"Inspector Gregory, to whom the case has been committed, is an extremely competent officer. Were he gifted with imagination he might rise to great heights in his profession." - Sherlock Holmes in Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.
It is not just enough to be smart and hardworking, they will only make you indisposable at work and a great friend to call when in need. You will let others set the course and you'll be the implementation guy. The guy who will drive their plans home. And worse, you'll be performing way below your potential.
"Imagination is everything." - Albert Einstein
God took a spinning void, imagined a beautifully complex universe, and worked hard to create it. And he's not yet done with the creation process. Imagination always come before the hardwork and it's not always good to leave that part to someone else or an established system.
"You cannot rise above the mental picture you have in your head." - Sam Adeyemi.
What pulled you through the gruesome 4 or 5 or 6 years you spent in the university? I tell you, it was the picture of you graduating that you held in your head right from year 1 that made it bearable. Why do people take non-paying or low-paying internship jobs? It's because they see it as a bridge to where/what they really want.
"The creative adult is the child who has survived." - Ursula K. Le Guin
Unfortunately, as we grow older we begin to be less imaginative. We begin to look for a structure to lock ourselves in. We would rather be a pawn in someone else's army than create our own army. We want a non-creativity dependent path to success. We are constantly looking for blueprints, a system to replicate and a giant structure to become an insignificant part of.
"If you can dream it, you can do it." Walt Disney
Yet so many of us don't dream, we copy other people's dreams. We want to do what someone else has done. Ever heard of two people having the same dream before? I mean a real dream; the one that happens in your subconscious when you are asleep. Nope! Not possible. So whenever you are adopting what someone else is doing or has done as your dream, it's not a dream, just a limited ambition. A true dream is always unique. Very different from any other body's. You don't dream to become the CEO of GTBank. That's an ambition, to head a system already created by someone else. All it will take you is to be smart and hardworking, and maybe luck too. But you can dream to build an online bank, or something else not yet existing. That is going to require excellent imagination, not just smart and hardwork.