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Old December 28th, 2012 (6:35 PM).
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Keiran Keiran is offline
Fight Off Your Demons
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Join Date: Apr 2011
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I think it really depends on what you're trying to be successful at, but most of the time luck is the greatest factor in success.

You don't need to put much work into a book for it to be successful, it just needs to be discovered by the mainstream (e.g. Twilight), meanwhile the best books of our time go fairly unnoticed by the public for unknown reasons (e.g. House of Leaves). A lot of the most successful musicians have little talent, and put in little work (I don't mean the actual people in most cases, I mean the music their label allows to be released). It's all luck and $.

But if you stop defining something as 'successful' for the amount of money it has made, the whole meaning changes and a lot more things become successful. That person who has lived an amazing life they loved but isn't famous and doesn't have the most money; that book, movie or band whose fan count doesn't go past a few too many but are loved dearly by each and every one are successful because they accomplished what they set out to do.

If you really think success is determined by profits and fame, you better hope you have a lot of luck lest you suffer the same fate Van Gogh did.
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When kings upon the main have clung to pride
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I've held them down beneath the crushing tide
Till they have learned that no one masters me
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