Malcolm Gladwell, in a talk at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan, posits that passion and love account for success more than great skill or preternatural intellectual ability.
Wayne Gretsky crying at the age of two every time a televised hockey game ended. He loved it that much. A teenaged Bill Gates spending hours (between 2am and 6am weeknights) when he should have been sleeping programming at the University of Washington.
The love that drew them to their chosen field was what enabled them to get as creative, as brilliant, as successful as they ended up being. They just couldn’t stop thinking about hockey or computers. So they elevated their respective fields and engaged on a genius level. They weren’t able to stop thinking about their passion. And in turn they changed the way we all think of them.