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:

Persevere. Pratt notes that President Jimmy Carter, who won the Peace Prize in 2002, was the first American politician to be awarded for work undertaken after his presidency. Though he failed to win a second term, and many of his policies were reversed during the Reagan administration, Carter was determined to keep working on the causes that were dear to him. Groundbreakers have to be prepared for push-back, Pratt says. “Great discoveries are rarely made by people who are averse to risks.”