Qualities required to suceed in maths

The so-called pathfinders in mathematics and the sciences in general had particular characteristics which enhanced their ability to discover, invent and obtain solutions to problems. These great men and women had breakthroughs in disciplines that had never been heard of before. They were pioneers in their areas of study and their strength came from:



A focus on what they wanted to achieve and not giving up. (persistency)

A systematic and orderly approach to problem solving.


They had a hunger for the truth. They did not compromise, but strived for perfection.

A die-hard (not giving up) attitude where adversity, hostility and other constraints did not deter them from reaching their intended goals.

Nurturing their creativity by approaching a problem in many different ways so as to exhaust all possible channels and solutions, and then settle for the best of them.


Ability to look at things in a fresh, almost childlike way. Keeping an open mind and a flexible attitude on all subjects.

Not polluting their minds with garbage but filled their ‘hard drives’ (minds) with facts and information that would help them in their endeavours.

An inquisitive spirit i.e. they asked a lot of questions as to why things were the way they were.

Concentrating on a problem with more depth and intensity compared to any mediocre person.

A passionate drive to succeed in anything, and they loved and enjoyed what they did such that they pursued their dreams with astounding energy and zeal.


Not settling for anything less than perfect and pure. They did not compromise in their quest for excellence.

Daring to be different and being considered ‘crazy’ and labelled as “radicals”, “fanatics” because they did not go with the masses thus they fought mediocrity.


Mastering the art of visualizing problems and their respective solutions.


Being confident of their abilities and maximized on their potential. Hence they believed their work was to be a success and it would change mankind’s way of life.


Being selfless because they did it for the good of mankind.



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