Luck plays more of a role in determining success than work ethic does.
The desire to be successful make people work hard. We have different perceptions of what success is. Some people connect success with money, others with family. But what plays the most important role in success? Let's take an example of Mark Zuckerberg. He is one of the best known co-founders of social networking website Facebook. He is young, rich, and successful. What played an crucial role in his career?
First, let's look at society where he was born. Obviously, he was born in well-developed country in the USA. Moreover, he grew up in a caring family which could give him a good education. The truth is that your home country has a lot more to do with your success than the efforts you put in. In a developed nation, you benefit from health care, roads, infrastructure, public education, whereas none of these are reliably available in many of the nations world wide. Some people are born in war zones or refugee camps. Some of them don't have a place to live and only can think about satisfying their basic needs such as food and a shelter. People who are in difficult situation can work hard but still have no chance to become famously successful. Hard work is irrelevant in these cases. We should take into consideration of success the economic situation of the country where you were born.
Second, talent has a lot to do with success. Intelligence is a quality which helps you on the way to succeed. Some people are gifted from childhood. Others should work much harder to get the same results. Implicitly, there is a correlation between work ethic and the quality of work. But for a person to get a perfection at his job, he needs a talent or good physic abilities. No matter how hard I were to work, I will never be a professional athlete of any sort. But still you need to have something more besides talent and ambitious to become successful. Is it a luck?
To return to the example of Mark...
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