‘It is destiny, not hard work, that determines success’ is a statement that we will never publicly admit to as true, but in private we might give it a reluctant nod, for in public we tend to shy away from making bitter statements, statements that in private conversations we would gladly embrace. This statement reminds me of Shakespeare’s great quote ‘Some men are born great; some achieve greatness, while some have greatness thrust upon them’.
A simple example would be of a man who becomes the owner of great enterprise simply by the virtue of inheritance; even if he turns out to be a man of average intelligence, he might be, years later, hailed as a great businessman. Every year we come across rankings of successful people, in which we find names that made it to the list just because they happened to be the direct heir of their family run businesses.
History is replete with examples of men who were at the right place at the right time and with the right people around them, an advantage of circumstance that made them successful, while many a man who in spite of great talent and hard work, could not achieve success because of countless other factors that they could not foresee or could not turn to their advantage. It is for these unforeseen and unknown factors that men often believe in destiny or fate so much so that many go to the extent of consulting palmists, astrologers, numerologists and soothsayers, whose suggestions, they believe, might turn the final outcome in their favor.
The fact that we human beings believe in the unknown factors that govern life shows that destiny or fate does play a role in directing the course of our life. Life is not a rule book of mathematics, in which, once the initial conditions are known, the final result can be predicted with certainty. We human beings, in spite of our ability to reason and argue, believe in this unpredictability of life; it is this belief that makes us philosophize and drives us towards god and religion.
I, however, would slightly disagree with the topic though; if I have to rephrase it, I would put it thus: It is not hard work alone that determines success; destiny too plays a role. Success, according to me, has many causes; one must have talent that is further shaped by hard work; and this alone may not be enough; there are countless other factors, some that can be foreseen and some that cannot, which when coincide result in success. Many man a man without talent and hard work have squandered inherited fortunes, many a prince lacking the will power to rule have become paupers, thus proving that destiny alone is not enough to guarantee success, greatness, or glory.
To sum up I would say that both destiny and talent, and hard work determine success. The percentage of contribution of each cannot be calculated or in any way predicted.