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:

Be a teacher/mentor yourself. “There is no better way of getting a good grasp of your subject, or one more likely to start more ideas for research, than teaching it,” said Daniel Tsui, who won the prize in physics in 1998. Pratt says many laureates, including novelist Toni Morrison, take their teaching as seriously as their award-winning work, because it allows them to share their passion with others and keeps the fire burning.