I'm not a genius, although I'm very good at maths and science in general. I'm pretty sure that with hard work, I'll be able to do well in college and then later grad school, but will I be able to contribute anything to physics? Realistically speaking, will I "discover" something? There's this video of Feynman where he says that he used to be an ordinary person, and that an ordinary person, through hard work and persistance, can become a scientist and see the world from a scientist's point of view. This was really inspiring to me, but was he just being modest, or was he being serious? Are the scientists who make great contributions geniuses, or are they just really hard working people who are interested in the workings of the universe and happened to be in the right place at the right time? Newton, Einstein, Feynman, Bohr, (the list could go on for a while); were they "special" or did they just work very hard? Will I, or will any of you, ever be able to do something so great as these people? My main question, I guess, would be: Is there something that separates these great scientists from me, or will I be able to achieve something like what they did if I work really hard? Sorry for all the upcoming PS's PS. I just wanted to start a general discussion on this, because it's something that interests me. I wasn't quite sure what category to put this thread under, though. PPS. The Feynman video I mentioned is "Fun to Imagine" and what I referenced is something he says near the end, around minute 55 or so. PPPS. When I say that someone was "special", I don't just mean that they were gifted and had to do no work. I mean that they worked hard, but managed to make their great discovery because they were also gifted. PPPPS. I've started thinking about these things because at my new school, people think I'm very smart, and sometimes call me a genius (which I'm obviously not). I tell them that I work very hard and that's why I understand difficult concepts, and that got me thinking; we call these great scientists geniuses, but maybe they were just smart people who worked really hard? And if that is the case, then maybe I (or you) could solve some of the problems we haven't been able to solve (like quantum gravity, or why electrons and protons have exact opposite charges, or why we have so many finely-tuned constants, or what dark energy is, etc.). PPPPPS. My main reason for wanting to discover something is that I want to help increase our knowledge. I want to resolve some of the problems in modern-day physics, or at the very least witness these problems being resolved by someone else :).