I remember listening to audio of a hire ranking official (retired now) and they were talking about hard work, grit, etc.
He mentioned what I'm about to put below and its stuck with me. I'd like to share it (paraphrased)...
When my colleagues and I all started out in the beginning, we were all on the same level, the bottom. Equal opportunity for each of us. As time went on, the crew thinned itself out. Some decided to quit, realized this is want they wanted or something else. As time went on I realized I was the last one standing. Nothing special about me other than, I kept showing up, and next thing I knew I was on "top of the hill".