Ever since Tom Wolfe's book was published, the question I'm asked most often and which always annoys me is whether I think I've got "the right stuff." I know that golden trout* have the the right stuff, and I've seen a few gals here and there that I'd bet had it in spades, but those words seem meaningless when used to describe a pilot's attributes. The question annoys me because it implies that a guy who has "the right stuff" was born that way. I was born with unusually good eyes and coordination. I was mechanically oriented, understood machines easily. My nature was to stay cool in tight spots. Is hat "the right stuff?" All I know is I worked my tail off to learn how to fly, and worked hard at it all the way. And in the end, the one big reason why I was better than average as a pilot was because I flew more than anybody else. If there is such a thing as "the right stuff" in piloting, then it is experience.
Yeager, Charles E.; Yeager, p. 319
I don't think it hurts to have considerable drive and the wisdom to learn from experience, either, but I note that General Yeager's life offers example after example that the guy with the most experience wins and the guy who doesn't give up is the one who lives to fly another day. Pretty sure there's a lesson or two there for all of us.
* I left off this footnote! These trout are found in the High Sierras and, possibly, Arizona. The story of how some ended up in AZ can be found in his book and yes, it's one of the sort that keeps Scully and Mulder busy.