Do not be brilliant. Brilliance expresses itself, sometimes against all odds, and perpetually eludes those who seek it. Don’t even try, you’ll put yourself in the position of being both ineffectual, and pathetic. Stick to your passion, and brilliance will follow, if ever, or not at all, unrelated to your struggle.
The best way to win is to not compete. Mind, this is not the same as not to participate.