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 ready to be lucky. Many laureates have spoken of the role luck played in their discoveries and successes. Some do it with humor, some with humility. But always there is the understanding that, to be lucky, you have to recognize what you have when you see it.  “As Louis Pasteur said, ‘Fortune favors the prepared mind,’ ” Pratt says.