David Pratt, author of “Nobel Laureates: The Secret of Their Success,”   there are lessons to be learned from how they pushed and challenged themselves. He says ways to emulate them include:

Seek out good teachers/mentors. The advantages of being born into an academic family are obvious, Pratt says. Family friends and relatives provide intellectual stimulation and emphasize scholarship and achievement. But laureates also cite the value of finding a good mentor along the way – a teacher, boss or patron who generously cleared the path to success and gently (or not so gently) prodded them down it.