• Is it skill or just luck?
  • Francis Leavey

Is it skill or just luck?

Is it skill or just luck?

The older I get, the more I realise how luck has been in many ways a far more determine factor in my life than skill. I’d say it’s around 65% luck and 45% skill. Failure to acknowledge the role of luck in our lives can lead us to believing we are more talented or successful than another person. 

There’s no doubt that skill is vital to get us onto the first rung of the ladder but it won’t get us to the top. We need luck. If we consider someone like Bill Gates, we soon realise how such things as a good education and access to technology when others did not was luck. If he had been born into poverty in Third World country, his chances of success on the scale he has achieved would have been less likely if not impossible.

A few circumstances beyond his control in the early stages of his career also fed into the luck factor. This is not to diminish or deny the effort he put in to hone his skills for without that hard work, luck wouldn’t have presented itself.

My own mantra in life is this ‘just do the work’. If I just do the work, something will present itself. When I start a drawing or painting I don’t concern myself with how it will turn out. I just make sure I work on my skill set and do the work. 

There’s a good article on the topic here and I can’t recommend Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers highly enough for a deeper understanding.


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    Francis Leavey

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