Over at Rohan Rajiv’s blog, he has a short article about what considers to be the elements for success. To summarize, he mentions that success is determined by your goal, the level of effort you put into achieving it, and a bit of luck.
We tend to exaggerate the role of luck in very successful people. We like to attribute the rise of people such as Steve Jobs and Bill Gates as luck, saying they were in the right place at the right time. That’s implicitly followed up by the claim that we can’t be (or aren’t) that lucky.
It’s true that for both men, they had great circumstance, but they needed more than just that to be successful. They needed to take advantage of those circumstances, work hard, and stay focused.
There’s no guarantees in life, and you do need a bit of luck to succeed. Those are things you can’t control. You also may have limited control over your circumstances. The things you do have complete control over are your focus, effort, and desire to look at your situation and make the best of.