From James Clear:

"Curiosity can empower you or impede you.

Being curious and focused is a powerful combination. I define this combination as unleashing your curiosity within the domain of a particular task: asking questions about how things work, exploring different lines of attack for solving the problem, reading ideas from outside domains while always looking for ways to transfer the knowledge back to your main task, and so on. Even though you're exploring widely, you're generally moving the ball forward on the main thing. You start something and you keep searching until you find an effective way to finish it.

Meanwhile, when your curiosity sends you off in a dozen different directions and fractures your attention, then it can prevent you from focusing on one thing long enough to see it through to completion. Curious, but unfocused. You're jumping from one topic to the next, they aren't necessarily related, your efforts don't accumulate, you're simply exploring. You start many things and finish few.

How is your curiosity being directed? Is it rocket fuel or a roadblock?"

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The way I'd look at it is that the hard work means you've fixed one, two, or three of those digits. So instead of it being a basically "random" chance, something's much more likely to actually happen based on your particular experience.

Here's a simple example for my own experience. I subscribe to numerous book publishers and sellers, both general purpose and especially ones that are tailored to my interests and passions. Because I've studied and read a lot of other books in my area of interest, I can immediately spot something that I know is going to be compelling almost immediately, whether or not I purchase it, in a way that's quite different than "ooh a new book" purchasing. This comes from years of a lot of concentrated knowledge and experience.

Even if it's not my particular cup of tea, I can file it away and then recommend it to someone else with similar interests or a need in the realm of my interest. I can further make second or third order derivative recommendations in many cases as well as in "after reading this, read this, and then this".

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I can't remember what Chi Chi Rodrguez said about scoring a number of holes-in-one in his golf career, but it did boil down to the fact that he was a much better golfer than most. He didn't get that way by a lack of practice and effort.

I think that hard-working people who network tend to bumb into more "lottery tickets" than others do. It helps to be in the right place at the right time, but I rarely see people who achieve a lot end up there out of simply being in the right place at the right time.

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