I don't know. I am guessing that a person needs to constantly work to improve in a systematic fashion while spending real world time with world class musicians. It would also help to have world class instruction that prepares you for bigger and better playing opportunities. Be willing to play whatever comes your way and recover from the failures in a way that keeps the same failures from happening more than once. You are either moving forward or doing nothing in my opinion.
I sorely need more time with world class players/teachers to be great examples that can help set a plan of action to achieve my goals more quickly. It is harder to stumble or get of course with a good person guiding the way.