‘Tis True, Sayings Only Become Cliches If They Are True

A sign in a Sandwich Shop in Waco, TX

Dear Son, the harder you work, the luckier you get.

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By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.


  1. I’ve been thinking about this one, and I think I have to respectfully disagree. Granted, hard work CAN have big payoffs. However I don’t think that everyone who is a success is where they are because of hard work. Some certainly are. Not all. One of the most successful businessmen I know says that most of the reason is because of being in the right place at the right time. He said he really didn’t work that hard, that things sort of fell into place. And what about the farmer who busts his $##^, but loses his crops and farm because of weather? I worked incredibly hard on my marriage, but my husband didn’t, so it ended. The playing field isn’t always level, and sometimes things are beyond our control.

  2. Lorie, first off, thank you for taking time to speak your mind. Most of us are so stink in’ busy, we don’t have time or energy (or in some cases, courage).

    A couple thoughts:
    1. You said it, most people are successful because of their hard work. In fact the percentage is huge. I talk to thousands of people a year, and personally never had one say it was easy. Lucky, yes. But luck favors the prepared.
    2. Yeah the farmer. Farmers do not survive with a single season mentality. Drought, flood, famine, insects, disease, equipment failures/breakdowns, vandalism, and the list goes on. It’s part of a farmer’s life. And life ain’t fair.
    3. Your marriage reminds me of the farmer you spoke of. You toiled and labored and gave it your all, but in the end, you couldn’t control the uncontrollable elements (your ex).
    4. Both you and the farmer are fighters, survivors, great Americans – successful. Look at your children and your grandchild. Look at how you take care of your immediate and extended Family.
    5. You are successful because you never gave up, even on an un-level playing field. I tip my hat to you both.
    6. And your friend who didn’t have to work hard. That scares me. He will, it just hasn’t happened yet. (I hope I’m completely wrong)

  3. #6… He’s wintering in his home in Florida right now. Will be back to his Wyndham Hills home in the spring. He’s 80 years old and retired. Very philanthropic. Doesn’t fly his plane much anymore, just takes commercial flights. I know…… some people! : )

  4. Wow. Never saw that one coming. So here’s what I think, now knowing he’s 80 and not 50-ish (like us). He sounds, from the airplane scenario and philanthropy, like a humble man. My stereotype of humble people is that they have a special gift for disguising their hard work as luck.

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