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Are you willing to pay the price?

Are you willing to pay the price?

Isaacson says he feels lucky to have been in a position to try to change history. "But history demands you pay a price for that privilege, in terms of all the stress and agony and lifestyle and family events," he says.

"If you're willing to pay the price, OK, you've got this chance and you can go ahead and maybe it will work. Maybe it won't." May 19, 20198:25 AM ET

Heard on  [Weekend Edition Sunday](  Nell Greenfieldboyce

This poignant quote was made by the scientist who played an instrumental role in making possible one of the great scientific discoveries in physics of the early 21st century. 

Whether or not you are an athlete or a scientist the antecedents to success are the same. In the sport of elite ski racing and the pursuit of World Cup and Olympic success, the odds of actually winning are extremely low, but the costs are enormous. Consider the cost of equipment, coaching, travel and having access to the snow, for anyone in this environment it is certainly a privilege to have such an opportunity.

To allow a young ski racer the chance to develop and potentially reach the very top requires family support from money to lifestyle. Consider that the parents of Lindsay Vonn moved an entire family to Vail to give Lindsay the chance to succeed. Imagine the pressure on Lindsay and her family and the risks taken all for something that an oddsmaker would call very, very long.

While young athletes are generally not in the business of changing history or changing our understanding of the universe, their individual goals are still very daunting. Imagine taking on the goal of winning an Olympic Gold medal, or becoming a great champion or in the case of this scientist working on a project that if successful would prove a theory suggested by Einstein in 1916. Then imagine never winning the gold medal or becoming a great champion or spending hundreds of millions of dollars on a failed science project. 

It is a privilege to have the opportunity to pursue such lofty goals and with the potential for failure, it is a risk that very few have the patience or mindset to pursue. 

Billion-Dollar Gamble: How A 'Singular Hero' Helped Start A New Field In Physics -