My sister and I were talking about success, and she said something very important. Successful people, she said, are those who have an unshakeable, overwhelming, almost delusional belief that everything is in their hands, and if something isn’t working out, they just need to work some more, learn more, find the answers, and it will work out.
What I like about this definition is the part about such people being almost delusional in their belief that anything is possible. I think that this is an extremely attractive quality. My sister meets some very successful people, and they are all like that.
I wish one could encounter this more often in academia. I really love seeing people who seem almost drunk with the sense of the extreme importance of their research and teaching. It’s like they have the opposite of the impostor syndrome.