Why do some people manage to do something faster and easier, while others do not? Even if they started out the same way, learnt from the same teachers. Is it a matter of special talents or luck? Luck alone will not get you far, and there is an invisible nuance that helps you achieve high results.


People often compare themselves to others, and not always in their favour. Some people are motivated by such comparisons. Others, on the contrary, are deprived of strength, they begin to worry about their inadequacy and fall into apathy and even depression.

“Those who fail at something – or think they are failing – get frustrated, angry, resentful, jealous and blame themselves, because ‘the problem is definitely them’. They are sure they are missing something. And those who succeed are given superpowers,” says Irina Gross. – So: these people do not have any superpowers, but there is an invisible nuance. By this I mean the resources already invested, which are not visible from the outside.

We often see only the result of a project, an action, someone else’s success and do not notice the biggest part of the iceberg

What is hidden under the water? It could be anything:

Sometimes these nuances are summed up, and sometimes one is enough for a breakthrough. But it’s easier for us to say, “He was just lucky!” than to accept that the laurels didn’t come as easily as we think.


“A client told me about her envy of a colleague when one day her new Mercedes appeared in the car park beneath the office windows. “Where did that come from? How is that possible? We get the same salary!” – she protested at length. To which I recommended asking her colleague directly how she managed to become the owner of such a luxury car. It turned out that the Mercedes was a long-standing dream for which she had been saving money for several years. She also had an additional income besides her main job. She loved art, understood paintings, participated in auctions, invested, sold. That’s how she earned her money,” the expert gives an example.


1. Luck

But then why are the starting positions the same – we studied in the same class, in the same group, work in the same department, but only one person comes first to the finish line? Maybe it’s all about luck and the reason for success is in it?

“We confuse luck and success. Luck is something random, unknown, temporary, beyond human control. Success is planned, calculated, earned. Lucky people are pleasant to be, envied, and successful people are respected. Successful people are ready for the unexpected, do not miss happy accidents and can use them. If a person introduces variety into life, the chances of luck increase,” explains Irina Gross.

She recommends concentrating not on what is happening now, but imagining the worst case scenario, but not sinking into the feeling of failure. This exercise will help us to always feel lucky, because we have already drawn the worst-case scenario in our heads.

2. Responsibility

“If we take the positive out of every event, there will be good fortune waiting for us at every turn. The most successful clients who achieve their goals are united by one trait – an inner sense of responsibility. Textbooks refer to this as locus of control.

We all fall into two types:

If a child is not used to taking responsibility from childhood, when he gets a F, he will say: “My parents didn’t help me” instead of “I didn’t prepare myself”. It will be difficult for him to take responsibility as an adult.

3. Connections and environment

How important is upbringing to success? It is one thing to grow up in the family of an academic, and another to grow up in the family of a combine harvester. Do education and environment influence success? Will a new Steve Jobs or Bill Gates emerge if he grew up in a loving and nurturing family or if he saw only scolding from his parents and got beaten up by an alcoholic dad? Finally, what personal qualities lead to success?

“The world is not fair. We are all very different: someone healthy, smart, beautiful, and someone sick and not Alain Delon, – explains the psychologist. – If a person was born in a family of diplomats, travelled a lot since childhood, studied languages, communicated with influential people, then he is instilled with a certain level of culture from childhood. A “commoner” or a person from the backwoods is not a competitor for him. Someone has the maximum basic equipment, someone has the minimum. But why compare the success of a general and the success of a soldier?”

4. Labour

“More often than not, we don’t notice how much labour another person has put in. We can weigh a body in kilograms, measure volumes in centimetres, know temperature and pressure, but in what units do we weigh human labour? Man-hours? They are suitable for reporting at enterprises, but not for measuring physical, intellectual and moral investments. If every time, envying someone else’s success, we learnt or at least thought about how much was invested in it, we would easily give up such things. Because we ourselves are often not ready for such labour,” says Irina Gross.

You can try to take apart the story of someone else’s success and imagine how much labour has gone into it

Such exercises are sobering and help you understand the algorithm of other people’s success and apply it to your own life. Even with talent, labour is necessary, and behind every full house of Denis Matsuev there are long hours of scales and repetitions.

5. Support

“I don’t know a single person who has achieved serious results alone. Usually behind the backs of winners are those who believed in them, cared and supported them. It can be a coach, a parent, a teacher. Find people who will become your support,” the expert advises.

6. Financing

No major project has been realised without investment. “To write down poems, you need a pencil and a notebook. Even if your task is relatively simple – to become a good specialist, you will have to invest in education. Few people, when talking about success, think of financial investment. If you don’t have financial support, then look for it and create it, like that girl with the Mercedes,” she continues.

7. Preparedness for pain

Another important factor is familiarity with stress, discomfort and even pain. “We will have to grow, and growth hurts and requires effort. Pain is a daily component of success. Failures, losses, missteps, mistakes. You have to know your pain threshold,” states the psychologist. After a good workout, it is difficult to move, but the athlete moves on, overcoming unpleasant sensations. Before starting a powerful spurt, it is worth answering the question to yourself: how much am I ready to endure?

8. Mindset

“Do you know stupid successful people? I don’t,” concludes Irina Gross. – To adequately assess your capabilities and resources, to set realistic and achievable goals – that’s what reason is for. It is not scary to be wrong, to be mistaken, to argue. It is scarier to stop thinking independently.