What career and life advice would you give to your 18-year-old self? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Gil Shwed, Founder and CEO of Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., on Quora:

There are two pieces of advice that I would give any young person who wants to make an impact and be the best they can be.

1. Always try to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you are. Each of us has the tendency to want to be the best, the smartest, and the top of our class. It's natural. But only when we step out of our comfort zone and truly challenge ourselves can we grow and develop. A real life example: when I was in high school, I took a job at a university. That meant I had to work with university students and professors who had more experience and knowledge than I did. Looking back at this experience, I understand that this challenged me to become better and learn from them.

2. When you find a field or profession you love, force yourself to find new areas within the field in which to excel. Try to find a new angle or a certain challenge that others are not addressing. Find the niche you can become best in. This is where you create the most value. Don't try to imitate everyone else. Think differently. See where you can lead and make the most valuable contribution to the team.

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Published on: Sep 12, 2017