success can come from hard work, motivation, willingness to succeed or other times luck plays a major role. The success of one person does not come from themselves, other people helped them to get where they are now. Shermer (2017) implies having loving and nurturing parents, a financially successful family, a good education, and mainly being born at an exact moment in time are all examples of luck that motivate and give people the opportunity to be successful. Motivation is an aspect of daily living. Everything in life involves motivation. However, the spark of motivation varies and doesn’t always come from the same source. Motivation is either brought on by the desire to succeed or having a positive outcome from a secondary source, for example a bonus. Success comes from motivation and intelligence or it may happen to come from luck.

Motivation leads to success as does having intelligence. Many typically think of intelligence as how hard someone works to gain their knowledge and many think they must be motivated to be intelligent. Data collected through the last couple decades shows at least half of intelligence is inherited (Shermer, 2017). Although someone can strive to be intelligent often great motivation is needed especially if they don’t have the luck aspect behind it. Intelligence may be an important aspect to success, however motivation leads to successful living.

Impact on Society

Motivation is a key component to being successful, but depending on the person their motivation could have a negative outcome. Gkorezis and Petridou (2012) suggests that extrinsic does in fact have an effect on how people are motivated. If someone is being influenced by extrinsic motivation they can make bad choices that affect everything in the outcome just so they get the reward they want. In some situations people will be offered rewards for completed tasks to keep people doing their work. For example, if a teacher wants all the students to pass her tests, she will give them an incentive like no homework in order to make all the students study harder to ace the test.

Extrinsic motivation is seen to lead to more negative outcomes, as positive outcomes come from intrinsic motivation. Kuvass, Buch, Weibel, Dysvik, and Nerstad (2017) found extrinsic motivation is unrelated to positive outcomes and has more of a negative effect. Although, some jobs do use extrinsic motivation if someone isn’t getting the extra rewards they are used to they will be less likely to finish their work. When a company hires workers who are used to extrinsic motivation they may have to add some sort of reward so those employees complete their work. If companies keep adding extrinsic rewards it can cost them more money in the long run. People who expect extrinsic rewards will be less motivated to complete their tastes if companies stop providing these sources of motivation. As people are motivated by extrinsic motivation they want more and more out of the reward which eventually leads to the reward not being enough for them to complete the work. Companies will not be able to provide enough rewards to keep employees doing their work. This will lead to a society with unmotivated workers because nothing will motivate them to finish their work. Unmotivated employees negatively affect companies the most (Contan & Serban, 2015). Job positions will go unfulfilled because no one will be motivated to work. Not having willing workers will cause companies to close down and the economy to drop from unsuccessful businesses. That being said motivation is key to being successful, however where the motivation is coming from is what is beneficial.

Relevance to Personal Experience

Many factors play a role in being successful. For some individuals motivation may be harder to find. The environment someone grew up in affects the things that motivate them. People who grew up in a stable, healthy environment are more likely to be motivated, make money, and succeed, as people who grew up not knowing where their next meal is coming from might not be motivated to excel they just want to get by. If someone does not have goals and positive outcomes they are looking forward to, they could be less motivated to do great things and settle for average. For instance, some people may have no desire to be successful and are fine for settling with only basic needs to get by. Other people may find it a necessity to live a successful life. Shermer (2017) states intelligence, motivation, and hard work are just as important as luck. Someone’s background and past can influence what motivates them and how successful their life will be. Shermer (2017) includes that success is not the most important thing in life but living a meaningful life is greater than a successful life.


The secret of success comes from motivation, luck, and willingness to succeed. Growing up in a stable, nurturing environment contributes to becoming a successful adult. Not everyone experiences success is the same way, but each and every person is capable of being successful with time and motivation.


  • Contan, A. L., & Serban, D. C. (2015, October). MOTIVATED OR UNMOTIVATED. In International Conference on Management and Industrial Engineering (No. 7, p. 405). Niculescu Publishing House.
  • Gkorezis, P., & Petridou, E. (2012). The effect of extrinsic rewards on public and private sector employees’ psychological empowerment: a comparative approach. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 23(17), 3596-3612. Chicago
  • Kuvaas, B., Buch, R., Weibel, A., Dysvik, A., & Nerstad, C. G. (2017). Do intrinsic and extrinsic motivation relate differently to employee outcomes?. Journal of Economic Psychology, 61, 244-258.
  • Shermer, M. (2017). What is the secret of success. Scientific American, 90.

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