I’ve recently had a few conversations with a colleague about how working the hardest guarantees success. I’ve had a long-held belief that if you are a white male born in the United States, your life is close to a meritocracy.

There are obvious huge, unfair downsides if you aren’t a white male. I’m not going to address them in this post, because it deserves much more thourough discussion and action, and I will not do it justice.

Throughout my life, the most successful people I’ve known (Bob Metcalfe, Brett Hurt, Mark Cuban, Josh Baer) all work harder than anyone else I’ve met. Those four have worked the most.

I also haven’t met anyone who has worked a comparable amount as those four, and hasn’t reached success. That led me to believe that if you work the hardest, you win.

That belief is weakening. Largely because I realized I’m scared that once I internalize that the major factor in success is luck, it will dishearten me to the point of no longer pursuing success.

At the moment, I don’t have any additional thoughts.