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Luck vs Hard Work: Can You Practise Rolling Dice?

by Leen Al-Taher on April 02, 2018

Words: Noor Shehata 
Graphics: Magdalena Kincaid

We often look at people winning the lottery and think to ourselves, “wow, how lucky”. Millions of people around the world then proceed to invest in these tickets, hoping they gain the same luck, but their chances are literally almost one in a million. The same can be said for casinos, however, in a game such as poker, it is those who master their facials expressions who make it the farthest. So, now I ask, is it luck or skill that made Vanessa Selbst, the highest paid female poker player in 2018, worth approximately 11 million dollars?


We constantly hear people saying “I just happened to be in the right place at the right time”, and there is a definite truth to that. However, it is vital to recognize that physically putting yourself in the right place is a crucial aspect of being there at the right time. Sometimes, we do not recognize when we stop trying, and then blame lady luck for switching sides. Being proactive is one step closer to getting “lucky” on any given day, so waiting is not going to help. Those people who have been deemed the luckiest, have also been the ones who persevered, failed, tried again (multiple times), until they finally attained their success.

Hard Work:

For some luck non-believers, they claim hard work is a more effective attribute to succeeding. However, hard work alone is not enough. “Work Smart” is another commonly used phrase, which holds a significant amount of truth. Staring at your screen for 3 hours to make yourself feel better about not working will not get the job done, so when allocating time to work, be efficient and effective. If you are preparing for a networking opportunity, make sure that you are researching potential topics of conversations that will leave a positive impression. Meeting a person who might land you your next job could be luck, however impressing them to the point of leaving a favourable impression to offer a job is based on the person’s knowledge and time invested on the topic.

Chemical X:

The final contributor to succeeding in achieving your goals, is a mixture of dedication and passion. Finding the passion to do something is what will help you thrive in it. Passion is the driving force for hard work and dedication. Very few are lucky to find what they are passionate about immediately, but I strongly believe that putting yourself out there is a great way to start. Bringing back proactivity. It seems we are raised with things around us just happening for us. We’re brought into life, enrolled in school, fed and nurtured for. For the most part, we have adapted to reacting to these things, expressing our likes or dislikes, but have never really had the chance to go do something for ourselves. Well, with a strong dose of courage, now is the time!

So, can you practise rolling dice? Honestly, no you can’t. That is purely luck. However, you can practise controlling your facial expressions. In life we have to make endless choices everyday, and seizing the opportunities in front of us is one of them. Luck presents itself in many different forms, so the chemical X, is finding what you are passionate about, working smart and hard towards achieving whatever you want, then finally feeling “lucky”, as some would call it.


About The Author 

Noor Shehata is an Industrial Engineering student, completing her final year in Ryerson. Best description would be quirky and talkative, with a strong dose of love for colours, clothes and standing out.


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