The Path to Success. Achieving success is about more than just hard work.

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w.TanFor many of us, it is difficult to comprehend that the world is a harsh and unforgiving place. Within the context of our affluent town and supportive community, it is easy to assume that life will always reward us for our efforts, that with enough hard work we can achieve anything. To a degree this is true. Hard work and success are strongly correlated. But this does not imply that hard work will guarantee us success. For every story we hear of an amazing individual who worked relentlessly to succeed, there are many more untold stories of people who put in just as much effort and came up short. The truth of the matter is, success requires two things: hard work and dumb luck. Two factors. One you can control, and one you cannot. Though it may seem cynical to believe that your efforts, regardless how strong, do not always bring success, there is a silver lining. The number of opportunities available to those who work hard is far greater than those who do not. In other words, hard work will bring you the luck you need to succeed. Of course, this is all easier said than done. An individual can give everything they’ve got, making extraordinary efforts yet still fail. And there is not a single individual who would be willing to work hard, knowing that it would all be for nothing. So, we need one last thing: grit. Will. Resolve. Whatever you call it, it is the ability to bounce back from failure and to find the strength to keep fighting for what you want. Without it, no amount of struggle will be rewarded. Just as Rocky said, “[Life] ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” So, do you have what it takes? Patrick Tan will be attending Harvard University in the Fall. Reach him at ptan@hilite.org.

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